- What is permanent residency in Portugal?
- What are the different routes to Portuguese permanent residency?
- What are the eligibility requirements for Portuguese permanent residency through investment?
- What documents are required for permanent residency in Portugal?
- What are the benefits of Portuguese permanent residency?
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is permanent residency in Portugal?
The status of permanent residence grants foreign nationals almost the same rights as those who have Portuguese citizenship. Exceptions include participating in elections and holding public office, as well as having a Portuguese passport.
To be able to apply for permanent residency in Portugal, foreign citizens must have spent at least 5 continuous years living in the country.
It is also possible to acquire permanent residency in Portugal through investment. Those who want to venture down this route, foreign nationals must apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa.
If you are not sure whether you qualify to apply for permanent residency in Portugal, get in touch with our lawyers. They can assess your circumstances and help you determine whether you meet all the necessary requirements.
What are the different routes to Portuguese permanent residency?
An important requirement for Portuguese permanent residency is that foreign nationals must have been living in Portugal for at least 5 years with a temporary residence permit.
Getting a temporary residence permit in Portugal is straightforward for those who are EU/EEA or Swiss citizens. They have the right to come to Portugal without a visa and do not have to meet any specific requirements to become residents in Portugal.
All they need to do is go to the local municipality office and inform them about their intention to spend more than 90 days in Portugal.
Immigration officials then issue them with a temporary residency certificate valid for 5 years. After residing in Portugal for 5 years, they can obtain permanent residency in Portugal.
Non-EU/EEA citizens who wish to move to Portugal permanently must apply for a long-term visa prior to arriving in the country. There are numerous routes they can choose from depending on their individual circumstances. These include:
- Family reunification – those who are dependent family members or spouses of someone with Portuguese residency might be able to join them through family reunification
- Employment – those who received a job offer in Portugal might be able to obtain a Work Visa or a Startup Visa (provided that their business will be innovative and will create jobs in Portugal)
- Retirement – those who have sufficient financial resources and private health insurance might be able to get a Retirement Visa
- Study – those who get accepted to a Portuguese university might be able to come to Portugal on a Student Visa and switch to a Work Visa after completing their studies and finding employment
- Investment – those who wish to make an investment in Portugal might be able to obtain the Golden Visa
Non-EU/EEA citizens who come to Portugal with a long-term visa must schedule an appointment with the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) to get their residence permit.
Initially, the residence permit is valid for 1 year but can be renewed for 2 years at a time. After 5 years of living in Portugal with a temporary residence permit, they can apply for permanent residency.
What are the eligibility requirements for Portuguese permanent residency through investment?
Non-EEA investors who are at least 18 years old, have no criminal record, and have sufficient capital to invest in Portugal might be eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa, also known as the D9 Visa.
There are several types of investments that foreign nationals can make but the investment must be beneficial to the Portuguese economy.
Investment options that non-EEA citizens can make to obtain the Golden Visa include:
- Purchase real estate worth at least €500,000
- Invest €350,000 in a property located in an urban regeneration area or a property that was built more than 30 years ago
- Invest at least €350,000 in research activities or at least €250,000 in arts
- Make a capital transfer of at least €350,000 for the incorporation of a company with a head office in Portugal
- Create at least 10 new jobs in Portugal
- Make a capital transfer of at least €1 million into Portugal
Our lawyers can review the suggested investment you wish to make in Portugal and tell you whether it qualifies you for the Golden Visa. Keep in mind that regardless of which type of investment you decide to make, you must be committed to maintaining it for at least five years.
Those who successfully obtain the Golden Visa receive a residence permit card that is initially valid for one year.
After that, they can renew their residence permit provided that they maintain their investment in Portugal. Then, after living in Portugal for at least 5 years, they can apply for permanent residency.
What documents are required for permanent residency in Portugal?
Those who want to apply for permanent residency in Portugal must provide the following documents:
- Valid passport
- Two recent photographs
- Proof of having a valid Portuguese visa or temporary residence permit
- Proof of having sufficient income allowing the applicant to live in Portugal
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of having lived in Portugal for at least 5 years
- Proof of having private health insurance
The exact documents applicants need to provide can vary depending on their individual circumstances and the type of immigration permission they have in Portugal.
If you require assistance putting together a portfolio of evidence, our lawyers can help you gather all the necessary documents.
Once applicants have all the required documents, they can submit their application for permanent residency. Permanent residence permits are issued by the Portuguese Immigration service.
What are the benefits of Portuguese permanent residency?
Holders of Portuguese permanent residency enjoy numerous benefits that include:
- They can travel around Europe’s Schengen Area without having to apply for visas
- They have the right to work and study in Portugal without having to obtain any additional permits
- They have the right to bring their family members to Portugal
- They are entitled to unemployment benefits if they lost their job
- They can access healthcare in Portugal
- They can apply for Portuguese citizenship (provided that they can pass a Portuguese language test)
Portugal is an attractive destination for both EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA nationals due to its mild climate, low crime rates, many employment opportunities, and international atmosphere.
If you are considering moving to Portugal permanently, get in touch with our lawyers. They will analyse your situation and tell you in detail how you can immigrate to Portugal.
How can IAS Help?
The process of becoming a permanent resident in Portugal can be complex as there are several routes that foreign nationals can venture down. At IAS, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who can tell you what the best option for you to immigrate to Portugal permanently is.
If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, they can advise you on which Portuguese visa you should obtain. They can answer all your questions and guide you through each step of the visa application process.
If you are an EU/EEA citizen, moving to Portugal might be easier but you should still consult an immigration lawyer who can offer you professional legal advice on how you can get permanent residency there.
If you are a non-EEA investor wanting to invest a significant amount of money in Portugal, our lawyers can help with that too. They can tell you what types of investments you can make to qualify for the Golden Visa.
Regardless of which route to Portuguese permanent residency you choose, our lawyers can help you prepare all the necessary documents. Thanks to their help, you can be sure that your case is as strong as possible.
Call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to find out more about how our team can help.
Last modified on August 17th, 2023 at 12:05 pm
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Those who meet the eligibility requirements to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa must pay the following fees:
- €533 for the processing of the visa application
- €5,325 for each family member for issuing the Golden Visa
Holders of the Golden Visa who wish to renew it after the first year must pay an additional €2,663. All of these fees come on top of the money needed for investment in Portugal.
The short answer to this question is yes. Portugal recognises dual citizenship so you can become a Portuguese citizen without having to give up the citizenship of your country of origin.
Foreign nationals can apply for Portuguese citizenship if they meet the following conditions:
- They have been residing in Portugal for at least 5 years with a residence permit or permanent residence status
- They have proficiency in Portuguese at level A2 or higher
- They do not have a criminal record
Those who become Portuguese citizens can obtain a Portuguese passport and have the right to live in Portugal without any immigration restrictions. As Portugal allows dual citizenship, those who successfully obtain their Portuguese citizenship can have more than one passport.
The Portuguese Golden Visa, intended for those who make a significant investment in Portugal, is initially valid for one year. After the first year, its holders can renew it for two-year periods provided that they continue to maintain their investment in Portugal.
After living in Portugal on the Golden Visa for at least 5 years, they can apply for permanent residence or citizenship.
To maintain their Golden Visa and later be able to obtain permanent residency or citizenship, foreign nationals do not have to reside in Portugal. However, they must spend at least 7 days in Portugal during the first year and at least 14 days during the following two-year periods.
EU/EEA citizens and citizens of Switzerland have the enter Portugal and remain there for up to 90 days without a visa. If they wish to remain in Portugal longer than 90 days, they are able to do so but they must go to the local municipality office and get their temporary residency certificate. This certificate is valid for 5 years. After living in Portugal for 5 years, they can get permanent residency or citizenship in Portugal.
Non-EU/EEA citizens, on the other hand, must obtain a Portuguese visa prior to arriving in the country. There are numerous visas they can choose from depending on the purpose of their visit.
If you are not sure whether you need a visa to come to Portugal, get in touch with our lawyers. They will help you determine it and submit your application.
Non-habitual residency in Portugal is a tax regime introduced in 2009 to attract foreign investors and professionals that can benefit the Portuguese economy. The programme offers eligible individuals reduced tax rates and allows them to avoid having their foreign-earned income taxed in Portugal for 10 years.
To be able to become a non-habitual resident, applicants must have the right to reside in Portugal due to being an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or having obtained the Golden Visa. In addition to that, they should not have been a Portuguese tax resident in the last five years.
Those who want to apply to become non-habitual residents in Portugal must submit their applications before the 31st of March of the tax year when they become tax residents in Portugal. Successful applicants can benefit from the regime for 10 years.