What is the Golden Visa?

Aimed at attracting foreign investment to Portugal, the Golden Visa is a very straightforward and flexible programme, with simple and clear legal requirements. With extremely reduced minimum stay requirements, the Golden Visa is clearly one of the most attractive residency programs for investors in the world.

What are the benefits?

  • No need to obtain a visa to travel in Europe (Schengen area)
  • Living and working in Portugal, even with residency in a different country
  • Extremely low minimum stay periods
  • Permanent Residency after 5 years
  • Citizenship after 6 years
  • Residency extended to family members

What are the general requirements that the investor has to comply with?

Golden Visa Programme implies an extremely reduced amount of requirements being asked from the investor. The Golden Visa Programme sets out that the investor must comply with general requirements applicable to all types of qualifying investments and also with the specific requirements of each type of qualifying investment.

In general, all investors have to comply with the following requirements:

  • Keep the investment for a minimum period of 5 years.
  • Funds for investment should come from abroad.
  • Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa.
  • Absence of references in the Portuguese Immigration and the Schengen services.
  • Absence of conviction of relevant crime.

Are there any grounds for refusing the issuing of the Golden Visa or its renewal?

The investor (or any family member) will only be refused the Golden Visa (or its renewal) if:

  • They have not complied with the minimum periods of stay in Portugal
  • They have not maintained the investment for the minimum period of 5 (years)
  • They have been convicted of a crime punishable with a prison sentence of more than one year
  • The investor is in a period where they have been banned entry into Portuguese territory following a removal measure of the country
  • On the grounds of public health (this may only be based on diseases that have been defined by the World Health Organization or other infectious or parasitic contagious diseases which are the object of protection measures in Portuguese territory)
  • A Golden Visa may be refused on the grounds of public order, public security or public health

What is the process regarding family reunion?

Under the Golden Visa Programme, the investor’s family members may also apply and obtain a resident permit from Portugal by applying for “family reunion”. The Golden visa will be extended to family members, directly to spouse and under age children (Under 18 years of age – Minors or children who are under guardianship of the couple or of one of the spouses. Minors adopted by an unmarried applicant, by a married applicant or by the spouse, Children who are of age and of whom the couple or one of the spouses is in charge, that attend a teaching institution.).

There is no limitation to family members.

The family members will also be eligible for Permanent Residency after 5 years Portuguese Citizenship after 6 years.

If children finish school after the golden visa is granted what happens during renewal?

Children must be attending a teaching institute and the investor should bear all the expenses of the regrouped, since it is also necessary to prove that the child is economically dependent on the Investor (through bank statements or IRS for example). The children must be single during the investment period.

Can the investor and family members work in Portugal?

Yes, there is no restriction for the investor and/or family members to work in Portugal

What rights does a resident of Portugal have?

A person authorised to live in Portugal has the right to education, maintain professional activity, health care, and to the justice system.

What are the requirements for staying in Portugal for the Temporary and Permanent Residency?

Temporary Residency:
The requirement to be in Portugal for investors is only 7 days in the first year and 14 days in the following 2 years.

Permanent Residency:
Holders of Permanent Residency titles should not be away from the country for more than 24 months in a row or 30 alternate months within a period of 3 years. Please note that there is an exception to these time requirements, which can be used if the investor needs to be away for longer periods of time due to business reasons.

How long will be the process for the renewal of the Resident Permit? Does the applicant need to go to Portugal for it?

The renewal process is very quick and at maximum it will take 60 days. The Investor will need to go to Portugal after the renewal has been approved to obtain their new residency permit.

How does the investor and family obtain citizenship?

The Portuguese legislation also sets out that any person who has been validly resident in Portugal for at least 5 years (either under a temporary or permanent residency title), is eligible for obtaining Portuguese Citizenship.
In order to be able to obtain Portuguese Citizenship, the investor and family members will also have to comply with the following requirements:
• Absence of conviction of any relevant crime
• Be at least 18 years old (or at least 16 but married or legally responsible)
• Pass a simple Portuguese language test, which will serve to show sufficient knowledge of the language

What happens to the investment after 5 years? Can the investor sell the property or transfer the money to another country?

Yes, the investor only needs to hold the investment during the Golden Visa’s validity period – 5 years.