Portugal’s Golden Visa program was initiated in late 2012. The successful residence by investment program grants non-EU citizens Portuguese residency. To obtain a residency permit, interested individuals must invest a designated amount into the program. Since its inception, the Portugal Golden Visa Program generated around EUR 5 billion of income. More than 15,000 individuals received residency permits through the scheme.
There are several routes through the Portugal Golden Visa Program.
Real Estate Investments
The most popular route within the Portugal Golden Visa Program is the real estate investment option. The main method used within this route is to invest at least EUR 500,000 in Portuguese real estate. However, if investors choose to buy property from one of the designated “low-density areas”, the minimum investment requirement decreases to EUR 350,000. If the said property is older than 30 years old, the required amount goes further down.
Venture Capital Funds (Investment Fund)
Investors may choose to invest a minimum of EUR 350,000 into Portuguese funds towards the capitalization of companies. Individuals may also establish their own Portugal-based country. This method must create at least five permanent jobs. Alternatively, a private limited company can be established without a minimum investment requirement. This sort of investment must create ten permanent jobs.
Various Investments in Portugal
The minimum investment requirement for this option is EUR 1 million. This method does not entirely limit the form of investment. Investors who choose this option may prefer buying company shares or depositing money into a bank account. Also, investors may purchase Portugal sovereign debt instruments.
Investments in Cultural Activities
Investors may choose to invest in artistic productions or initiatives that aim to protect cultural heritage. The minimum investment requirement for this option is EUR 250,000. The projects selected for investment must be designated by the government. Other projects do not count towards a Golden Visa application.
Investments in Scientific Research
Investors may choose to invest in Portugal’s scientific and technological progress. When such projects start, investors can implement this method in their application process. The minimum investment requirement for this option is EUR 350,000.
Required Documents of the Portugal Golden Visa
The Portugal Golden Visa Program has a relatively straightforward application process. Still, it is an important legal transaction. Thus, there are many documentations involved in the action. The first group of documents is to be obtained from the home country:
- Each applicant must have a valid passport. Also, if applicable, they must have a valid Schengen visa.
- The main applicant must submit a form of proof of residence. This may be a driving license, a bank statement, or a utility bill.
- Each applicant over 16 years old must submit a criminal record certificate. This report helps in the due diligence process. Applicants must have a clean criminal record. This document must be certified by the Portuguese consulate.
- Each applicant must submit proof of their eligibility. For instance, the spouse of the main applicant must submit a marriage certificate. Children of the main applicant must submit birth certificates. These documents also need to be certified by the Portuguese consulate.
- The main applicant must submit proof for their occupation.
- Each document must be submitted in Portuguese. Foreign-language originals must be translated by an accredited translating agency.
The second group of documents is to be obtained from Portugal:
- Each applicant must submit a permission form stating that the authorities may access their Portuguese criminal record.
- The main applicant must submit a certificate showing that they have no debts from the Portuguese tax.
- The main applicant must have a Portuguese tax identification number (NIF).
- The main applicant must sign and submit a document saying that they will comply with the rules and requirements.
- The application fees must be paid beforehand. The receipt for these must be submitted with other documents.
- The main applicant must submit proof of the investment transaction that has been realized. This document is obtained from the registry office dealing with the transaction.
The third group of required documents is either online or procedural:
- Initial application for the program must be made online. This application involves copies of all required documents.
- Initial fees can also be paid online. This is optional.
- After the approval of the online submittal, applicants must book a biometric session. The booking process is also online. All applicants must be present at this session, including babies.
- All documents must be recent (180 days old at most). For criminal record certificates, the time limit is 90 days. The submission period of the program may take too long in rare cases. In such situations, some documents may need to be re-obtained.
- After the approval of the application, the applicant must pay the issuance fee of the residence permit.