Launched in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa is an investment residency program that allows non-EU citizens to live, work and study in Portugal and the European Schengen Area.
In 2022, the Portuguese government introduced a few changes and the new program aims to attract residential investment to the less populated areas in the country.
Table of contents
- What is the Portugal Golden Visa?
- How to get the Golden Visa in Portugal?
- What are the benefits of the Golden Visa?
- What are the changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa in 2022?
- Is it possible to apply for a Golden Visa mortgage?
- Is Portuguese citizenship worth it?
- Invest in Portugal with GuestReady
1. What is Portugal Golden Visa?
The Portugal Golden Visa is an investment residency program for non-EU citizens that allows them to live, work and study in Portugal and Europe.
The program, which requires an average of seven days per year of stay in Portugal, allows the non-EU citizen to become eligible to acquire Portuguese citizenship after five years.
The main goal of the Golden Visa programme is to attract international capital to the country, and it has already raised over €6 billion since its creation. Portugal offers high quality of life at a relatively affordable cost of living, next to beaches, a mild climate, varied gastronomy and breathtaking landscapes.
For these reasons, several investors see Portugal as a safe place for their investments and family relocation. In addition, the Portugal Golden Visa program offers the opportunity to become a permanent resident or citizen in Portugal in just five years.
2. How to get the Golden Visa in Portugal?
1. Analyse the type of investment
Over 90 per cent of all Golden Visa applicants in Portugal have chosen to go ahead with property investment. However, the real estate fund option has also started to get famous in recent years.
2. Gather all the necessary documents
You need to gather all the necessary documents for you, the main applicant, as well as all the documents for your ascendants or descendants. This step can get a little tiring, especially with all the translations, notarizations, apostilles, and certifications. However, a lawyer will be able to help with the process.
3. Obtain a NIF and open a bank account
Obtaining the NIF (Número de Identficação Fiscal) and opening a bank account in Portugal is a quick process which can even be carried out by your lawyers.
4. Finalising the Investment
Proceed with the payment and lock up your investment in Portugal.
5. Submit Pre-Application
With your qualified investment done and your paperwork ready, you will submit your pre-application online to SEF. It is recommended that your lawyer checks all documentation prior to submitting it. In normal times, it takes about two months from the time you submit your documents to the date of your appointment.
6. Booking SEF
After reviewing your pre-application, SEF will schedule a biometric appointment. Golden Visa applicants will need to physically attend to present their fingerprints and make their application official.
7. Getting the Golden Visa
Receipt of the Golden Visa residence cards. Each card is valid for two years and at the end of the validity period, it must be renewed. The waiting time for renewal is about four months.
3. Does Golden Visa Portugal lead to Portuguese citizenship?
Yes, the Golden Visa leads to Portuguese citizenship. For this, you must keep your investment for 5 years, have a clean criminal record, and finally, an A2 Portuguese language certificate (or take a test of the same level).
4. What are the benefits of the Golden Visa?
- You can qualify for residency by investing €280,000, one of the lowest investment thresholds in Europe.
- You do not need to move to Portugal to maintain your residency permit.
- The program only requires you to be present in the country 7 days a year.
- You may be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship within five years. This is one of the fastest in Europe.
- Once you become a Portuguese citizen, you get visa-free access to 187 countries.
- As a resident in Portugal, you will benefit from lower income tax by becoming a non-habitual resident.
5. What are the changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa in 2022?
The new Residence by Investment (ARI) program has the main objective of attracting population and new residents to the less populated areas of the country, which benefit from a 20% discount on the value of investments in low-density areas (500,000€ > 400,000€ / 350,000€ > 280,000€).
New Portugal 2022 Golden Visa Program
- Minimum capital transfer to Portugal of €1,000,000.
New GV 2022 program: Increase to €1,500,000.00.
- Transfer of at least €350,000 to investment funds or equity funds.
New GV 2022 program: Increase to € 500.000
- Buying residential real estate with a minimum value of EUR 500.000.
New GV 2022 program: The value remains unchanged, however, investments for permanent residence are no longer possible in coastal and high-density areas. Residential investment is now only possible in inland regions of the mainland and in the archipelagos of Madeira or the Azores in their entirety. Commercial and tourism investments have no restrictions as to location in the country.
- Acquiring properties for rehabilitation, over 30 years old or located in urban rehabilitation areas with a minimum value of €350.000.
New GV 2022 program: Value unchanged, however, as with the €500.000 investment, investments for refurbishment and residential purposes can only be made outside high-density areas.
- Minimum investment of €350,000 in scientific research activities.
New GV 2022 program: Increase the minimum amount to €500.000.
- Minimum transfer of €350,000 for setting up a commercial company, or for investment in an existing company. Meaning, creating or maintaining at least 5 jobs in each case, for a minimum period of three years.
New GV 2022 program: Increase the minimum amount to € 500.000.
- The investments that did not change:
Creation of 10 jobs – 8 in low-density areas;
Minimum investment of €250,000 in artistic production, restoration or maintenance of cultural heritage.
6. Is it possible to apply for a Golden Visa mortgage?
Yes, you can request access to Golden Visa credit with a mortgage, however, the minimum investment amount must be equity.
7. Is Portuguese citizenship worth it?
Portuguese citizenship is worth it not only because of the quality of life the country offers but also because:
- You have the opportunity to live as a European citizen, with access to the Schengen area.
- You deal with fewer bureaucratic processes in the European area, in general.
- You can transmit the Portuguese nationality to your descendants.
- You have access to lower tuition fees.
- You have access to the health system.
8. Invest in Portugal with GuestReady
GuestReady helps property investors find the best returns and the best rental management plan for their hassle-free business. We at Guestready, with the assistance of our partners, have helped dozens of Golden Visa investors with their real estate investments.
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