Your Guide to Portugal Golden Visa

The Portugal Golden Visa Programme, which was launched by the Portuguese authorities in October 2012, is a fast-track residency programme for foreign investors from non-EU countries. It provides investors with a fully valid Residency Permit in Portugal (a ‘Golden Visa’).

Under the Golden Visa Programme, investors simply need to carry out one of the purchase options set out in the law to qualify to obtain a Residency Permit in Portugal. This Residency Permit will allow the investor to enter and/or live in Portugal and to travel freely within the vast majority of EU countries (the Schengen Area). It will also allow the investor to bring their spouse, children and any dependants with them with no additional investment requirement by applying for “family reunion”. With access to public services including the National Health Service, schools and universities along with receiving foreign income from employment or self-employment without double taxation, Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme is one of the best programmes to apply for.

Aimed at attracting foreign investment to Portugal, the Golden Visa Programme is very straightforward and flexible, with simple and clear legal requirements. With extremely low minimum stay requirements and the possibility of receiving permanent residency and/or Portuguese citizenship (and an EU passport) after five years, the programme is clearly the most attractive residency programme in the world for investors.

The Golden Visa Programme in Portugal is the Most Popular Residency Program in the World

It is the world’s most popular golden visa; 1,414 visas were issued in 2016 alone. Applicants and their families may apply for both permanent residency and citizenship just after five years!

An investment starting from €280,000 in property will grant a Residency Visa for you and your dependent family members.

Apart from property investment, there are also other routes under the programme. The capital investment route requires an investment starting from €200,000. The employment route requires you to create at least 10 local jobs for a period of at least five years. This requirement is reduced by 20% if jobs are created in an area of low population density. In this instance, only 8 jobs would need to be created.

However, the most popular investment route under the golden visa in Portugal is property investment. 94% of golden visas issued by the Portuguese government in 2016 were granted based upon property investments. This investment route is so popular because the real estate sector is considered a safe haven; the country’s low supply and strong demand keeps prices high. Returns for real estate sold in areas such as Lisbon and the Algarve average at around 15% – making property a solid investment.

Portugal is an attractive destination for both residence and vacations. With a warm Mediterranean climate, stable government, and quality international schools – it’s no surprise that Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, is ranked among the best cities in the world for quality of living.

Portugal Golden Visa Benefits

Whether you wish to relocate to Portugal or simply enjoy easy access across the EU, there are lots of benefits of gaining a golden visa.

When you apply for the Portugal golden residence permit, you can also add your spouse, children under 18 years of age, and any dependant family members to your application. This lets you and your partner work freely in Portugal as well as across the schengen area with no travel restrictions.

Also, your children would also be able to attend Portugal’s most prestigious schools and universities. In short, gaining residency in Portugal has real potential to unlock new possibilities for your future.

With Portugal situated on Europe’s West coast, Lisbon is fast becoming known as “the California of Europe” thanks to its booming real estate market, a sharp rise in foreign business start-ups, as well as its favourable year-round weather.

According to A Place in the Sun’s ‘10 Best Places to Buy Abroad in 2017’ index, Lisbon currently ranks at number three. In addition to the potential investment returns, the capital is considered one of Europe’s friendliest and most welcoming cities, according to expats. Add in glorious weather with average highs of 15°C even in December and January, as well as above average political stability and security, and Portugal is a truly desirable destination.

It was only in 2012 that the law was changed in Portugal permitting houses to be rented at market value. It was largely down to this that housing prices in Lisbon increased by an impressive 30% between 2013 and 2016, according to Savills figures. Now, real estate in being snapped up rapidly; more than half the properties on the market sell within six months, with 20% even selling within just three months.

Under the Golden Visa Programme, there are no maximum stay requirements, but you are required to spend at least seven days in the first year and 14 days in each year thereafter, not necessarily consecutive, until you are granted permanent residency at the end of year 5. After year 5, there are no minimum or maximum stay requirements.

All your close family members, including your dependent adult children aged up to 25, can apply with you. Your family members can be your spouse (wife or husband), your dependent children aged up to 25, your parents and your dependent minor siblings.

If you choose property investment route, you can rent out the property you bought! Average rental income is between 4% and 8% of the value of the property. Most management companies provide three or five years guaranteed rental income.

As a Golden Visa holder, you will have all the benefits of the Schengen Visa. Your residence permit will allow you to travel in the 26 member states:  Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

One of the most attractive benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa is that you have the option to apply for permanent residency after five years and citizenship after six years of residency in Portugal.