14 Oct Portugal citizenship by investment: 2023 Guide
The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program is a five-year residence-by-investment scheme. It allows non-EU nationals to enjoy business residency in Portugal and visa-free access to Europe’s Schengen Area, and eventually more than 180 countries.
This article describes the investment options available along with the application process and benefits of the program. It covers these areas:
- The 10 Portugal Golden Visa investment options
- Eligibility requirements for Portugal’s Golden Visa
- Benefits of Portugal’s Golden Visa program
- Can my family be included in my Portugal Golden Visa application?
- How to apply for a Portugal Golden Visa – step-by-step
- Portugal Golden Visa costs – explained
- How long is my Portugal Golden Visa valid?
- What are the taxes in Portugal for Golden Visa investors?
The 10 Portugal Golden Visa investment options
The Portugal Golden Visa Program is a citizenship-by-investment arrangement that allows non-EU nationals to invest in Portugal, with minimal physical presence required in the country. The visa, established in 2012 through a law seeking to attract foreign investors, is a naturalisation programme for net-high worth individuals and their dependents. Through the scheme, investors can obtain fully valid EU residency permits.
There are three different levels of investment available, with thresholds of EUR 280k, EUR 350k and EUR 500k, all with guaranteed buyback options.
Anyone applying for a Portugal Golden Visa must choose from one of ten investment options:
- A €500,000 Investment in real estate
- A €500,000 investment in a Fund in Portugal
- A €350,000 renovation of a property that has been standing for 30 years or more
- A €400,000 real estate investment in low-density areas
- A €280,000 investment in property renovation
- A €1.5 million capital transfer
- A €500,000 capital transfer to increase the shares of a company, accompanied by the creation of five new five jobs
- A €500,000 investment in scientific and technological research
- A donation of €250,000 to Portugal’s arts, national heritage or culture sectors.
- The creation of 10 new jobs in Portugal through your business efforts
Eligibility requirements for Portugal’s Golden Visa
To be eligible for a Golden Visa for Portugal, you must fulfil the following requirements:
- You must be over the age of 18
- You must make a significant investment that is judged to be beneficial to the Portuguese economy (see the 10 Portugal Golden Visa investment options, above)
- You must have no criminal record
- You must own the money you seek to invest (i.e. you cannot borrow the full amount of your intended investment)
- You must commit to maintaining the investment for at least five years
- You must make an average stay in Portugal of seven days a year over the five-year period – that’s all the Golden Residence Permit requires.
Benefits of Portugal’s Golden Visa program
After applying for Portuguese residency through the Golden Visa investment program, you will be issued with a Residency Card. This will generally arrive after about four months, depending on the submission of relevant due diligence and bio-metrics. After receiving the visa, cardholders enjoy visa-free access to 26 EU countries. But that’s just the beginning – after five years, having attained citizenship, you will have visa-free access to over 180 countries.
In addition to visa-free travel in Europe’s Schengen Area, you will have the right to live, work, and study in Portugal. You will be eligible to apply for full Portuguese citizenship after five years, without having to relinquish any other passport you may hold.
However, if you don’t intend living in Portugal, that’s no problem. One of the great appeals for many investors in the Golden Visa scheme is the low physical presence requirement. You are required to live in the country for just seven days during each year of your residency visa, amounting to just 35 days over the five-year period.
The investment program offers a Temporary Residency visa after four months, with Permanent Residency granted after five years. This, in turn, will lead to Portuguese citizenship, as long as you have fulfilled all the legal requirements. During this time, there is no obligation for you and your dependents to stay permanently in Portugal.
As a Golden Visa holder, you will be investing in a country with great infrastructure, strong political stability and high-levels of security. GDP in Portugal is expected to reach USD 260 billion by the end of 2022, according to analysts’ current forecasts and expectations.
Wealth and stability translate into a high quality of life. There are many highly-rated international and Portuguese schools and universities, along with high-quality healthcare clinics and hospitals. As a visa-holding resident, you and your family will have access to all this. Portugal is also renowned for its local cuisine and wines, rich culture and heritage and favourable climate.
Can my family be included in my Portugal Golden Visa application?
You can include your family on your visa. However, the Golden Visa program does not require you to do so. If you wish to include your family on your Portuguese Golden Visa application, these are the eligible members:
- Your spouse or partner.
- Children under the age of 18.
- Children over the age of 18 who are still dependent on you financially. (Note: as legal adults, the ‘children’ in this category must be enrolled in full-time education and unmarried, otherwise they will not qualify as dependents.)
- Brothers and sisters under the age of 18 (i.e. siblings of either you or your spouse/partner). For younger siblings to qualify as dependents, you or your partner must be their legal guardians.
- Dependent parents over the age of 55. This can be either you or your spouse/partner’s parents. For parties under the age of 65, you must provide documents proving their dependency.
Any family member included in the Golden Visa application will receive a separate Portuguese residence permit card and enjoy exactly the same rights and privileges as the main applicant. Portugal also accepts dual citizenship, and there is no mandatory requirement to renounce your original citizenship, nor any reporting requirements between Portugal and your previous country of residence or citizenship.
How to apply for a Portugal Golden Visa – Step-by-step
Huriya Private makes the visa application process very simple. We are an independent, international, award-winning private equity, immigration, multi-family office and corporate structuring firm headquartered in Dubai. Our long experience providing bespoke strategic management support and private advisory services to international clients in global markets makes us experts in the field of Golden Visa applications.
There are four initial steps to take when applying for the Golden Visa.
1. Sign a retainer agreement for Huriya Private to act as your advisor for application, due diligence and legal processes.
2. Arrange a visit to the Portuguese embassy to attest the required list of documents.
3. Transfer the investment amount and any applicable fees into an approved Escrow account.
4. Travel to Portugal to undertake the required biometrics and submit the application for permanent residence, along with supporting documentation.
Your temporary residency visa will take a little time to arrive – eight to ten months is the minimum wait – but, as they say, good things come to those who wait! Applications for renewal of the Golden Visa should then be sent every two years, and you will be able to apply for full Portuguese citizenship after the fifth year. If this application is approved, citizenship will be granted within three to six months.
The process is straightforward, but it is important to work with a company that knows the system inside out, to avoid any unexpected complications or pitfalls. The Huriya Private team has decades of professional financial services experience under its belt, with an international network of contacts and a profound understanding of the needs of high-net-worth individuals and families.
We have great experience advising some of the GCC’s wealthiest individuals. In this increasingly complex and constantly changing world of business, finance and investment, world, we help high-net-worth individuals and families protect, maintain and enhance their private wealth. We enable people to reap the considerable benefits of global, visa-free travel and the means to access and repatriate their wealth in the most tax-efficient and cost-effective manner possible.
To discuss your first steps in the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program – or even if you’re still in the early stages of considering such a move – contact Huriya Private today for a confidential conversation to discuss your requirements.
Portugal Golden Visa costs – explained
The payment process is completely transparent. In addition to the initial main investment in real estate (see the ‘10 Portugal Golden Visa investment options’ section, above), you will also have to pay the following government fees:
- A processing fee of €533 for each family member included in the application
- A Golden Visa issue fee of €5,325 for each family member
- A residence permit renewal fee of €2,663 annually for each family member on each renewal
- Variable fees for translation, legalisation (Apostille Stamp) or issuance of documents
- Currently, the visa is now 20% cheaper than this time last year, due to the favourable exchange rate of the dollar against the euro.
In addition, you will be paying Huriya Private for our services and guidance – talk to us today for full details of the services we can provide, and how much they will cost.
How long is my Portugal Golden Visa valid?
The Portugal Golden Visa is initially valid for one year, but it can be renewed after that for two-year periods, as long as you have successfully maintained your investments in Portugal. After five years, you are eligible to apply for citizenship. (Note: you can only apply for Permanent Residence if you are living in Portugal more than 183 days per year.)
To maintain your Portugal Golden Visa after making your property investment, all you have to do is stay in the country for at least seven days during the first year and for fourteen days during years two and three, and again in years three and four.
The fact that you do not have to live in Portugal permanently to renew your Golden Visa or receive permanent residence or citizenship is one of the significant attractions of the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program.
What are the taxes in Portugal for Golden Visa Investors?
The taxes you pay in Portugal depend on whether you are registered as a resident or non-resident.
Non-residents: You are not taxed on income deriving from your business operations abroad if you do not live in Portugal. Non-residents only pay tax for any income they have obtained from business within Portugal.
Residents: If you are a Portugal resident, you have to pay tax on any income obtained abroad.
Income in Portugal is taxable if it derives from employment, pensions, director’s fees, investment income, rental income and capital gains. The current tax rate in Portugal ranges from 14.5% to 48% (the latter for income higher than €80,882). All rental income in the country is taxed at a 28% flat rate.
If you’re thinking of retiring to Portugal: Contact Huriya Private for further details on how the Portuguese Non-Habitual Residence Tax Regime (NHR) works. The NHR does not just apply to Portugal – it is a regime that allows qualifying individuals to become tax residents of one of the “white-listed” EU jurisdictions while legally paying no taxes on most foreign-source income.
Portugal’s NHR allows high-worth investors to enjoy significant tax reductions and exemptions. An investor who retires to Portugal and becomes a tax resident in the country can benefit from these tax breaks for up to ten years. The scheme was introduced in 2009 specifically to attract high-worth individuals. NHR residents benefit from a flat tax rate of 20% (reduced recently from a much less favourable 48%), with the possibility of receiving tax-free foreign income, including pensions.