Unique Living
June 9th, 2014 | by Serge Cowan

The Golden Rules of The Portuguese Golden Visa

It’s sometimes difficult to fathom exactly what visa you need when looking to emigrate or invest in property abroad. If you are going to be spending a lot of time in another country it is essential to do your research and choose the correct one, so that regulations don’t trip you up. Here, we explore the recently implemented Portuguese Golden Visa as they are easily attainable, especially if you plan on investing in luxury property in the algarve or elsewhere in the beautiful nation of Portugal.

The Portuguese Authorities launched the visa in October of 2012 as a fast track route for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain a fully valid Portuguese residency permit. Sounds too good to be true? It really isn’t. To qualify for this there are laws about investments you have to have carried out, which when completed, allow the investor to love or travel within Portugal as well as the majority of other European countries within Schengen space (comprising 26 European countries).

As described earlier only certain types of investment qualify you for the Golden Visa, which are; acquisition of property greater than 500,000 euros, transfer of funds above 1,000,000 or more or finally, the creation of at least town jobs in Portugal. The investment must have been made after 8th October 2012 also, to be eligible.

So, once you have your visa issued it is valid for a year, which can then also be renewed for further two year periods giving you plenty of time to grow your business or property portfolio. Once the investment, whichever you choose, is made there are some other requirements the investor has to comply with. These are listed below:

  • 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
  • Minimum stay in Portugal: 7 (seven) days during the first year and 14 (fourteen) days during each subsequent period of two years

The advantages to the golden visa programme are vast. The need to attain a visa to enter Portugal or any of the European countries in the Schengen area has gone. You can also extend your residency to family members and achieve permanent residency after five years. Your residency can remain in your home country unless you decide to apply for citizenship, which you are permitted to do after six years.

If you’re wondering how you can get started then you need to submit the following pieces of documentation (all in Portuguese, so you need to get them translated and certified if they are in another language).

  • Proof of Investment
  • Passport & Valid Schengen Visa
  • Portuguese Fiscal number (otherwise known as a tax number)
  • Criminal Record from country of residency
  • Portuguese Criminal Record
  • Declaration from the Tax Department proving the absence of debts  to the Tax Authorities
  • Declaration from Social Security proving the absence of debts to Social Security Authorities
  • Declaration from the investor confirming compliance with the investment requirements
  • Health Insurance valid in Portugal
  • 2 passport-type pictures

For fees and more definite application details seek legal advice to ensure you are not wasting money by submitting it wrongly. They will also be able to enlighten you about what income taxes apply in Portugal and globally as well as what costs you will incur when buying and selling property.


Serge Cowan

Serge Cowan

Managing Director and Founder

Serge has an extensive marketing background, after a broadcasting career, Serge moved into marketing where he worked for BSkyB & a number of leading Public Relations agencies.
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