The Portugal Golden Visa Investment Program is currently one of the most popular programs to immigrate to Europe due to its flexibility and various benefits. It started in October 2012 with the purpose of attracting foreign investments through property investment and capital investments to Portugal.
The Portugal Golden Visa holders and their family have the right to reside, work, and attend school in Portugal and Visa-free travel to the 26 Schengen countries in Europe. After 5 years, the candidate can apply for permanent residence. And after 6 years from the beginning of the investment, the candidate can apply for Portuguese citizenship.
The beneficiaries of Portugal Golden Visa are entitled to:
Residence visa waiver for entering Portugal;
Living and working in Portugal, on condition that they stay in Portugal for a period of 7 or more days, in the first year, and 14 or more days, in the subsequent years (14 cumulative days in years 2 and 3, and 14 days cumulative days in years 4 and 5);
Visa exemption for travelling within the Schengen Area;
The resident permit grants the foreign citizens the same treatment as nationals, particularly about social security, tax benefits, European Union membership (EU), recognition of diplomas, certificates and other professional titles. It also grants access to goods and services available to the public, as well as the application of provisions that grant them special rights.
For most intents and purposes the resident permit to put the foreign nationals (non-EU) on par with other citizens of Europe. One of the greatest benefits of this is that Golden Visa holders may apply for a permanent residence permit in the 5th year and thereafter may acquire Portuguese nationality by naturalization in the 6th year, if they fulfil certain requirements in accordance with the law.
After the 5th year of investment, the investor can apply for permanent residency, if he/she desires. After the 6th year of investment, the investor can also apply for Portugal/EU citizenship, if he/she desires.
Portugal Golden Visa is a very simple process. Check step by step:
1 – The investor sends complete and signed documents and the lawyer schedule the appointment for the investor. The documents are: Signed service agreement with Mercan/one of its partners, Signed declaration, Coloured readable copy of Passport (and translation if not in Portuguese, English of French) of every family member, and Complete “Golden Visa- Online Pre-register” form (to be filled out by every family member).
2 – Now it’s time for the document authentication. First, the investor receives legal package. After, the investor goes to the Portuguese Embassy to sign and certify legal documents (Power of Attorney, Lease Agreement and Investor’s Agreement). Later, the investor sends certified legal documents and additional documents needed to open a bank account. The Portugal bank account will be opened under the investor’s name. And the additional documents to open are: Proof of address (document issued in the name of the investor and dated less than 3 months), and Proof of activity/employment and List of net assets.
3- The final step is the preparation for visiting Portugal. Now, the investor obtains personal documents for SEF interview. These must be issued up to three months prior the submission to SEF, translated to Portuguese and authenticated. The personal documents are: Criminal record of Investor and each family member 16 years old or above, Marriage certificate, if applicable, Birth Certificate, and Proof of continuing studies, if applicable. It is important to notice that the document authentication process varies per country.
The investor applies for Shengen visa after receiving appointment date with SEF and he/she attains Health Insurance subscription for every family member. Later, the investor transfers investments to Portuguese bank account. The deed of ownership is issued to the investor after the purchase is executed. Finally, the investor travels to Portugal for SEF interview and sings SEF’s application form and Sworn Statement upon arrival.