Frequently Asked Questions
Portugal – Golden Visa
1.Is my investment guaranteed?
The government of Portugal cannot guarantee your investment because it is a private investment. However, once the investment is done, you become the owner of real-estate property in Portugal and the title deed is under your own personal name. The title deed is registered with the government, which guarantees that you are truly the owner of this real-estate property.
In addition to the title deed, some of our projects offer a complete guarantee of your investment, while other projects offer a partial guarantee and a higher yearly return. This guarantee takes the form of a legal contract signed with the developer or of a more formal guarantee with the bank*1 .
2.Who are the family members that can be included in my immigration file?
In your immigration file, you can include your wife and dependent children. Dependent children mean that they are either below the age of 18, or they are full-time students and they financially depend on you (you pay for their studies and other expenses).
Your parents and parents-in-law can also be included in the file if they are above 65 years of age. If they are below the age of 65, they can also be included, but we must show that they are dependent on you.
3. What is the status I obtain/visa I obtain at the end of the immigration procedure?
You and your family will obtain a resident status/visa which will allow you reside, work, study and do business in Portugal.
Your visa will also allow you to make short visits (90 days or less) to any other country in the European Union as a tourist. This means that you will no longer need a Schengen Visa.
4. How long will the immigration procedure last?
The procedure takes between 4 to 6 months once your file is submitted to the Portuguese Immigration Services (called S.E.F.). At the end of the procedure, you and your family members will obtain a residency card.
5. What is the immigration procedure?
The procedure can be summarized in 5 steps:
- You must gather some simple documents in order to open your personal bank account in Portugal. You can travel to Portugal in order to be present for this step. If do not want to make the trip to Portugal, the legal team in Porto can open the bank account for you. In this case, you will need to sign a Power of Attorney
- Once the bank account is opened, you must transfer the required funds into your newly opened account in Portugal. Once the funds are available in your account in Portugal, the title deed will be purchased in your name.
- Once the title is completed, you must gather the documents required by the Portuguese Immigration Services (SEF), for example: police certificates, marriage certificate, birth certificate of the children.
- The file is submitted to SEF for verification. This step normally takes 1.5 to 3 months.
- Once SEF is finished verifying your documents, you and your family must travel to Portugal in order for SEF to take your fingerprints. This is the last step before finishing the procedure.
The resident cards will be issued approximately 1.5 to 3 months after the fingerprints are completed.
6. Must I travel to Portugal during the procedure?
For the opening of your bank account in Portugal and the title-deed transfer at the notary, it is your choice. You can mandate the legal team in Portugal to do this for you, or you can travel to Portugal to accomplish these two steps with the legal team. However, you and your family members included in the file absolutely must travel to Portugal for the fingerprints with the Portuguese Immigration Services.
7. What is the purpose of the meeting with the Portuguese Immigration Services?
The main purpose is to take the fingerprints of the family members (sometimes called biometrics).
8. What must I do to keep my resident status in Portugal?
After obtaining the residency card, you and your family members must stay in Portugal for a minimum of:
- 7 days the 1st year;
- 14 days for the 2nd and 3rd year combined;
- 14 days for the 4th and 5th years combined.
During your visit to Portugal, you will be able to stay for free in the hotel where you are co-owner. The free stay is for the required duration to keep the resident status.
9. How can I obtain the Portuguese Citizenship?
After five (5) years of resident status, you can apply for the citizenship of Portugal. Essentially, you must satisfy two main criteria. Firstly, you must demonstrate that you have respected the conditions of your resident status (minimum presence in Portugal of 7 days per year and no criminality issues). Secondly, you must present the result of a Portuguese-language test showing a beginner level. The citizenship procedure will take approximately 6 to 12 months.
10. What are the advantages of the Portuguese Citizenship?
Firstly, you automatically obtain the European Union citizenship. This allows you, if you wish, to establish yourself in any country of the European Union. Secondly, the Portuguese passport gives you access to 164 countries without requiring any additional visa. This is equivalent to the Canadian, American or British passport and it is among the best passport in the world.
11. Does Portugal allow dual citizenship?
Yes. Contrary to Spain and some other European countries, Portugal allows dual citizenship. This means that you can keep the citizenship of your country of origin.
12. Do I need to pay income taxes in Portugal?
Generally, you will only pay taxes in Portugal on the income you have earned inside of Portugal and there is no income tax on your income outside Portugal.
The only exception is if you are physically present in Portugal for more than 183 days per year. In this case, you become a fiscal resident in Portugal, and you must declare all of your income to Portugal.
13. Can my Golden Visa file be refused?
If you are able to do the investment, your file will only be refused in case of serious criminality problems.
However, you must make sure that you and your family are able to obtain a Schengen visa in order to travel to Portugal so that the Portuguese Immigration Services can take your fingerprints to finalize the procedure. If you have never obtained a Schengen Visa in the past, it is preferable to try to obtain one before making the investment.
14. Who can submit a Golden Visa immigration file?
Anyone that is 18 years old or more can submit an immigration file in the Golden Visa program of Portugal.
It is not necessary to have business experience, or even to be currently working. We must simply be able to show that the amount of 350,000 euros has come from a legal source (ex. accumulated savings, profits from a company, gift from a family member, inheritance, etc).
15. Where can I reside in Portugal?
You can reside anywhere in Portugal. You are NOT obliged to reside in the same city as your investment.
16. Can my spouse or one of my children make submit a Golden Visa file on their own?
Yes. Your spouse or children can submit a Golden Visa file on their own. In fact, any child aged 18 or above can submit a file on his own. As previously mentioned, he must simply show where the funds come from.