Golden Visa

Aimed at attracting foreign investment, the Golden Visa programme launched by the Portuguese Authorities is a fast track for investors to obtain a fully valid residency permit in Portugal and consequently free access to the vast majority of European countries known as the Schengen area.
With simple and clear legal requirements, along with reduced minimum stay requirements, the Golden Visa certainly is one of the most attractive residency programs for investors. Once issued, the Golden Visa will be valid for an initial period of 1 (one) year being renewed for subsequent periods of 2 years.

ELIGIBLE TYPES OF INVESTMENT

The following types of investment qualify for the Golden Visa programme — it should be noted that only investments made after 8th October 2012 will be eligible:
  1. Acquisition of property in the amount of or greater than € 500,000
    1. Minimum investment of € 500,000;
    2. Purchase of one or multiple properties;
    3. All property types qualify;
    4. Possibility of co-ownership;
    5. Freedom to use, rent or lease.
  2. Creation of at least 30 (thirty) jobs in Portugal (current understanding of Portuguese Immigration Services)
    • Creation of a minimum of 30 jobs (current understanding of Portuguese Immigration Services);
    • No minimum investment value;
    • No limitation on areas/activities;
    • Compliance with Social Security obligations;
    • Possibility of grants/incentives/benefits.
The simplicity of the Golden Visa Programme implies an extremely reduced amount of requirements being asked from the investor, setting out that the investor must comply with general requirements applicable to all types of qualifying investments and also with the specific requirements of each type of qualifying investment.

 

The Golden Visa Programme will provide investors with the following advantages:
  • No need to obtain a visa to enter Portugal;
  • No need to obtain a visa to travel in Europe (Schengen area);
  • Living and working in Portugal, even with residency in a different country;
  • Citizenship after 6 years;
  • Residency extended to family members. The family members will also be eligible for Permanent;
  • Residency after 5 years Portuguese Citizenship after 6 years;
  • Extremely low minimum stay periods;
  • Permanent Residency after 5 years.
In general, all investors have to comply with the following requirements:
  • 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 Schengen Area, which the programme grants access to, is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. This group of countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

CITIZENSHIP

The Portuguese legislation also sets out that any person who has been validly resident in Portugal for at least 6 (years (either under a temporary or permanent residency title), is eligible for obtaining Portuguese Citizenship.
In order to be able to obtain Portuguese Citizenship, the investor and family members will also have to comply with the following requirements:
  • Be at least 18 years old (or at least 16 but married or legally responsible);
  • Absence of conviction of any relevant crime;
  • Pass a simple Portuguese language test, which will serve to show sufficient knowledge of the language

DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR APPLICATION

The application for the Golden Visa implies that the investor will have to submit the following documentation:
  • Proof of Investment;
  • Passport & Valid Schengen Visa;
  • Portuguese Fiscal number — A fiscal number is an identification number before the Portuguese Tax Authorities also known as the 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.
Any documents that is not in the Portuguese of English languages needs to be translated to Portuguese. The translation must be certified. Also, any document issued by foreign authorities need to be legalized before being submitted in Portugal. This legalization means obtaining the Appostille of the Hague Convention (when applicable) or legalization by the Portuguese Consular services.

WHERE TO APPLY

Any investor interested in applying for a Golden Visa, can submit the application, either personally or via a legal representative appointed by him, in one of the following manners:
  1.  Online Registration by registering online at the Services of Foreigners and Borders’ (“Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras”) website. After the registration is complete the investor will receive a password and will be able to access online in order to submit the necessary forms and documents.
  2. In person, at the Services of Foreigners and Borders in Portugal.
It should be noted that the investor and family members will always have to be present at the Service of Foreigners and Boarders of Portugal for fingerprinting, signature and other formalities.
Once the application is submitted at the Services of Foreigners and Borders (SEF), it will take a few weeks for the application to be processed. Once the process is concluded, the Services of Foreigners and Borders (SEF) will contact the investor or the investor’s legal representatives in Portugal and set up an appointment with the investor (and family members) to collect signature and fingerprints.
It should be noted that in some cases, it is possible for the investor to go to the immigration services to leave the fingerprints and signature shortly before the investment and/or submission of the required documents.
It should be noted that in some cases, it is possible for the investor to go to the immigration services to leave the fingerprints and signature shortly before the investment and/or submission of the required documents.

PAYMENT


The Golden Visa involves payment of the following fees (payable directly to the Services of Foreigners and Borders (“SEF”):
  1. 
Processing fee (application and renewal) – € 514,80 (plus € 80.20 per family member);
  2. Initial Golden Visa – € 5,147.80;
  3. Initial Golden Visa for Family members – € 5,147.80;
  4. Renewal of Golden Visa – € 2,573.90.

SCHOLARSHIP

“The reform of the residence system also allows investments in science and culture.” (Governo de Portugal 2015-02-23)
In the granting of research scholarships My Portugal Up will, also, have an active role, in that it identifies Chinese companies who wish to support research projects (Ph.D…) in areas of interest to their business by using the Golden Visa system.


SUPPORT OF THE LIGA DOS CHINESES

Liga dos Chineses is a non-profit association. It was established in 1996 by Chinese members, in Porto, Portugal.

It is the only association recognized by the Portuguese government (Presidency of the Council of Ministers) and represents the Chinese community in the High Commissioner of Migration.

The High Commissioner of Migration board is chaired by Dr. Pedro Calado, with the participation of the SEF Director — Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras —, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other public figures. Y Ping Chow, President of Liga dos Chineses, is present in this council.

Liga dos Chineses also has its own department to support immigrant Golden Visa granting, legal services, tax, asset-management and business development projects

Do you have any additional questions?
If so, please contact My Portugal Up. We will be happy to provide you with additional information.

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