Portugal’s Golden Visa is one of Europe’s most popular investment programs for foreign investors. It was launched in 2012 to invite the flow of foreign investment in the country from various property buyers scattered across the globe.
The program has been crucial in improving the country’s economy, investment climate, and real estate market.
Over the last few years, Portugal has granted residency to several non-Europeans through Golden Visa Portugal. It has also contributed significantly to the nation’s GDP growth.
Now, many other European countries also follow similar programs to attract FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments).
Countries like Cyprus, Greece, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the UK, and others also have similar government-run programs for investors.
The meaning of the Portuguese Golden Visa Program
The Portuguese Golden Visa or Autorização de Residência para Atividade de Investimento (ARI) is an official document through which citizens of non-European countries can get permanent residency in Portugal.
The visa makes you eligible for a temporary residency permit to reside in various Portuguese cities, including Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Braga, Evora, Sintra, and others. The visa stays valid for one year but can be renewed later.
After five years, you can also apply for a PR (Permanent Residence) permit and citizenship respectively from the Portuguese government.
How can a Golden Visa in Portugal help you?
- The visa makes you eligible to visit as many as 26 EU nations.
- You need to stay in Portugal for just seven days a year while you can spend the rest of the time in any other European country of your choice.
- If you obtain a Golden Visa, you become eligible for multiple tax advantages as an investor.
- As an investor, you can obtain a visa for making an investment in the form of buying real estate properties, capital contributions, or commencing general business.
When applying for the Portugal Golden Visa, you have to specify the category and purpose for which you are obtaining the same.
Here are things you should know before applying for Portugal Golden Visa
Invest in real estate or business
As a non-Portuguese or non-EU citizen, you have to make a substantial investment to get eligible for Golden Visa. Your investment should relate to real estate, capital contribution, or business. You can transfer funds, create jobs, and purchase immovable assets in Portugal to strengthen your chance of getting a visa.
Keep your funds invested for minimum five years
If you have a long-term settlement plan in Portugal, you need to keep your fund invested for at least five years. Only when you complete the stipulation duration of five years from the date of the issuance of the visa, do you get eligible to apply for Portugal’s PR program.
Continued stay in Portugal
You will have to stay in any Portuguese city for at least 14 days in two consecutive years to keep your visa valid. If you fail to provide evidence of your stay in Portugal to the immigration authority as and when required, you may have to furnish more documents to prove the same.
Get in touch with a lawyer
If you are interested in obtaining Portugal’s Golden Visa, take help from a lawyer. As a non-Portuguese citizen, you may not be aware of the country’s relevant laws and statutes, so it is better to take legal assistance and guidance on it.
Your attorney can review contracts, make a necessary recommendation, and also apply for the Golden Visa program on your behalf. The lawyer will complete all necessary legal formalities while you can chill and relax.
Get NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal)
Before applying for a Golden Visa, you should possess NIF. It is a unique tax identification number necessary for conducting certain business transactions in Portugal.
You should visit your nearest tax office with a copy of your passport and address proof to obtain NIF. It can help you buy property, open a new bank account, and register for basic utility services in Portugal. If your residence is outside of EU countries, you can contact a Portugal-based lawyer for help.
Getting a golden visa means you are planning a new life in Portugal. You should make the best out of it. However, fulfilling various legal formalities and documentation processes can be tedious. That is why you should get in touch with a migration consultant for further help and guidance.