USA and the UK
The Golden Visa program offers a swift pathway to obtaining Portuguese residency, making it particularly appealing for investors seeking to make a substantial contribution to the country’s economy.
Under the Golden Visa program, investors can extend their residency privileges to certain family members, including dependent children, spouses, and dependent parents.
Upon selecting your preferred investment option, whether it be in real estate, banking, a company, investment funds, or a research project, you will receive expert guidance to assist in making your investment choice.
Several in-person tasks are required, such as applying for a tax resident number and establishing a bank account. Following these steps, you will need to fulfill your investment obligations, compile the necessary documentation, and submit your application. If needed, you can enlist the services of a legal representative to assist you throughout this process.
Afterward, the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) will reach out to schedule the submission of biometric data in Portugal for both you and your family members. Once all documents have been processed, you will be granted a residence permit.
It’s essential to note that Portugal’s Golden Visa program provides a five-year validity period for the residence permit. With this permit, you have the freedom to enter and exit Portugal at your discretion and travel to other Schengen Zone countries without requiring a visa.
For individuals with non-EU passports seeking Portuguese citizenship, one of the most accessible routes is through the Golden Visa Program or Portugal’s citizenship by investment option.
Please be aware that recent changes affecting the Portugal Golden Visa program may impact your application. We encourage you to reach out to our team of legal experts for personalized assistance. Contact us today at +1 844 290 6312.
What Documents Do You Need for the Portugal Golden Visa Program?
To successfully apply for citizenship through this program, you must adhere to a comprehensive set of requirements and document submissions, including:
- Thoroughly complete the application form.
- Furnish valid passports for the main applicant and all dependent children or additional applicants.
- Provide a detailed curriculum vitae (CV) to showcase your background and qualifications.
- Submit documentation related to the tax number (TIN).
- Present compelling evidence of your investment.
- Offer proof of the legitimate source of your funds.
- Demonstrate a pristine criminal record for both the main applicant and dependent applicants.
- Include birth certificates for all relevant individuals.
- Supply marriage certificates if applicable.
- Procure medical insurance coverage for all applicants.
- Comply with additional document requests, which may vary based on your chosen investment option.
Notably, this program offers a unique pathway to citizenship by allowing you to apply:
- After five years of residence.
- Without the requirement of full-time residency – you can spend just seven days per year in the country, as opposed to the 183-day requirement in other programs.
- Provided you can demonstrate a basic proficiency in the Portuguese language.
These strengthened requirements underscore the robust framework of this citizenship program.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Golden Visa?
To be eligible for the Golden Visa program, individuals must meet several criteria, including:
- Be a minimum age of 18 years.
- Provide documented proof of having no prior criminal convictions.
- Demonstrate the source of funds earned outside the country.
- Offer evidence of a clean financial record within the country.
- Validate the lawful origin of the funds.
- Maintain compulsory medical insurance coverage.
For those seeking to secure a residence permit or citizenship, many individuals have families they wish to relocate with. Fortunately, Portuguese immigration laws permit specific family members to accompany you on this journey, including:
- Dependent children aged 26 or younger, who rely on the primary applicant financially.
- Parents aged 65 or older, who are financially dependent on the primary applicant.
- Siblings aged 26 or younger, under the primary applicant’s care and custody.
The D2 Visa, often referred to as the Entrepreneur Visa, is a visa route for individuals engaged in independent activities seeking Portuguese citizenship. This pathway does not require substantial investment in the country or the purchasing of property, but depends on the strength of your business plan, which must underscore the value that your entrepreneurial endeavour brings to Portugal and the value it will bring to Portuguese society.
The D2 Visa program proves to be an ideal avenue for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and independent service providers seeking legal residency and a Schengen visa.
What sets this program apart from other visas is its flexibility; aspiring entrepreneurs do not need to establish a formal company to secure a D2 Visa. Instead, if you can substantiate your industry experience and qualifications, you can function as an independent service provider without the need for company registration.
Potential visa holders must provide evidence that they can sustain themself in Portugal for a year before their business fully takes off. To meet this criterion, you must demonstrate a minimum bank balance equivalent to Portugal’s annual minimum wage, which currently stands at €8,460.
The D2 Visa program serves as a gateway for enterprising individuals, offering a pathway to Portuguese citizenship requiring a business plan and financial stability.
The D7 Visa program is residence opportunity tailored for financially independent applicants with a substantial stream of passive income from global sources. This program means visa holders are able to reside, work, and study in Portugal as well as any dependants they wish to include on their visa, while also enjoying visa-free access to the Schengen zone.
The D7 Visa accepts a variety of passive income sources, such as pensions, interest, royalties, dividends, income from remote work, or rental property proceeds, among others.
The Immigration Service mandates that the passive income must equate to at least Portugal’s minimum wage, currently set at €705 per month for the primary applicant. Dependant spouses are required to prove income exceeding 50% of the minimum wage, amounting to €332.5 per month, while each dependent child would need a minimum of 30% of the minimum wage, equivalent to €199.5 per month.
To maintain legal status in Portugal, the applicant must spend a minimum of 183 days in the country, necessitating the purchase or rental of residential property, supported by substantiating documentation. Dependant family must also be included in the utility bills.
The application process for the D7 visa begins with getting a tax resident number in Portugal, a task that can be undertaken by a legal representative if the main applicant cannot physically visit Portugal. Following this, securing long-term residency is crucial, as well as establishing a local bank account and collating all necessary documents.
After this, the applicant must submit their application at the Portuguese consulate, which can be done in the applicant’s country of citizenship or residence. Upon approval, a national visa valid for four months is granted, allowing entry into Portugal and allowing for the subsequent residence permit application, with all necessary documents to be submitted to SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Border Service).
How Much to Invest in Portuguese Citizenship?
There are plenty of different investment options to get Portuguese citizenship. Those investment options are:
- To create at least ten job positions in the country
- To invest €250,000 in art, culture, or national heritage;
- To invest €350,000 in specific real estate – 30+ years old or located in certain areas;
- To invest €500,000 in fund shares;
- To invest €500,000 in research programs with national institutes;
- To invest €500,000 in commercial or residential real estate;
- To invest €500,000 in a business of any kind, creating at least 5 job positions;
- To perform a capital transfer of at least €1,500,000 to a Portuguese bank account.
Remember that if you want to obtain Portuguese citizenship this way, you will have to be aware of various fees that come along with the investment. These fees can include the following:
- Golden Visa application fee – €533 per family member;
- Medical insurance – €400 per family member;
- Issuing the residence permit fee – €5,340 per family member;
- Fees and commissions for the bank account;
- Taxes and commissions regarding the fund share or real estate investments.
- Insurance costs
- Paying a legal advisor
- Travel costs
- Medical insurance costs
Obtaining Portuguese citizenship through investment typically takes 6 to 8 months. The process can be complex, so we strongly recommend hiring a legal representative to guide you. It’s also wise to contact the nearest Portuguese consulate for accurate information.
Keep in mind that you must maintain your legal status in Portugal. Your residence permit must be renewed every two years until you’re eligible for permanent residence or decide to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
If you opt for the Golden Visa route, there’s no requirement to reside in Portugal full-time. You only need to spend a minimum of 7 days in the country annually to secure permanent residency.
How to Apply for Portugal Citizenship?
You can apply for Portuguese citizenship through naturalization, even if you choose to get citizenship through investments. You must have the following documents:
- Citizenship application form;
- Two passport photos in color;
- Valid passport;
- Valid residence card;
- Birth certificate;
- Police clearance document showing that you have no criminal record;
- Proof of proficiency in the Portuguese language;
- Bank statement proving you have a monthly income passing the minimum wage amount for you and your dependent family members;
- Proof of long-lasting accommodation;
Remember that you can apply for citizenship after maintaining your legal status for five consecutive years in Portugal. The process takes about seven months before you are granted citizenship, and the application fee costs €250.
Moreover, you do not have to bring proof of a clean criminal record – the SEF will automatically send that information.
What Are the Portugal Citizenship Requirements?
There are several requirements you must fulfill to be able to apply for Portugal citizenship. Those requirements are:
- Being a full resident for at least five years;
- Clean criminal record;
- Being at least 18 years of age or legally emancipated – children can apply for Portuguese citizenship if their parents have legal status in Portugal for at least five years;
- Certificate proving you speak Portuguese – A2 level;
- Not being a threat to national security or involved in terrorist activities.
Children under 12 don’t have to bring proof of language proficiency, and children over 12 that study Portuguese at school may also be exempt from taking the exam.
Benefits of Applying for Portugal Citizenship
When contemplating a move to Portugal, it’s crucial to recognize the benefits that come with obtaining Portuguese citizenship. One of the most appealing advantages is that you can secure citizenship through the investment route without the need for prior residence in the country.
Under the Golden Visa program, you are only required to spend seven days per year to maintain your status for five years. Opting for the D7 visa route necessitates a minimum of 183 days of presence in Portugal.
The potential return on investment is notably high, with the possibility of recouping your entire investment after five years. For example, if you invest in Portuguese property, you can sell it for a profit within this timeframe.
What further adds to the attractiveness of the citizenship application process is the prospect of tax optimization. By obtaining a residence permit in Portugal, you can apply for non-habitual resident status, which grants a ten-year period during which you can significantly reduce your income tax to just 20%.
Portugal boasts a high standard of living coupled with relatively affordable prices, positioning it as one of the more cost-effective countries to reside in within the European Union.
At IAS, we recognize the significance of obtaining a Portuguese visa as an American citizen. The process of securing this visa can be intricate and demanding, which is why our team is dedicated to offering guidance and support throughout your journey to acquiring the necessary permits for your stay in Portugal.
Our team of seasoned immigration professionals is here to address your queries and assist you in various ways:
- Ensuring your visa application is meticulously completed and meets the highest standards.
- Verifying that your evidence portfolio is comprehensive and sufficient.
- Providing a comprehensive Letter of Representation to submit to the Portuguese authorities.
- Acting as intermediaries on your behalf when dealing with the Portuguese government and relevant authorities.
For additional details about the range of services we offer to American citizens seeking a Portuguese visa, call us at +1 844 290 6312 to speak to one of our immigration advisers today, or message us via the chat option on our website.
Last modified on September 11th, 2023 at 9:29 am
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