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October 07, 2020

Portugal Golden Visa: Your Gateway to European Residency

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rihab saad

Author:

Rihab Saad

VP of International Sales

Next Generation Equity

Situated on the breath-taking Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is a vibrant country brimming with rich history, amazing culture and stunning nature. Officially known as the Portuguese Republic, the country is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, drawing more than 20 million visitors a year.

In 2012, Portugal has introduced a residency-by-investment programme to actively promote and support an easy and beneficial way of gaining Portuguese residency. The programme was created in accordance with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Department of Consular Affairs and the Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency (AICEP).

Portugal's Golden Visa residency programme grants qualifying investors and their family members the right to live, work and study in Portugal and also permits free movement across Europe's Schengen states.

Since its inception, the Portuguese residency programme has welcomed more than 9,000 foreign investors and over 15,000 of their family members, adding nearly EUR 5 billion to the economy.

Key benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa Residency

The Portugal Golden Visa programme offers visa-free travel throughout Europe and across 26 EU Schengen states. It also gives residency visa holders access to Portuguese social services, including high-quality healthcare and education.

Applicants can include immediate family members such as spouse, economically dependent children and parents in the residency visa application without further investment.

The programme also gives investors access to an excellent business environment complemented by major incentives and tax benefits. Ranking 39th in the world for “Ease of Doing Business,” Portugal is a vital hub for global trade and travel, thus offering a range of business opportunities in diverse sectors.

In addition, the programme’s requirements are minimal. Hence, residency can be renewed every 2 years with a low requirement of residing in Portugal for 7 days in the first year and 14 days for each of the following two-year periods.

Moreover, the programme has witnessed a steady and positive increase in applications, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, recording a total of 270 Golden Visa application approvals in May 2020, representing a 172% year-on-year increase and around EUR 146.2 million in investment.

Investment Options

To qualify for the programme, applicants can invest in Portugal’s highly sought-after, competitive and diverse real estate market and obtain the Golden Visa residency in return.

Through Next Generation Equity, you can now invest in one of Portugal’s most lucrative real estate developments – The Algarve, starting from only EUR 250,000 after initial return.

The development is currently one of the most popular and preferred investment options due to its location, which is only a 3-minute walk from the beach, affordability, thriving tourism sector and promising market outlook.

In 2019, Algarve accounted for 37.7% of the value of Portugal’s property acquisitions by non-residents, while Lisbon Metropolitan Area contributed 35.8%.

The Algarve property has limited units available. Taking advantage of this citizenship-by-investment opportunity now can be a cost-effective and smart investment to secure a safe and stable future for you and your family.

Other real estate investment options offered by the programme include purchasing property worth EUR 300,000 or more. Next Generation Equity has partnered with trusted developers in Portugal to offer both freehold and share-ownership of prequalified projects, which gives investors the opportunity to become owners and co-owners of the property.

Application Process

The application process is straightforward and does not require a lot of documents. It is recommended to use a reputable and government-approved consultancy firm to handle the application process and property investment.

The investment must be made prior to the visa application. A property purchase can be done in a one-week visit, which includes viewing properties, opening a bank account and submitting biometric data. 

While the investment deal is going through, investors should collect all the documents and have them translated into Portuguese by a Portuguese notary or consulate. All documents must be valid for at least 180 days before submitting your application. 

The following steps sum up the entire application process to obtaining the Portuguese Golden Visa Residency:

  • Selection of investment.

  • Preparation of documents for obtaining a tax number and opening a bank account by the client.

  • Arrival of the client to the country.

  • Obtaining a tax number.

  • Opening a bank account.

  • Selecting a type for investment and signing a booking form.

  • Upon request, the client can leave a power of attorney to complete the transaction without his/her presence.

  • Return to the country and transfer of funds to your account in Portugal.

  • Payment for the investment and finalisation of the transaction. (Please note that a transfer tax may apply, which differs for each property. On average, the transfer tax is about 6% for a residential property and about 6.5% for a commercial property.)

  • Obtaining documents of ownership.

Once your application is approved, the residency card fees are paid and the cards are generally available within 4 weeks. After which, you and your family can start enjoying visa-free travel to Europe and visit Portugal at any time for 7 days to fulfil the residency requirement prior to the permit’s expiry.

Processing Fees

The government fee per family member per application is EUR 5,173.60. The renewal fee every 2 years is 50% of this rate. 

A processing fee of EUR 520.40 is levied on the application and renewal of the main applicant, plus EUR 80.20 per family member.

This ensures that all the documents are filled out correctly in order for the consultancy firm to submit the application while the applicants are out of the country.

There is an 8%-9% budget for extra taxes, stamp duties and fees, the largest one being the Property Transfer Tax (IMT).

Tax regulations in Portugal that investors should know: 

  • Non-residents are charged 28% on income made in Portugal.

  • Capital gains tax is 28% with allowances for costs and depreciation.

  • There is no inheritance tax in Portugal.

  • Annual property taxes vary between 0.3%-0.8% of the property valuation.

  • Investors only need to pay taxes on worldwide income if they resided in Portugal for over 183 days in any year. There is also an opportunity to become a non-habitual resident which offers no taxes on income for the first 10 years.

Processing Time

The complete application and approval process takes up to 6-12 months.

Next Generation Equity provides services to find the best and most liquid types of residential and commercial properties for investors interested in the Golden Visa programme in Lisbon and the Algarve.

Portugal’s Golden Visa programme offers investors the opportunity to make valuable investments into the country’s growing real estate market and secure the numerous benefits of having a European residency. If you are looking for an investment that will benefit your entire family, then the Portuguese Golden Visa programme is a suitable option for you. 

Next Generation Equity is a government-approved facilitator of second citizenship and residency applications across Europe and the Caribbean. To learn more about our programmes, please sign up for a free consultation via the form below.

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