The simple truth is that the country where you are born determines the way your life will unfold and later that of your children. But what if you have the power to change that?
Obtaining second citizenship in another country is becoming easier by the day. High-Net-Worth individuals and entrepreneurs from the Middle East and around the world are no longer restricted to their little corner of the globe. Nations on almost every continent are now offering citizenship by investment programs to grant foreign nationals the legal right to live and work in their country in exchange for economic investment.
In This Article:
- What is the Portuguese Golden Visa Program?
- The Application Process
- Path to Citizenship
- Why Apply for Citizenship?
- Book a Free Consultation
It comes as no surprise that most investors are keen to obtain citizenship in one of the European Union (EU) member states. Holding EU citizenship comes with many personal and business-related benefits. This includes the freedom to travel without restrictions throughout the Schengen Zone as well as access to quality education, world-class healthcare, the European economic market, beautiful environments, political and economic stability and so much more. Investing in second citizenship ensures that your assets are always protected and a prosperous future is secured for you and your family.
Unfortunately, European citizenship by investment programs tends to be on the expensive side. A cost-effective alternative is applying to European residency by investment programs instead. These programs offer an indirect route to EU citizenship that might take a little longer but is easier on the pocket. One of the most sought-after of these programs is the Portuguese residency by investment program.
Here, we look at how to get EU citizenship through the Portugal Golden Visa Program.
What is the Portuguese Golden Visa Program?
Launched in October 2012, the Portugal residency and Golden Visa Program is a legal process based on the law that invites foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain fully valid residency permits in Portugal for themselves and their families.
The Portugal Golden Visa Program consists of a few simple steps and requires applicants to be at least 18 years of age, in good health, possess no criminal record, have confirmed investment sources and successfully pass due diligence checks. Individuals can apply as single applicants or as a family. Eligible family members include the spouse of the main applicant and children (biological or adopted) under 18 years of age.
If all the minimum criteria are met, applicants to the Portugal residency by investment program are required to purchase property in Portugal or make an alternative investment into the country – such as job creation or investing in a small local business – before the application can be filed.
The Application Process
Before applying to any Residency by Investment program, individuals must ensure that they are rendering the services of a government authorized agent and advisor like Savory & Partners. The internet is rife with fraudulent companies offering scams that promise citizenship within an implausible timeframe and at an impossibly low price. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Once the candidate has found a government-approved agent, they will pre-screen your passport copy for government pre-approval, after which a down payment of the professional fees is required to open the application.
The authorised agent will then assist and advise the candidate on the collection of the necessary documents required according to the government of Portugal’s checklist. Your agent will assist in the translation of documents to Portuguese and the legalization of the documents at the Portuguese Consulate.
The candidate will then visit Portugal to make the necessary investment in real estate, fixed deposit or a business development. During this visit, the candidate must visit Immigration Services to provide fingerprints, pictures and biometric data. Once the candidate returns to his/her home country, the funds required to purchase the property should be transferred to his/her bank account in Portugal.
The purchase of property and registration takes between 3 to 5 working days to complete. The documents are then submitted together with the processing fees to Immigration Services, who generally approve residency applications within 3 to 4 weeks. The processing of residency cards takes place within a further 3 to 4 week and once issued, are sent by courier to the candidate’s respective agent.
Once successful applicants receive their residence permit and card, they are then required to visit Portugal for 7 days per year for 5 years to fulfil residency requirements. The initial residence card is valid for 2 years before renewal is needed – which must be done 30 to 90 days before the expiration date. The second residence card is valid for 3 years. After the fifth year of holding Portuguese residency, individuals are eligible to apply for permanent residency or citizenship. If not, they can continue to renew their Golden Visa every 3 years.
Path to Citizenship
One of the many reasons why so many individuals seek out Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is because it provides a legal path to citizenship. After successfully meeting all the program requirements and holding residency in Portugal for 5 years, individuals are then eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
To qualify for citizenship, residents must have no outstanding tax payments in Portugal, possess a clean criminal record in both Portugal and their home country, and are required to enter and pass a basic language test in Portuguese – where residents must prove their basic knowledge of the language by demonstrating that they can write, read and speak Portuguese at a preliminary level.
The citizenship application can take anywhere from 6 months up to a year and if approval is obtained, the issuing and receipt of the Portuguese passport generally take about six working days. The passport is valid for fives years, after which it will have to be renewed. Once residents receive citizenship, they are no longer required to maintain their investment in Portugal.
Why Apply for Citizenship?
Permanent residents in Portugal have almost all the same privileges and rights as citizens – except a passport. If granted citizenship, individuals can apply for an EU passport which provides visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 185 countries and territories, including the United States of America, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Book A Free Consultation
As a British Authorised Agent with decades of experience and over 900 families approved, Savory and Partners specialize in granting second citizenship and passports to High-Net-Worth investors from the Middle East and beyond.
If you are interested in Portugal’s Residency by Investment program or have a few questions and queries you would like cleared up, book a free online consultation today and one of our agents will happily aid you in securing a better, prosperous future for you and your family.
We are available on every channel convenient for you.