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What You Need to Know About Portugal’s Residency by Investment Program

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Date Published: September 23, 2020 | Date Updated: June 8th, 2021
By September 23, 2020 June 8th, 2021 No Comments
Portuguese Residency Permit - Savory & Partners

Portugal’s Residency by Investment program, also known as a Golden Visa program, is one of the most popular routes in Europe to second residency and citizenship – and it is not difficult to see why. The idyllic country is steeped in history and rich in beautiful architecture, while its location on the Atlantic Ocean, pleasant weather, stable economy and high-quality standard of living makes it an ideal place to call home for you and your family. In addition to what the country itself can offer, holding a Portuguese residency card comes with many benefits including freedom to travel without restrictions within the Schengen Area zone.

The Portuguese Golden Visa Program was designed to be flexible and beneficial for investors seeking permanent residency in the country and is a straightforward process with minimal residency requirements. We take a closer look at everything you need to know to obtain residency by investment in Portugal.

In This Article

    1. About the Portugal Golden Visa Program
    2. The Application Process
    3. Costs of Portugal Permanent Residency
    4. Benefits of a Portuguese Residency Card
    5. Book a Free Consultation

About the Portugal Golden Visa Program

Launched in October 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa program is a legal naturalization process based on the law that invites foreign investors from non-European Union countries to obtain fully-valid residency permits in Portugal for themselves and their families.

Applicants to the program are required to pass all due diligence checks and invest in real estate in the country. In a period of 6 months, successful applicants will receive their residency permit and will gain the right to live, work, travel and study in Portugal, with visa-free access to the Schengen Areas. As well as have access to Portugal’s healthcare and consumer rights. After 5 years of holding residency in Portugal, applicants are eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

The Portuguese passport is ranked in the top 5 passports in the world for ease of travel.

The Portuguese passport is ranked in the top 5 passports in the world.

The Application Process

The Portugal Golden Visa program 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. Parents and children older than 18 years old can be included in the application if they are dependent on the main applicant.

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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 and 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.

The program consists of a few simple steps. 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 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. 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.

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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. After which, successful candidates are required to visit Portugal for 1 week per year for 5 years to fulfil residency requirements.

Aerial view of Douro River in Porto, Portugal.

Aerial view of Douro River in Porto, Portugal.

Costs of Portugal Permanent Residency

Applicants are required to purchase property in Portugal to qualify for a Golden Visa. This can be done through the acquisition of one or multiple properties, by investing in a real estate property with a value of €500,000 or if over 30 years old and renovated for €350,000. Additionally, a 20% reduction is granted if the property is in low-density areas, therefore €400,000 and €280,000, respectively.

In addition to the purchase of property, there are the added fees of Property Transfer Tax, Annual Property Tax, Additional Municipal Property Tax, Stamp Duty and family process analysis. Other on-going costs that apply during an individual’s period of residency in Portugal includes paying for new ARI permanent residency cards that are priced at €5,206.60 per family member. This will need to be renewed every 2 years. 

These estimates exclude extra associated costs like professional fees, official application forms, certification of citizenship and passport, courier and other disbursements. When choosing Savory & Partners as your authorized agent, we provide you with a fully-itemized quotation with no hidden costs.

Benefits of a Portuguese Residency Card

Now that we have discussed the finer details of the Portugal Golden Visa program, it is time to take a look at why you should invest in this residency program:

  • Freedom of movement:  Investors are also classified as a resident of the European Union. They will gain freedom of movement without restrictions in the Schengen Area.
  • Health & Education: Investors and their families can enjoy quality education in schools and universities and world-class healthcare across Portugal.
  • Minimal residency required: The program requires a minimal physical residency in Portugal of 7 days per year.
  • Pathway to citizenship: When investors fulfil all the residency program requirements and learn Portuguese up to a basic level, they are then eligible for Portuguese citizenship after 5 years.
  • High-ranked passport: The Portuguese passport is ranked in the top 5 passports in the world for ease of travel.
  • Ease of travel: Once residents of Portugal obtain legal citizenship in the country, they can enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 185 countries and territories, including the USA, Canada, and Australia.
Portugal golden visa program requires a minimal physical residency of 7 days per year.

Portugal golden visa program requires a minimal physical residency of 7 days per year.

Book A Free Consultation

As we mentioned before, you must seek out the services of a government-approved agency when applying for any Residency by Investment program. Savory and Partners is a British Authorised Agent with decades of experience and has helped over 1,100 families obtain second citizenship. 

If you are interested in Portugal’s Golden Visa 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. 


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Jeremy Savory

About Jeremy Savory

Jeremy Savory, the founder and CEO of Savory and Partners, runs one of the world’s leading HNW citizenship by investment firms. The second passport company has coverage in over 20 jurisdictions including Europe.

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