Are you interested in the Portugal Golden Visa citizenship by investment scheme, but you currently have more questions than answers?
You’re in luck, because we’ve gathered together answers to the 5 most popular questions potential investors ask about the GV.
The Portugal Golden Visa program is a citizenship with investment program that has significantly raised Portugal’s profile as an investment destination and brought the benefits of Portuguese and EU citizenship to many non-EU third party nationals.
According to the Portuguese government, they have issued close to 8000 visas for investors and at least 13,500 to family members These has raised close to €5 billion since the program began in 2012.
You could be the next to benefit, but without further ado, let’s get these pressing questions answered.
What benefits does one enjoy by getting the Golden Visa?
Portugal is a European Union country. One of the major benefits that one enjoys with a European Union passport is that you have easy access to all of the 26 European Union countries. You can work, live and travel to any of the countries for free.
If you’re looking to move to Portugal permanently and acquire citizenship, through the visa for investors program, in five years, you can apply for your permanent residency or citizenship. This program allows you, the investor, to come to Portugal with your immediate family who are your dependents.
With this visa, you’re not limited to living in Portugal. You can then carry on with your life and only be within Portugal for the stipulated seven days in the first year and 14 days for every two-year period, before the renewal of the visa.
In a rising real estate market, you have the opportunity to earn a modest financial gain on the appreciated value when you invest in real estate in Lisbon.
What should I do to keep my Golden Visa status?
To successfully maintain your visa status, there are some few simple requirements as stipulated by the Portugal government that you must observe.
First, the money that you use to invest in the country must come from outside of Portugal and the European Union area. This is because the Golden visa program is only valid for citizens from non-EU countries. To make this possible, you will need to open a bank account in Portugal.
Regarding the financial requirements , it’s mandatory that you should own the investment made, for example in Lisbon apartments, for the whole five-year period of the validity of the Golden visa.
Another requirement for the holder of the Golden visa is that they shall not be cited or have a criminal record in their country and from the countries in the European Union.
As a Golden Visa beneficiary, you’re required to live in Portugal for a minimum 7 days in the first year of the visa. For the remaining four-year validity period, you should reside in the country for 14 days every two years.
The Golden Visa is renewable every two years. For the first year however, it’s only valid for one year. Ensure that you apply for renewal at 60-90 days before expiry.
How long does the application process take?
Following the Covid-19 global pandemic, it’s now possible to apply for the Golden Visa Program online from wherever you are in the world (in a non-EU country). However, it’s still advisable to retain a lawyer or a Golden Visa consultant to help with the application process.
Once your application is processed, your lawyer will be contacted to set a face to face interview with you in Portugal. During this interview, your fingerprints and signature will be taken. If you’re applying together with your family members, you will all be required to be present for the interview.
The application and approval process takes between two weeks and six months.
Once the application is approved, you will receive a residence permit.
Can the Golden Visa holder apply for permanent residency?
The Golden Visa program allows the holder of the visa to love and work in Portugal for the validity period of the visa, five years. After the expiry of this period, they can now apply for permanent residency within the country as stipulated by the law.
There are certain requirements that every holder of the Golden Visa needs to meet to qualify to apply for the permanent residency.
First, it’s important that they maintain a clean criminal record for the five years that they will hold the Golden visa. A criminal record with a jail term of at least one year will lead to disqualification.
Also, the applicant for permanent residency must show a source of income to qualify. Whether in Portugal or from outside the country. In addition, the applicant for permanent residency must prove that they have a place to stay within Portugal.
The final requirement will involve a Portuguese language test. This simple test is proof that the applicants can understand and have basic knowledge of the language.
You will also have to be at least 16 years of age to qualify.
Once permanent residency is acquired, you are required to not be away from Portugal for two consecutive years or for 30 months within a three-year period.
Can I bring my family?
Yes, you can.
The Golden visa program allows for spouses, children and dependent family members.
The family members can apply for a residency permit by applying for what is termed as “family reunion” under the relevant immigration laws.
The application will take follow the same process and every application has to be paid for as required by the law.
Now that you have the answers to five of the most pertinent questions that investor visa applicants have about the application process, it’s advisable to contact a Portugal based Golden Visa program consultant or lawyer to help you answer any other questions that you may have. They will also offer you great advice on life and opportunities in Portugal before your residency application is approved.