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Portuguese residency by investment – how to get it and what opportunities will it give you?

Portugal is the most Western country of the continental Europe. It borders Spain on the one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. It might be difficult to believe that this peaceful region was once a great colonial power that existed for over 600 years without any significant changes.

If you touch upon Portuguese history and culture, phrase “the most…” will be rather frequent in your speech. The oldest bookshop in the world has been open in Lisbon for almost 300 years. The lengthiest peace treaty was signed with England in the 14th century and it is still in effect, though officially it has not been in force since the 20th century. One of the oldest universities founded in 1290 is located in Coimbra. The first person to travel around the world was a Portuguese explorer – Ferdinand Magellan in the 16th century.

More and more well-off people have recently become interested in Portuguese residency by investment and applied for a residency card. This process is significantly facilitated by the national programme, Golden Residency Permit Program, established in 2012. It allows non-EU citizens to apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa if they make a contribution to the national economy.


Advantages of the Portuguese immigration programme

  1. You do not have to learn the language and be proficient in culture and traditions of Portugal to apply for residency.
  2. The low threshold of taking part in this programme allows you to get a Portuguese Golden Visa by investing £250,000 or more.
  3. As a prospective investor, you have 8 options to contribute to the national economy.
  4. Unlike most other European countries, the majority of investment options in Portugal allow you to get your money back five years later.
  5. You do not have to live in Portugal permanently to preserve your resident status. A 7-day visit once a year will suffice.
  6. As the main investor, you can include your relatives while applying for the Portuguese Golden Visa:

– your partner or spouse;

– your minor children or children over 18 years of age who are financially dependent on you;

– your parents if they are over 65 years of age.

  1. You will not have to come to Portugal once your residency card is ready. Your immigration adviser will get your document and courier it to you.

Portuguese residency by investment

What opportunities will you have as a holder of the Portuguese Golden Visa?

  1. You obtain the right to live, work and study in one of the oldest European countries boasting high standards of living, stable economy and mild subtropical climate.
  2. Your children will be able to get quality education in prestigious European schools and universities without additional bureaucratic hustle of applying for a student visa.
  3. A holder of a Portuguese residency card can travel without a visa around Europe and stay up to 90 days in any Schengen country, that is to say in all the EU countries as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
  4. If you relocate to Portugal and become a tax resident, you will have a chance to get tax exemptions. For instance, you will not have to pay taxes on your foreign income for the first 10 years. Besides, Portugal hasdouble taxation agreements with 78 countries.
  5. As a resident, you can set up companies and conduct your business in the EEA countries.
  6. Your Golden Visa greatly facilitates your interaction with the leading European financial institution. You will have access to low interest rate loans and will be able to make the payment operations easier for yourself and your contract partners.
  7. Five years later, you will be able to apply for Portuguese permanent residency and one year later to get a European passport.

Requirements to the participants of the Portuguese residency by investment programme

  1. The main applicant should be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Investments are made using legally sourced funds transferred from abroad to an investment account of the applicant in Portugal.
  3. The investor and other applicants should be of good health and are expected to have medical insurance.
  4. The prospective holders of Portuguese residency cards are to have clean criminal record and to have committed no breaches of immigration legislation.
  5. To apply for Portuguese residency, your personal attendance is required, thus you and your dependents are expected to have a Schengen visa to enter the country.

Portuguese residency by investment

Investment options for prospective residents of Portugal

You will hardly be able to find another European country offering such numerous investment options for prospective holders of Golden Visa as Portugal does.

Purchasing real estate property

The easiest and most obvious way to invest in the Portuguese economy and get residency is to purchase real estate. A property you buy should remain in your possession for at least 5 years. Expected sums to be invested and characteristics of the property are indicated in the table below.

Type of investmentAmount to be invested
Purchasing real estate property€500,000
Purchasing real estate property built over 30 years ago in historically important areas or with a plan of its reconstruction€350,000


Investment expenditures

Investing in various financial assets or taking part in promising R&D and non-commercial projects.

Type of investmentAmount to be invested
Purchasing shares of the established Portuguese companiesfrom €1,000,000
Financing R&D activitiesfrom €350,000
Support and maintenance of national cultural and natural heritagefrom €250,000
Acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds with at least 60% of the investment portfolio in small and medium companies based in Portugalfrom €350,000
Investment in a new or established Portuguese company with atleast 5 full-time new jobs (for at least 3 years)from €350,000

Setting up your own business

If you use this option, the required sum of investment to acquire a Portuguese residency permit is not regulated. You are expected, however, to provide documentary evidence that due to your commercial activities at least 10 full-time jobs or their equivalents have been created for the Portuguese citizens.

Which investment option should I choose?

The most suitable investment option depends on your plans for residency. If you are not going to live in Portugal, you might like to invest in financial assets of various risk degrees. If you plan to settle in this country and become a tax resident, you might be more interested in setting up your own business.

Purchasing real estate property is currently the most popular investment option to get the Portuguese Golden Visa as it can be your own home in this country or can be let providing you with additional income.

Portugal is not the only country offering a residency permit by investment. If you feel like learning more about other options, follow the link.
Portuguese residency by investment

Getting a Portuguese residency permit: timeline

Since the number of aspiring residents of Portugal, ready to invest in the national economy, is growing, the process of acquiring a residency permit can last up to 6 months. It takes 2-4 out of 6 months for the immigration authorities to consider your application.

Our experienced immigration advisers will help you choose the most suitable investment option considering your goals and preferences. Besides, their assistance will allow you to avoid wasting time and money while you are applying for the Portuguese Golden Visa.

Once your application has been approved, you will be granted residency for a year. You will be able to extend it for two years twice. During your first year with the resident status, you will need to spend at least 7 days in Portugal. During the next two years, you can reside for 14 days in a row once.

Portuguese permanent residency by investment

If you apply for the Golden Visa to relocate to Portugal and live there, you can be granted permanent residency permit after you have lived in the country for 5 years on the permanent basis.

Additional requirements for the applicant:

  • you have enough money to maintain yourself and your family;
  • you own a property to live in Portugal;
  • you have a basic command of the Portuguese language.

In Portugal, the permanent resident status is granted forever; however, you will need to prove your status every 5 years.

Portuguese citizenship by investment

If you can provide documentary evidence that you have resided in the country for 6 years and you have been a permanent resident during the last year, you and your relatives can apply for Portuguese citizenship.

Naturalisation means that you have successfully integrated in the Portuguese society, that is to say:

  • you speak Portuguese quite well and you can pass a test;
  • you know the lifestyle, culture, customs and traditions of your new country of residency;
  • you do not have any tax debts or outstanding fines;
  • you have not been prosecuted and you have a good reputation.

The Portuguese authorities do not expect that you will renounce your current citizenship. Thus, if you comply with the above mentioned requirements, you will soon become a proud holder of a Portuguese passport.

Since Portugal is an EU member, your new passport will allow you to live and work in any country of the European Union. It will also significantly improve your mobility as Portugal has agreements with 186 countries allowing you to travel there visa-free or to enjoy facilitated visa application process.

Portuguese residency by investment.

Portugal is a very welcoming country with a great number of opportunities for investors who have decided to apply for residency there. Investing in a Portuguese Golden Visa is profitable. Unlike investment programmes of other countries, the Portuguese one requires a rather modest financial contribution that you will be able to get back 5 years later if you choose the correct approach. You will even be able to get a compensation of a part of your expenses.

Once your temporary residency permit expires, you may apply for the permanent one and a year later, having successfully passed all the tests, you will become a proud holder of a Portuguese passport, that is to say, of an EU passport.

Highly qualified immigration advisers of Imperial & Legal will help you collect and prepare all the necessary documents for residency permit application. With assistance of our consultants, you will choose one of the 8 investment options. Most our clients prefer to purchase real estate (new houses or the old ones that are to be restored). If necessary, our specialists will also help you get a Schengen visa you need to go to Portugal to apply for the visa and provide you biometric data. Several months later you may wish to come to Portugal to collect your resident card yourself, but we can do it for you and send you all the documents. And you can definitely rely on legal guidance of our immigration experts if you make up your mind to apply for Portuguese permanent residency or citizenship.


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