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Citizenship guide
Imperial experience

Portugal residence by investment

To attract investments and increase economic growth and development, the Portuguese government offers residence and citizenship to third-country nationals and their families through two programs, Golden Visa and EU Blue Card.

In 2012, they established the Golden Visa programme for immigrant entrepreneurs and their family members to obtain a residence permit for investment activities.

EU Blue Card is a residence title that allows a third-country citizen to live and take a highly-qualified job in Portugal.

Benefits of investing in Portugal

Portugal is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy, a developed market, political stability, low crime rate and high living standards. It offers investors and businessmen a wide range of advantages in exchange for their contribution in national economy.

  • Residence permit is extended to a spouse and other dependants.
  • Right to live, work and study in Portugal.
  • Visa-free travel to Schengen countries.
  • Permanent residence permit after 5 years.
  • Citizenship after 6 years.
  • Money recoverable after 5 years.
  • Minimum residence requirement.
  • Right to open business in any EU member state.
  • Tax benefits first 10 years (income earned outside Portugal is not taxable).
  • No education requirements.
  • No language or country test requirement for temporary residence permit.
  • Safe and peaceful environment.

Golden Visa program

Initially, temporary residence permit is granted for one year, subject to renewal for two consecutive periods of two years, subject to minimum residency requirements. A minimum stay of 7 days in Portugal during the first year is mandatory.

Golden Visa investment options

Currently, there are three qualifying investment options under the Portuguese Golden Visa program:

1. Investment in real estate

Applicants must make a minimum investment in one of the following real estate options:

  • Purchase of immovable property with a value of at least €500,000, to be held for at least 5 years.
  • Purchase of real estate for refurbishing with a value of at least €350,000. It needs to be either constructed more than 30 years ago or located in urban regeneration areas.

2. Capital transfer

Investors have several options of where to invest their money in order to qualify under the program.

  • Capital transfer with a value equal to or above €1M, including the acquisition of shares in companies.
  • Investment in research activities — at least €350,000.
  • Investment in artistic output or supporting the arts, for reconstruction or refurbishment of the national heritage — minimum €250,000.
  • Acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds dedicated to the capitalisation of small and medium companies — minimum €350,000.
  • Investment in a new or existing Portuguese company with 5 permanent job positions for at least three years – minimum €350,000.

3. Job creation

The main applicant must provide evidence of at least 10 jobs created due to their activities.

Eligibility and requirements

  • Main applicant must be 18 and older.
  • Dependants include a spouse, minor children, financially dependent children and parents.
  • Clean criminal record and no breach of Immigration laws for all applicants.
  • Good health condition and health insurance for all applicants.
  • Available accommodation.
  • Proof of availability of funds for investment.
  • Funds for investment should come from abroad.
  • Investment to be held for at least 5 years.
  • Personal presence in Portugal for all applicants.
  • Valid residence or Schengen visa for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals.

EU Blue Card programme

A blue card is initially issued for one year, subject to renewal for successive periods of two years and provided the holder complies with the relevant requirements.

Eligibility and requirements

Apart from making required investment applicants must comply with the following requirements:

  • Valid residence visa or residence permit for Portugal.
  • At least 1-year work contract or binding job offer for a highly qualified position, with a salary of at least 1.2 (some professions) or 1.5 times the average national gross annual salary.
  • Certificate from the regulating authority or professional qualification document.
  • The employer must show a clean employment history.
  • Health insurance.
  • Registration with the social security system.

Requirements for permanent residence

It has no time limit, but the residence title must be renewed every five years.

If you apply under the Golden Visa programme, you may apply for permanent residence permit after 5 years of legal and uninterrupted residence in Portugal on temporary permit, if you have enough funds to maintain yourself, a place to stay, and if you speak basic Portuguese.

EU blue card holders are entitled to apply for permanent residence status after 5 years of legal and continuous residence in any EU country or 2 years of legal and continuous residence in Portugal as an EU Blue Card holder.

Portuguese citizenship requirements

After 6 years of legal and continuous residence in Portugal non-EU nationals and their families can apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation and get an EU passport. There are certain conditions that must be meat:

  • Permanent residence in Portugal for 1 year prior to application.
  • Proof of legal residence in Portugal.
  • Fluency in Portuguese.
  • Knowledge of life, customs and traditions of Portugal.
  • Clean criminal record and good character.
  • No tax or other debts.

Portugal allows dual citizenship; those becoming Portuguese citizens do not have to renounce their foreign citizenship.

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