Our FAQ guide will help to answer the most important questions you might have. Should there still be clarifications needed, feel free to reach out through our contact form.
Frequently asked questions
1. What is Portugal’s Golden Visa Program?
In 2012 the Portuguese government introduced a unique investment scheme for Non-European investors with the ultimate goal to attract foreign capital and business in exchange for residency and citizenship ultimately.
Since its launch, more than €4.4bn haven been invested by over 8’000 Applicants (totalling in around 20’000 Visa holders, including family members). 95% of the amounts are invested into real estate.
The majority of applicants are coming from China followed by Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, Russia and Lebanon.
2. Who can get a Golden Visa?
Note: Only Non-Schengen Nationals can apply for a Golden Visa.
3. Do I need to live in Portugal permanently?
You have the option to move permanently to Portugal, however, the Golden Visa Program does not require investors to take permanent physical presence in Portugal - in contrary to other investment Schemes from Spain, Malta or Italy, you always have the choice to remain a residnet of your home country or currenty residency.
This grants a save Plan B and option in case of revolution, social unrest or any other emergency situation.
4. What are the minimum investment requirements into real estate?
The minimum investment amount into real estate is € 500’000. Alternatively, municipialities offer to invest € 350’000 into a property that is at least 30 years old and lies in the designated urban rehabilitation area (ARU) for renovation purposes.
5. What is the outlook for the real estate market in Portugal after COVID19?
The financial ratings agency S&P predicts a 2.5% drop in house prices in Portugal in 2020 after prices were on the rise before the crisis, but points to a rapid recovery and strong growth by 2022.
Especially prime locations in Lisbon are not expected of being negatively affected by the recession and prices might increase due to shortage of available properties.
The demand remains high and yet there is no oversupply due to extension of the moratorium on the repayment of bank loans and state guaranteed loans for companies, also backed by the EU, property owners are not likely to fall in a position to sell their asset.
6. Can I finance the property through a bank in Portugal?
Portugal allows foreigners to acquire real estate without restrictions.
The full investment of € 500’000 should come from outside of Portugal, meaning that for the initial investment into a propertyyou cannot ask for a mortgage if you want to meet the requirements of your golden visa application.
However, if you would like to buy a property that exceeds € 500’000, you can apply for a mortgage for the amount above your minimal investment.Thanks to our good connection to local banks, we are happy to get you in touch with a mortgage advisor for your property.
7. What are the additional costs and taxes connected to my property purchase?
Each real estate transaction is linke to additional costs, that are usually not mentioned. The below breakdown helps to get an estimate on the additional cost associated to the purchase of real estate.
Purchase price real estate Individual basis, check out our
Property Transfer Tax 6.00-8.00% depending on
property purchase price
Annual Property Tax 0,3%-0,45% p.a. on the
valuation from the registry
Stamp Duty 0,8% of property value
From our experience we usually advise clients when it comes to taxes and other fees to calculate with around 10% of the purchase price. Please bear in mind that taxes and fees are not part of the Golden Visa investment. ︎︎︎ Check out our current offerings (click here)
8. Can I sell my property / buy another one during my application process?
Yes, should you wish to acquire a different (or maybe another) property during the first five years, you are free to do so - as long as you stay invested into Portuguese real estate for the minimum amount required you are good to go.
9. How does the application process and renewal work?
Our legal team will initiate your application request with the SEF, the Servicio de Fronteiras e Estrangeiros. Once your request was submitted you will be invited to Portugal for an interview. After approval of your application and proof of investment and all fees paid, you will receive your Portuguese residency card, usually issued for 1-2 years.
In the first year you are only required to stay at least 7 days in Portugal. One month before the expiry of your Residency Card, our lawyers will start the renewal process, taking your biometric data and paying the renewal fee for each applicant.
In the following years, you are required to stay in Portugal for at least 14 days each year, consecutive or interrupted.
After the end of the fifth year, you can apply for permanent residency followed by Citizenship and an European Passport.
10. What international documents are required to start the application?
All docuemnts have to be translated into Portuguese or English, legalized by a notary public and super-legalized with Apostille or certified by the respective embassy. Our legal team will be happy to assist you with the list of documents required and how to retreive them:
- Valid Passport of each applicant
- Police records of your home country and previous countries of residence
- Proof of Good standing in Tax, Customs and the Social Seccurity System
The collection of the above documents can be stressfull, our legal experts are happy to assist you on how to obtain the required documents in the best way possible.
11. In a nutshell - What are the main benefits of the Golden Visa Program?
• Visa free entry to Portugal and the Schengen area.
12. What are potential tax benefits if I become a resident of Portugal under the Non-Habitual Resident Tax Scheme?
The Golden Visa Program allows you to take residence in Portugal for tax purposes under the Non-Habitual Resident Tax Scheme. Important: You will not become a Portuguese taxpayer if you only stay in Portugal during the required minimum physical presence of 7/14 days per year!
Golden Visa applicants can benefit from the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Tax Scheme for the first 10 years upon taking residence with very attractive tax rates for Dividends, Interests, Real Estate Income, Pensions, Royalites, etc. received outside Portugal. Depending on your habitual residence and the Double Taxation Treaties with Portugal international taxation can be optimized on a case by case basis, our legal team is happy to look into your individual situation.
Additionally, any Portuguese-sourced income would be taxed at a flat rate of 20% during the first 10 years and there is also the ability to pass on your wealth to a spouse or dependent without incurring inheritance or gift taxes.
13. How long does it take to get my Golden Visa?
We usually expect a timeline of 4-5 months to acquire your residence after your application was submitted.
14. How do I become a Portuguese?
How do I become a Portuguese?After you spent five years within the Portuguese Golden Visa Program, you become eligible for the application process for naturalization.
You need to fulfil the following criteria:
The application fee for Portuguese citizenship ranges from €175–250 depending on which category you are applying under - Portugal also allows dual citizenships, without having foreigners to give up their other nationality.