• Portuguese Golden Visa Program

    By Marina Andrade


    A) Brief introduction to the Program:

    Since January of the current year the Foreigner and Border Control Service (SEF) have established some new rules regarding the proceeding of submission, instruction and approval of the Golden Visa requests – which will make the process faster and more straightforward.

    Now the proceeding is fully instructed online (on the SEF website), with all the mandatory documents and it is immediately granted a notification to proceed with the payment of the file opening fees.

    After SEF analyze the documents (which will take, more or less, 3 to 4 weeks), they will contact the attorney/representative in Portugal to schedule the appointment to collect the biometric date and proceed with the payment of the final fees.

    With the conclusion of the above-mentioned proceedings, it will be granted the cards that will still be valid for an initial period of one year, renewable for periods of 2 years each – following the same steps that we above mentioned.

    As you may understand, with these new changes the Golden Visa proceeding will become more faster and hopefully the conclusion of the requests will be granted is a most expedite way.

    B) General Steps:

    Bearing in mind the above mentioned and in order to proceed with the Golden Visa Program, you will need to take some general steps:

    1. Request of the Portuguese Tax Payer Number:

      The first step that you will have to take will be the request of a Portuguese Tax Payer Number – that will allow the investors to open a bank account in the country, as well as to acquire the property.

      Since the potential Investors are not tax residents in Portugal, the Portuguese Tax Law foresees that they will have to appoint a Tax Representative in Portugal, that will be responsible to:

      • Request the tax payer number;
      • Request the notification to proceed with the payment of the property taxes (per example);
      • To request the non-debt certificates before the Portuguese Tax Authorities and the Portuguese Social Security – which are mandatory documents that will have to instruct the Golden Visa request; and
      • Represent the Investor for all the tax purposes in Portugal.

      So, after the Investors get their Tax Payer Number, they will be in conditions to proceed with the opening of a Bank Account in Portugal.

    2. Open a Bank Account:

      To proceed with the opening of a bank account in Portugal, the investor will have to provide to the bank he chooses some specific and mandatory documents:

      • Full copy of your passport;
      • Address proof (in English);
      • Work certificate – mentioning the professional activity of the investor, since when he works with that employer and his/her annual income;
      • Portuguese Tax Payer Number; and
      • Tax Payer Number of the Origin Country.

      With all the mentioned documents the Investor will be able to open the bank account and start transferring the funds in order to proceed with your investment activity.

    3. Choose of the Investment Activity:

      With the account opened and a Portuguese Tax Payer Number the investor will be able to move forward with the choosing of the investment activity that he/her intents to do. As you may already be aware of, the Portuguese Law grants several possibilities in order to conclude the said investment activity, but the simpler ones are the following:

      1. Acquisition of a real estate in the minimum amount of €500.000,00 (five hundred thousand euros); OR
      2. Deposit of a €1.000.000,00 (one million euros) in a bank account.

      Nevertheless, please be aware that regardless of the investment activity that the investor come to choose, he will have always to maintain it for a minimum period of 5 years – meaning, the Investor have to maintain the deposit on the bank account or will always to have a property with the mentioned acquisition price for the said period of time.

    4. Submit of the Golden Visa request online:

      After obtained all the necessary and mandatory documents and have concluded the investment activity, we will be able to proceed with the submission of the Golden Visa request before the Foreigner and Border Control Service online and proceed with all the necessary steps to conclude it.

    C) Costs:

    After submitting all the documents, the Border Office will send us the notification in order to proceed with the payment of the initial fees:

    • €527,60 as initial fee for the main investor; and
    • €82,30 as initial fee for each family member.

    Furthermore, and after receiving the approvals of the cards, the Border Office will sent a notification for the investor proceed with the payment of the final fees on the amount of €5.274,40 per request.

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  • The information provided in this article is for general information purposes only. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to include advice on which you may rely. You should always consult a suitably qualified professional on any specific matter.

Marina Andrade

Marina Andrade is based in Portugal and has been a member of the Portuguese BAR Association since 2009. Marina Andrade has over 12 years of experience specializing in international issues as Immigration Law and Non Habitual Tax Residence Regime in Portugal. She has written articles in the Portuguese News Papers, as well as in international papers as Multilaw. Marina Andrade gained experience through volunteering, having helped institutions as JA Worldwide.

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