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Dayane Martins

Dayane Martins

Immigration Specialist

Mar 24, 2023

Portugal Golden Visa: Everything You Need to Know About the Investment Process

"What is the Golden Visa?" We are here to explain the appeal of this wonderful opportunity and the process of obtaining one.

The success of Portugal’s Golden Visa Program wouldn’t be possible without the allure of the country itself. There is a unique energy that is felt in its great cities that stands in contrast to the staid, older, historic cities in Europe that are aging in place. They are beautiful, but are not necessarily changing with the times. It wasn’t always like this but Lisbon along with Porto and other cities have been experiencing a renaissance period over the last decade. One recent article in CNN called Lisbon, “The European Capital of Cool.”

Woman looking out the city of Lisbon from Portas do Sol Viewpoint

The younger vibe in Lisbon, and elsewhere in Portugal, is just one of the reasons that high-income investors are interested in the Golden Visa. Quality of life matters more than ever nowadays, and Portugal has it in spades. But mostly it’s the people and the warm, welcoming, laid-back culture.

So we are here to take away the hype and lay out the Golden Visa, in all its glory. First and foremost, the program offers a stream-lined path to citizenship and is often called, “Citizenship by Investment”. With the Golden Visa comes the ability to have visa-free access to the Schengen Area which includes most EU countries along with Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. Once you become a Portuguese citizen and hold a Portuguese passport, you have the ability to live, study and work throughout the EU. 

Three women happily talking over coffee at a terrace table

The Golden Visa offers a stream-lined path to citizenship, through a variety of investment options. In exchange for the investments, (which will we detail shortly) here are the perks:

  • Resident status for the first five years, with the opportunity to apply for citizenship afterwards.
  • Residency allows you to work and study in Portugal.
  • Access to free, high-quality health care and good schools for the kids.
  • You are not required to live in Portugal during your residency, with only an average of seven days a year needed for you to maintain your Visa.
  • Visa-free access to the Schengen countries.
  • Ability to include your family (spouse/partner, children, adult children if considered dependents and parents/in-laws) on the same visa without an additional investment.
Woman and child overlooking the city of Lisbon from one of its viewpoints

Which nationalities have been attracted to the Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa program has granted 11,758 main applicants and 19,171 dependent family members the opportunity to reside in Portugal. Chinese nationals have been the largest group of applicants, followed closely by Brazilians, and Americans. These numbers speak to the popularity and success of the program, attracting individuals from diverse backgrounds to invest in and contribute to Portugal's economy and communities.

Golden Visa Applicants by Nationality pie graph

Source: SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras)

Obtaining a Golden Visa: moviinn’s Step-By-Step Breakdown 

  • Phase One A: Essential Services 

We want to ensure that your experience is as smooth and stress-free as possible, which is why we assign each of our clients a dedicated Senior Account Manager.

Your Senior Account Manager will be your go-to person for all things related to your relocation to Portugal. They will take care of obtaining the essentials, such as your Portuguese tax number (NIF) and opening a Portuguese bank account.

We also know that the legal side of things can be confusing, which is why your Senior Account Manager will also introduce you to one of our skilled legal team members. This person will be personally assigned to you and will schedule a call with our lawyers to go over the checklist and respective deliverables. They will make sure that everything is in order, and that you're fully prepared for the next steps in the process.

  • Phase One B: Investment 

Our Financial Adviser will work closely with you to understand your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment preferences. They'll then leverage their expertise to identify investment opportunities that align with your objectives.

Once you've chosen the investment option that's right for you, the process is initiated.

  • Phase Two A: Golden Visa Application 

Our lawyers will work closely with you to gather all the necessary documentation, ensuring that everything is in order and meets the requirements of the SEF (Portuguese Immigration Office). Once all the required documents are gathered, our lawyers will submit the application to SEF on your behalf.

  • SEF Analysis

After submitting your Portugal Golden Visa application, it's time to wait for the SEF (Portuguese Immigration Office) to analyze and validate the documents.

  • Phase Two B: Golden Visa Application 

Once your Portugal Golden Visa application has been processed and approved by the SEF, it's time to take the final step towards obtaining your visa. This involves scheduling an appointment with the SEF to submit your original documentation and collect your biometric data in person.

  • Issuance of The Residency Card 

Once you've received your Portugal Golden Visa, it's important to note that it's valid for a period of 2 years. During this time, you'll need to spend a minimum of 14 days in Portugal.

It's also important to keep track of the expiration date of your visa, as it will need to be renewed before it expires. The renewal process can begin between 90 and 30 days before the expiration date of your card.

The Golden Visa Renewal Process

  • First Renewal (Between 90 and 30 days before the expiration date)

When you obtain your Portugal Golden Visa, it will be valid for a period of 2 years, after which, you have to renew for another 2 years. During this time, you'll need to spend a minimum of 14 days in Portugal to maintain your visa status.

This minimum stay requirement is important to ensure that you maintain a genuine connection to Portugal and contribute to the country's economy.

  • Second Renewal (Between 90 and 30 days before the expiration date)

Having a valid residence permit is a requirement while waiting for approval of a Citizenship Application. Therefore, it is highly recommended to renew your permit for a second time. This renewal will have the same validity period and requirements as your initial renewal.

  • Getting Portuguese Citizenship 

One of the greatest advantages of obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa is the opportunity to become a dual citizen of Portugal and your home country. At the end of year five of the program, you become eligible to apply for permanent residency and/or an EU passport/Portuguese Citizenship.

Women looking at the city buildings in Porto

If you're looking for an extra incentive to take the plunge and apply for a Portugal Golden Visa, then look no further. Here's a breakdown of the number of applicants for each type of investment, from October 2012 to February 2023:

Golden Visas Oct 2012 - Feb 2023 by investment type

Source: SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) 

It's clear that the Portugal Golden Visa is a popular and successful program that has attracted investors from all over the world. Whether you're interested in investing in property, business, or creating jobs, there's a Golden Visa option that suits your interests. 

By investing in Portugal, you'll not only gain a foothold in the European market but also enjoy a high quality of life in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. At moviinn, we're here to help you every step of the way, ensuring that you have all the details you need to make an informed decision about your investment. 

So why wait? Book a call with us today and get ready for your life to change forever. We can't wait to help you start your new adventure in Portugal!

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