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In this FAQ about the Portuguese Golden Visa program we will answer some common questions related to this process.

Last Updated on September 24, 2023 by Victor Queiroz

It’s no secret that there is a lot of content related to the Portuguese Golden Visa on the internet.

Including here at Viv Europe! We have already made an article about this subject, you can take a look by clicking here.

But why so much content? Obviously, this topic attracts so many people.

The Portuguese Golden Visa is undoubtedly one of the best in terms of returns for investors, since the investor:

  • Will be able to live in Portugal
  • Won’t need to carry a Visa to travel to other countries from the Schengen area
  • Will be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship in 5 years

Now you can see the reason for so much content.

In this FAQ, we will address some common questions about the Portuguese Golden Visa program.

By knowing the process, you will be more secure about deciding to apply for the Golden Visa.

Without further ado, let’s get to the questions.

How much will I have to spend on the property to be able to apply for the Golden Visa?

In this FAQ we’re focusing on the acquisition of the Golden Visa through the investment in a property, you’ll be able to apply for it by purchasing a property worth, at least:

  • 500,000€, for most of the properties not located in the biggest Portuguese cities, such as Lisbon and Porto.
  • 400,000€ if the above-mentioned properties are located in a low-density area.
  • 350,000€ for old properties (more than 30 years) or located in an urban regeneration area, considering the need to contract repair works.
  • 280,000€ for old properties as mentioned above and is located in a low-density area.

If you plan to acquire a commercial property, some of these restrictions won’t be applicable.

What is repair work for Golden Visa?

Considering that the property is older than 30 years or that it’s located inside an urban rehabilitation area, it will require some repairs.

Therefore, to apply for this type of Golden Visa the value of the purchase of the property plus the value of the repair must exceed 350,000€ in total.

A contract will be required to prove the repair services, so licensing document will be included in the Golden Visa application.

In this sense, it’s possible to acquire a property for 250,000€ and spend 100,000€ in repair work to apply for this Golden Visa.

What are urban rehabilitation areas?

According to Portal da Habitação, Urban Rehabilitation Areas are:

“delimited areas that, due to the insufficiency, degradation or obsolescence of buildings, of its infrastructure, collective use equipment and urban and green spaces for collective use, namely as regards its conditions of use, solidity, safety, aesthetics or wholesomeness, justifies an integrated intervention, through an urban rehabilitation operation, approved in a detailed urban rehabilitation plan”

What is a low-density area?

Low-density areas are exactly what it sounds like: regions that need to be populated, as there are not enough people living there.

These areas are mainly located on the east side of the country and are addressed through the Deliberation of the Interministerial Coordination Commission. You can have access by clicking here.

How does the Golden Visa process work?

The Golden Visa process can be divided into stages:

First Step: Search and select the property according to the Golden Visa requirements.

Second Step: Acquisition of the property and collection of all the documents related to the acquisition.

Third Step: Application for the Golden Visa procedure at the SEF ARI portal.

Fourth Step: After the process is approved, schedule an appointment at SEF.

Fifth Step: When at SEF, the applicant will follow the procedures for completing the application, such as having the fingerprints scanned.

Sixth Step: Wait for the issue and delivery of the Residence Permit in Portugal.

How long can the Golden Visa process take?

The first stage of the process, that is, the search and acquisition of the property can take weeks, months, or years.

To complete this first stage the applicant must:

  • Search and select the property (according to the Golden Visa requirements).
  • Come to an agreement with the seller in relation to price and acquisition conditions.
  • Proceed with the paperwork to register the property acquisition.
  • Collect all the documents for the Golden Visa application.

As for the second stage (the Golden Visa procedure itself), from our experience, it usually takes from 6 months to a year (if all documents are delivered correctly) for the process to be completed.

Of course, this is just a simple estimate, as many factors can impact the process.

What are the benefits related to the Golden Visa?

There are many advantages related to the Portuguese Golden Visa, such as:

  • Legally reside in Portugal
  • Travel to the Schengen Visa countries without the need for a Visa
  • Have access to the public healthcare system in Portugal
  • Need to stay in Portugal for only 7 days of the first year and 14 days for the following 2 years
  • Request the Permanent Resident permit after 5 years
  • Request the Portuguese nationality after 5 years

Is the Golden Visa the best option for those who want to live in Portugal?

It depends. You can request your residency in Portugal by applying for other types of visas, such as the D1 (Work), D2 (Freelance or Business), D4 (Study), D7 (Income) Visa.

The most important differences between applying for a residency type of Visa or a Golden Visa are:

  • To apply for a residency Visa, the applicant must meet the Visa requirements, such as having passive income, developing a business, enrolling in an Educational institution, etc. As for the Golden Visa, the main criteria is to conduct an investment activity in Portugal.
  • The holder of a residence type of Visa must maintain the overall situation required to apply for the visa in order to renew the permit. As for the Golden Visa, the investor should keep the investment, being allowed some minor changes.
  • The holder of a residence Visa must not leave Portugal for more than 6 consecutive months or 8 non-consecutive months during the residence permit period, while the investor must only stay in Portugal for 7 days in the first years and 14 days in the subsequent 2 years.

It’s important to emphasize that both types of Visa can grant its holder the right to apply for the Permanent Resident Permit and also the Portuguese nationality after 5 years.

Do I need a lawyer’s assistance for this process?

No, that’s not mandatory, but you should consider hiring assistance, as this can be a complex process, with many steps and nuances.

Let’s say you forget to include a document in the process. In this case, your application may take additional months to be concluded (until the missing document is included) or even be denied.

Since the applicant has already invested in this Golden Visa process, maybe it is worth considering spending some money at this stage.

How much time will I have to stay in Portugal during the permit?

You will need to stay in Portugal for at least 7 days during the first year and 14 days for the next 2 years.

Can I rent my property during my permit?

Yes, it’s possible to rent the property acquired for the Golden Visa application during the residence permit.

Can I buy more than one property to reach the eligible property value?

Yes, you can buy as many properties as you need to achieve the required real estate investment amount.

Will I be able to apply for the Non-Habitual Residence regime?

The NHR regime was created to grant special tax conditions for foreigners who decide to reside in Portugal and meet the requirements of the program.

You can have more information about the NHR regime in the following article: All about the Non-Habitual Resident tax regime in Portugal.

After being granted the NHR, the resident will be taxed at a lower tax rate of 10% for some income generated outside Portugal.

Also, highly qualified professionals who decide to move to Portugal and work in this country can be taxed at the 20% flat rate.

If Golden Visa applicants comply with the NHR requirements, they will be able to apply for this tax regime.

How much will I have to spend on the process?

Other than the legal assistance and the acquisition of the property (for information related to the costs of purchasing a property, click here), the applicant must make the following payments:

  • 533€ for the Golden Visa application
  • 5,325€ for the issuance of the Resident Permit
  • 2,663€ for the renewal of the Resident Permit (after 2 years)
  • 5,325€ for the family reunification (for each member)
  • 2,663€ for the renewal of the family Resident Permit (for each member)

This information was updated by SEF on August 24th, 2020.

How much do legal offices charge for the Golden Visa process in Portugal?

There are many types of legal offices in Portugal and, therefore, the price can vary.

There are some assistance firms that do not provide a lawyer to assist the applicant, as this service can be provided by a solicitor.

Be aware that a simple mistake can harm the application, leading to wasted time and money.

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