Your passport to European residency
Invest in Portugal and gain a residency permit providing access to the 26 European (Schengen) countries
By investing at least 500,000 euros in a property in Portugal, non-European nationals can automatically obtain Portuguese residential permits enabling free circulation around the 26 Schengen countries with the possibility of obtaining Portuguese nationality after 6 years.
One of the measures introduced by the Portuguese Government to attract international investment was the creation of this new programme of residence permits for foreigners – the so-called Golden Visa – which came into force in October 2012 and created a powerful incentive for those who want the benefit of residency in one of Europe’s most socially stable and safest countries.
To qualify for the permit through real estate investment the candidate must purchase a property valued at 500,000 euros or more, alternative means of securing the residential permit are to make a capital investment of at least €1 million or to form a business venture in Portugal that creates a minimum 10 jobs. These investments should be maintained for a minimum period of five years. According to the most recent changes introduced by the government, investors must demonstrate that they have stayed in Portugal for at least 7 days in the first year and 14 days in each subsequent period of two years, the incentive is also extendible to the candidate’s immediate family members.
The investor must, upon making the application, present the document that proves the purchase or promise to purchase the real estate. This document must also include a declaration from a financial institution operating in Portugal confirming the actual transfer of the capital for this purpose (definitive purchase or payment of deposit). The applicant must also present an up to date land registry certificate including registration of the purchase and, if possible, of the promissory sale and purchase contract in favour of the applicant. In cases in which a promissory sale and purchase serves as the basis for the granting of the permit, the respective definitive contract must be presented prior to the application for renewal. It should be noted that properties acquired for the purposes of obtaining a permit may be mortgaged or charged on any part of their value over and above the required minimum of 500.000 euros, and may also be leased or assigned for commercial, agricultural or tourism purposes.
Simultaneously and under certain circumstances, taking up tax domicile allows for zero tax on foreign passive income and pensions for a period of 10 years. Another fiscal benefit is that there is no inheritance tax in Portugal.
The residence permit is valid for a period of one year and can be subsequently renewed every two years, as long as the necessary requirements for the concession are still maintained. After 5 years permanent residency status may be granted and after 6 years of residency it is possible to apply for Portuguese nationality provided that all the conditions for that purpose are met. Once a Portuguese national and thereby a fully-fledged European citizen, it is possible to live and work freely anywhere in Europe.