In October 2012, Portugal introduced its Golden Residence Permit for Investment Activity (“Golden Visa”). The Golden Visa has all the benefits of a Schengen Visa, entitling the holder to free movement throughout the 26 Schengen member countries in Europe. Golden Visa holders obtain access to residence permits, as well as to Portuguese citizenship (after 6 years of residency), with advantageous periods of stay in Portugal.
• The applicant must possess a valid passport and reside legally in a country.
• The applicant must not be a citizen of the European Union.
• The applicant must be minimum age 25 years (no maximum age).
• The applicant must choose one of the following options: (1) purchase real estate (residential, commercial or plots) in the minimum amount of €500,000 (non-financed); or (2) transfer €1,000,000 to a Portuguese bank. These requirements/investments must remain in place for minimum 5 years (or until applicant obtains citizenship).
• The applicant must pass a security background check.
Benefits of the Golden Visa
• Government processing time is 30 days (after completion of all requirements and file submission to the Government).
• Each applicant, his/her spouse, and dependents have the right to reside and work in Portugal, and to travel freely in the Schengen area.
• There are no restrictions on nationalities (all foreign nationalities may apply, who are not citizens of the European Union).
• Portugal offers a high quality of life, including modern business and medical facilities, shopping, natural beauty, sports, cultural events, and a warm climate.
• There is no age restriction, minimum education requirement, management or business experience requirement, strict net worth, or source of funds requirement.
•There is no interview.
• There is no tax on worldwide income.
• There is no language requirement (although basic Portuguese language will be required to obtain citizenship).
• The residency requirement is minimal (1 week per year).
• Applicants can apply for citizenship after 6 years of residency.