Portugal Golden Visa Application Process

Portugal Golden Visa program consists of a straightforward process to apply for Portuguese citizenship or permanent residence. We will walk you through the application steps required to successfully apply for the program.

Although the process of acquiring a Golden Visa in Portugal is significantly facilitated compared to receiving a Golden Visa from other European countries, the application process is rigorous and all steps must be followed strictly to ensure successful approval.

Concept of application filling process

How to Apply for Portugal Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa application and renewal processes can be completed with the help of an expert professional and/or a lawyer. Although a straightforward process, the Portuguese residence visa application does involve many working parts, essential travel to Portugal, and a few fees. The following Portugal Golden Visa step-by-step process for applying for permanent residence and citizenship by investment should be followed in its entirety to ensure a smooth process and the quickest approval.

  1. Investment selection

    There are multiple investment options available to those planning to acquire a Portugal Golden Visa. Investing in a property is one of the most common choices, but keep in mind that the process of acquiring a property can take between one and three months. Weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose what works best for you. We can recommend some good properties for sale from a reputable sellers.

  2. Prepare and collect required documentation

    After deciding on an investment package, assemble all the documents. The preparation of all documentation for your application for Portuguese nationality will take a couple of months. There are multiple documents that require official certification. In addition, all documentation must be translated to Portuguese before submitting your application. This can be done by a Portuguese notary or consulate of the country of origin of the applicant. You must fulfill all requirements for your Portugal residency application to be accepted.

  3. Receive a Fiscal Tax Number (NIF) and Open a Bank Account

    It is recommended that you hire a lawyer or reputable company for this step if you do not plan on being in Portugal for the meetings required to obtain your tax number and bank account. These professionals can walk you through the steps and represent you at aforementioned meetings.

  4. Finalizing the Investment

    In order to submit your Portugal residency application, the investment must be finalized. This means that the funds necessary to complete the investment need to be transferred from the applicant’s initial bank account to the newly opened Portuguese bank account. At this point, the investment of choice can then be made. Your lawyer will be required for this step to facilitate the transaction.

  5. Apply Through SEF

    Now that you have acquired and translated all documentation, received tax number, opened and funded your bank account, and made your investment, you are ready to submit your Portugal Golden Visa application. You will do so online in the portal of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).

    Here are the detailed steps you need to follow when submitting the application:

    1. Make a new registration in the ARI portal, which is the online portal of SEF for processing Golden Visa applications.
    2. Attach electronic copies of the required documents (in PDF and not larger than 4MB).
    3. Pay all relevant government fees. There is a processing fee here of €533 EUR.
    4. Wait for confirmation from SEF.

    When submitting the application, you must present a document proving that you have made an investment or that you have made your initial deposit under it.

    If you want to include your family members, their application can be filled in the same way during your application or later.

    The Portugal Golden Visa processing time after submission is typically 3-6 months. Utilizing your lawyer for this step is also highly recommended.

    If others will be applying for their Golden Visa, such as family members, their application should be submitted simultaneously. The processing fee for all subsequent applicants is €84 EUR.

  6. Book an Interview and Biometric Session

    Once approved you can make an appointment for your in-person interview. Biometric data will be collected by all parties during your interview to obtain the Golden Visa. This screening involves fingerprinting, taking your photo, and receiving your signature.

    As a tip, booking your interview in a smaller city aids in a faster process as larger cities may be booked up for months. In general, it may take up to three months to be invited for an interview depending on the number of applicants. In less populated cities in Portugal, you may be called in three weeks or less.

  7. Obtain Approval

    Once processed and approved, you will then be required to pay a fee of €5,325 EUR per person. After approximately 10 days, you will receive your residence permit card. This card is valid for two years.

  8. Renewal of the application

    After the expiration of your initial residence permit, you will need to reapply for another three years. You will have to retake your biometrics, provide up-to-date clean criminal records and pay another set of fees. The processing fees for application will again be €533 EUR for the first applicant and €84 EUR for remaining applications. The per applicant fee for renewal is €2,663 EUR.

    After your fifth year, you will be permitted to apply for permanent residency or citizenship. You may choose which you would prefer.

How to renew your Golden Visa permit online?

Requirements for Application and Renewal

  1. Must be a citizen of any country besides Portugal and EU, EEA, or Switzerland
  2. Must submit all required documentation
  3. Submit Portugal Golden Visa application
  4. Pay residence permit fee for each approved person
  5. After receiving approval, meet minimum physical residency requirements.
  6. After approval, must maintain your investment for a minimum of five years

Note: All documents must be translated to Portuguese by a certified translator and legalized by Portuguese notary or consulate.

Portugal Golden Visa Timeline

The Portugal Golden Visa timeline is comprised of five total years. The program follows a specific timeline and associated process. Here we outline what to expect in the five years leading up to permanent residency or citizenship.

  • Years 1 and 2

    Upon initial approval, your residence permit will be valid for two years. Within this two-year time period, you will be required to spend a minimum of 14 days in Portugal. At the end of your two-year period, you will need to renew your residence permit. This process should be started 30 to 90 days prior to permit expiration. As noted above, you will need to reapply, complete another biometric screening, provide up-to-date criminal records, and pay all associated fees.

  • Years 3 and 4

    Per new regulation, your renewed Golden Visa residence permit will be valid for three years. During these three years, you must spend a minimum of 21 days in Portugal.

  • Years 5+

    At the end of your fifth year in the Golden Visa program, you have a choice on how you would like to proceed. You have three options available to you. You may continue with the same process and renew your Golden Visa temporary residence permit, apply for permanent residence in Portugal, or apply for citizenship in Portugal.

    If you decide to become a permanent resident or citizen in Portugal, you no longer need to maintain the Golden Visa investment you have made in the country.

    All application, permanent, and renewal requirements are valid for both the main candidates and their family members.

FAQs About Portugal Golden Visa Application Process

1. Do I need to keep my investment for a certain timeframe?

Yes, you must keep your investment for the initial five-year period but once you obtain citizenship/permanent residency, you may choose to sell your real estate or divest your investment.

2. Can my family members apply for the Golden Visa?

Yes, spouse and dependents can apply and qualify for the Golden Visa. However, there is a set of requirements to meet and fees for each person to submit their application and receive residence permit.

3. Where can I live and travel with the Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa afford you and your family the opportunity to live, work, and study in Portugal as well as the opportunity to travel freely through Europe’s Schengen area.

4. Can a United States citizen apply for the Golden Visa Program and become citizen of Portugal?

United States citizens may apply for the Golden Visa, as any other qualified applicant will do. US citizens will need to follow the Portugal Golden Visa step-by-step process to submit the Portugal residency application.

US citizens are allowed to hold dual citizenship with Portugal, as well. Therefore, after year 5, you may choose to become a citizen of Portugal.