Yes, Americans are eligible to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa. American business owners may also choose to expand their businesses to Portugal, taking advantage of the Golden Visa program. The tax incentives in Portugal make it an attractive destination to relocate to.
Portugal Residency By Investment FAQ
Find answers to the most common questions about residency by investment in Portugal through the Golden Visa program.
Yes, there are no restrictions for the investors to work in Portugal. Since you can also add your spouse and other dependent family members when applying for the Portuguese residence permit, you and your spouse can work freely and pursue professional activities in Portugal.
Yes, you can! You can bring your spouse, as well as your kids (as long as they are younger than 18 at the time of application, or enrolled in studies and being supported by you). In certain circumstances, you can even bring your parents and/or in-laws, as long as you can demonstrate that you are supporting them.
The Golden Visa investment needs to be performed by the main applicant as an individual. The only exception is the transfer of capital of at least €1,000,000 EUR. With that capital the main applicant can establish a Portuguese company and the company can make investments on behalf of the investor with that capital.
Short answer is no, i.e. you can’t directly pay any of the Portugal Golden Visa Costs, Fees, and Taxes with cryptocurrency, but there are companies which accept cryptocurrencies for their services and also some property developers that allows you to purchase real estate with cryptocurrency.
Yes, you can get a mortgage in Portugal as a foreigner, and in fact it can be easier to get a mortgage in Portugal if you are intending on buying Golden Visa property in the country. However you can only apply for a mortgage for the amount above your minimal investment.
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.
Yes, Russians applying for the Golden Visa in Portugal hit an all-time high in 2019. Any non-EU/EEA/Swiss national can apply for the Portugal Golden Visa.
Yes, same-sex couples in Portugal can apply for the Golden Visa, and have all the same rights as heterosexual couples. Portugal is proud to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and the same-sex marriage is recognized in Portugal. Same-sex spouses also have the right to apply alongside the primary applicant. The children of same-sex couples are also eligible for residency as long as they’re under 18 years of age.
No, sisters and brothers must file their own separate applications.
Yes, they can, but it will be necessary to prove their union.
The application itself is submitted online, but you need to travel to Portugal for biometrics after your application is accepted.
13. Can the investor make other investments in Portugal in addition to the qualifying Golden Visa investment?
Yes, the investor is totally free to make additional investments or other acquisitions. The minimum amount for each opportunity must be met to qualify for the Golden Visa investment. However, you may purchase more than one home to meet the minimum.
For all property investment options, it is also possible for two purchasers to qualify for the minimum investment on the same property. For instance, two friends may opt to purchase a larger home for one million euros. In this case, they both qualify as long as they split the purchase evenly at €500,000 EUR each.
14. Can the investor sell the investment at any time if he no longer needs the Portugal Golden Visa?
Yes, the investor is free to sell the property/investment if he no longer wishes to continue with the Golden Visa programme. However, to qualify fully, the investor must hold the investment during Portugal Golden Visa’s validity period – 5 years.
Yes, after you have successfully held your investment(s) for the five-year period, you may sell or divest those ventures once you get your Golden Visa permit or Portuguese passport.
As of the beginning of 2021, UK passports lost their freedom of movement in the Schengen Area. As of January 1st, 2021, UK citizens are now eligible to apply for Portugal's Golden Visa program. This provides them with the right to travel within the Schengen Area again.
Any dependents need to meet the same criteria on each renewal application, not just on the initial application.
Yes, Portugal Golden Visa dependents are also eligible to be part of your Golden Visa application, for a fee.
Portuguese Golden Visa applicants do not have to take the language test in order to obtain a residency permit, although they must complete the test in order to gain citizenship.
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.
Among the best of Portugal Golden Visa benefits is that the program makes it seem as if your investment is residing in Portugal on your behalf for five years. There is no obligation for the investor to live in the property that he has bought for the Portugal Golden Visa permit. It can be rented if the investor wishes. It must be noted that rental income will be taxed at a rate of 28%.
Only time spent in Portugal after getting your first residency card counts. Therefore, the first biometrics visit is not included in the 14 days you need to spend in Portugal during the first 2 years. However, the time spent in Portugal during the second biometrics visit for the renewal of your residency card counts towards the 14 days required for the first 2 years.
23. How can crypto investors get permanent residency in Portugal in a way that would exempt them from VATs?
Portugal is in the process of adopting the country's first legislation regarding crypto currency and blockchain technology. As such, applying for a Portuguese residence permit as a crypto investor is, at this moment, impossible, as this kind of activity – as well as its tax regime - is not yet legally foreseen in Portugal.
There are many ways to get Portuguese permanent residency. The Golden Visa is one of the the fastest and most popular forms of doing so. The GV only requires a five-year wait to apply for full residency.
Portugal Golden Visa eligibility is available to all who do not already hold citizenship in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland. The applicants must be 18 years or older and have no criminal record inside or outside Portugal. In addition, they must contribute to the Portuguese economy with one of the available investment options.
Although the process of acquiring a Portuguese Golden Visa is easy and fast, it is very strict.
Here are the 7 steps you need to follow:
- Select any of the available Golden Visa investment options
- Start preparing and compiling required documents
- Get Portuguese tax number and open a bank account in Portugal
- Finalize the investment
- Apply through SEF online
- Book an interview and biometric session
- Wait for the final approval and get your residence card
Anyone over the age of 18 with a clean criminal record and not a citizen of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland may qualify for the Golden Visa. This includes United States citizens as well as United Kingdom citizens. There are further requirements beyond this initial qualification including, a tax number, bank account, investment in Portugal, application, and in-person screening.
You can acquire temporary residence status under the Golden Visa residency by investment program in 3-6 months.
After 5 years of maintaining your investment, you can get the right to Portuguese permanent residence.
Your first Golden Visa card is valid for a 2 year period; you should satisfy the stay requirement of fourteen days in 2 years. You may then renew your Golden Visa residence card and the next cards will each be valid for three years at a time. Within those 3 years, you should spend at least twenty-one days in Portugal. As long as you maintain your investment, you may renew your Golden Visa card as many times as you wish.
To invest in the Portugal investment fund for the Golden Visa, you must contribute at least 350,000 EUR in sectors like real estate for example.
The scheme began in 2012, and by May 2020 has been credited with investments of over 5.2 billion euros from over 20,000 persons (8,736 investors and 14,936 family members).
There are a handful of Portugal Golden Visa fees and costs. The main expenses for obtaining the visa are processing and application fees, and the investment cost and related fees. Fees paid to the government over the five years for the primary applicant are around EUR 11,000. The investment amount and related fees total will vary drastically. However, the lowest amount when investing in real estate would be around EUR 300,000.
The Golden Visa in Portugal can be granted to investors who spend a minimum of €500,000 EUR on a property in Portugal. The investment amount can be reduced to €400,000 EUR in case the property has been located in places in low-density areas.
Also, it is possible to invest in a 30 years old property located in the regions of urban renovation and pay €350,000 EUR (or €280,000 EUR if in low-density areas).
33. If the investment was made a year / two / three ago, is it possible to participate in the program with it?
You can. But most importantly, the investment needed to be made no earlier than October 2012 (more precisely, no earlier than the program began).
While you can do the Portugal Golden Visa application yourself, we recommend you consider a Golden Visa lawyer because they know the rules and regulations inside out, and can support you from beginning to end in your application.
The Golden Visa program saves its applicants from tax responsibility if they spend more than 183 days (of the same year) in Portugal. Spending a minimum number of days qualifies for becoming tax residents in Portugal.
- There is no income tax charge for the first ten years
- Almost all revenues acquired outside of the country are non-taxable
- 20% flat tax for some Portuguese-sourced income during the first ten years
- For non-residents' tax is charged at 28% on the income procured in the country, and this tax rate can be brought down with rental income expenses
- Capital gains tax at 28%, and there are cost and depreciation allowances
- Abolishment of wealth tax
- No tax charge on inheritance
- There is a range of exemptions levied on IMI
There was a slight change to the pension tax in 2020. As of March 31, 2020, foreign pension income is being taxed at 10%.
- Purchase of real estate with a value of at least €500,000 EUR;
- Purchase of real estate with a value of at least €400,000 EUR. This 20% reduced property investment option has the same requirements as the €500K EUR investment but must be made in a low-density area;
- Purchase of real estate with a value of at least €350,000 EUR that was constructed 30+ years ago or is located in an urban rehabilitation area. The value must include not only the property price but also the cost of refurbishment works;
- Purchase of real estate with a value of at least €280,000 EUR. This 20% reduced property investment option has the same requirements as the €350K EUR investment but must be made in a low-density area.
- Invest capital of at least €350,000 EUR in an existing Portuguese business where five new full-time jobs are maintained for a minimum of 3 years;
- Invest capital of at least €350,000 EUR in a qualifying private equity fund or Portugal Golden Visa venture capital fund aimed at providing capital to companies that meet certain requirements.
- Transfer of capital of at least €1,000,000 EUR to a Portuguese bank account.
- Financial contribution of at least €250,000 EUR in preserving national heritage in Portugal or support for artistic production;
- Financial contribution of at least €350,000 EUR in a public or private research & development institution that is part of the national scientific or technological system in Portugal.
- Creation of at least 10 full-time jobs in Portugal;
- Creation of at least 8 full-time jobs in Portugal if the business or single-member company is located in a low-density area.
The Portugal residency by investment benefits are the rationale for the popularity of the Golden Visa program. The importance of the benefits will vary by person. However, the tax regimen, the short stay requirement, ability to include family members on the application, and travel flexibility are among the most sought-after advantages.
The long-awaited details for Portugal Golden Visa changes are officially declared as of February 12th, 2021.
The changes will be in force as of January 1st, 2022. So, throughout 2021, prospective applicants can make use of the existing investment amounts and invest in properties wherever they like within Portugal.
Required Golden Visa minimum investment amounts will increase:
- Investment fund option will increase from €350,000 EUR to €500,000 EUR;
- Capital transfer option will increase from €1M EUR to €1,5M EUR;
- Research and development amount will increase from €350,000 EUR to €500,000 EUR;
- The job creation category: the minimum capital required for incorporation/capital injection in an existing company that then must proceed to create five new job positions sustained for a consecutive three years will rise from the current €350,000 EUR to €500,000 EUR;
- The science and research activities category: minimum investment requirements will rise from the current €350,000 EUR to €500,000 EUR.
Portugal Golden Visa through real estate investment will face restrictions:
For real estate properties to qualify for Golden Visa, they have to be located in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira or in the interior territories. You will no longer be able to get a property in major cities such as Lisbon or Porto or in coastal towns in Algarve. Only the property investments inland and possibly rural or low-density areas will remain eligible.
Portugal Golden Visa requirements for family members will follow the process of the primary applicant. Each additional family member will need to apply within the primary applicant’s submission. Family members will not need to open a bank account or make an investment. Fees are associated with the additional application(s).
|Fee Type||Frequency||Fee Amount|
|Processing Fee||Twice—at initial submission and renewal||Primary applicant: €533 EUR
Each dependent applicant: €84 EUR
|Initial Application Fee||With initial application||Each applicant: €5,325 EUR|
|Renewal Fee||With each renewal||Each applicant: €2,663 EUR|
Portugal Residence Permit Fees
- Temporary residence permit fees - €73 EUR
- Permanent residence permit fees - €222 EUR
Fees paid to the government over the five years for the primary applicant are around €11,000 EUR. The investment amount and related fees total will vary drastically. However, the lowest amount when investing in real estate would be around €300,000 EUR.
There are many Portugal Golden Visa healthcare benefits. If you are a holder of the Golden Visa in Portugal and are residing in the country, where you spend more than 183 days every year in the country, you are covered by Portugal’s healthcare system, with amazing discount rates. If you aren’t living in Portugal, you need private health insurance in Portugal to cover you.
To get the Portugal Golden Visa permanent residence, you must make and maintain your qualifying investment for a minimum of five years. You must also spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal in a year; Be either non-EU, non-Swiss, or non-EEA and have a clean criminal record inside and outside of Portugal.
Becoming a Golden Visa holder in Portugal does not necessarily turn you into a Portuguese tax resident. Even as only a legal resident, however, you will pay taxes related to your investment in Portugal, as long as the investment generates an income.
It is legally mandatory for all non-resident individuals and companies having real estate investment in Portugal to appoint a fiscal representative. Similarly, non-resident taxpayers incurring taxable income in Portugal must also specify a fiscal representative responsible for fulfilling all the tax obligations in Portugal. They have to calculate their individual or company client's tax obligations, including properties, bank accounts, income, and tax bills.
The most common reasons for Golden Visa refusal are:
- Criminal record in the past
- Threat to safety, health and security of the EU
- Ban in Schengen information System (SIS)
- Frozen property assets in EU
The top 5 advantages of the Portugal Golden Visa are:
- Non-Habitual Residency Program: Golden Visa Portugal tax benefits affecting both personal and professional monies.
- Family Advantages: The inclusion of family members/dependents on the primary applicant’s submission.
- Travel Benefits: Ability to visit 26 countries within the Schengen region without the need for additional visas.
- Business Advantages: Affordable investments in rental properties, reasonable actions to start a company as an investment-to-citizenship option, and easy travel to surrounding European countries for business purposes.
- Healthcare Benefits: Receiving free access to healthcare after meeting specific requirements.
The application for the Portugal Golden Visa requires submission of the following documentation:
- Proof of investment
- Passport & valid Schengen visa
- Portuguese fiscal number (NIF)
- Clean criminal record statement from the country of residency & clean Portuguese criminal record
- Declaration from the Portuguese tax & social security departments proving the absence of debts to them
- Declaration from the investor confirming compliance with the investment requirements
- Health insurance valid in Portugal
Golden Visa is a residency by investment scheme that allows investors and their families to reside in a particular country in exchange for a qualifying investment.
Portugal’s Golden Visa program offers non-European Union investors a fast track for acquiring a valid residency permit by making a qualifying investment.
The Portugal Golden Visa scheme is the most popular residency and citizenship by investment program in Europe, mainly because it leads to European citizenship after only five years. You need to make a qualifying investment in Portugal and spend an average of only 7 days per year in the country. The program offers the people citizenship without even living in Portugal, attractive tax systems, access to health care and social security in Europe, etc.
Portugal Golden Visa approval fee imposed by the Portuguese government per family member is EUR 5,325. Portugal Golden Visa renewal fees are 50% of those rates. And there is a processing fee on application and renewal of EUR 533 for the principal applicant plus EUR 84 per family member.
The Portugal Golden Visa renewal process is relatively straightforward.
In the first two years period after your initial application, you must spend at least 14 days in Portugal. After the expiration of your initial residence permit, you will need to reapply for another three years. 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 (whether or not they're consecutive) in Portugal.
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.
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.
All application, permanent, and renewal requirements are valid for both the main candidates and their family members.
Properties can be either commercial or residential. Off-plan, renovation/rehabilitation and rental properties are also eligible for the Golden Visa scheme. Both newly built and old properties (constructed 30+ years ago) located in an urban rehabilitation area or in a low-density area are eligible too.
The Portugal residency by investment program offers numerous options for investment. These options range from job creation, index funds, real estate property purchase/rehabilitation, capital transfer, capital investment into existing Portuguese business and donations to Portuguese heritage and research.
Without a doubt the best Portugal Golden Visa investment option is the real estate investment. Over 85% of applicants seek this investment route. 1,094 main applicants applied via the real estate property purchasing route, investing €588m EUR in 2020. Over 90% of all investors chose to buy property for at least €500,000 EUR.
The Portugal Golden Visa minimum investment is €250,000 EUR and you can choose from a range of investment routes. However, keep in mind that it is a non-refundable charitable contribution so applicants do not receive any monetary return. The next minimum investment route is purchase of real estate with a value of at least €280,000 EUR.
The Portugal Golden Visa processing times usually takes anywhere from three to six months for approval and issuance of your residence card.
First time visit for biometrics is about 6-9 months after submitting your initial Golden Visa application. It depends on how long your application is processed and on the waiting times for the appointment. 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, you may be called in three weeks or less.
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.
The following is a list of the family members that are allowed to receive Golden Visa.
- Spouse or legal partner;
- Children (biological or adopted) under the age of 18;
- Dependent children under 26, single, and enrolled full-time in school;
- Parents of either spouse 66 years or older;
- Parents of either spouse 55 years or older and dependent;
- Siblings of either spouse 18 years or younger and legally responsible.
Chinese Investors along with Brazil and U.A.E are among the top applicants for Portugal's Golden Visa in 2020. As per the Portugal Golden Visa stats, the highest number of applicants came from the following countries:
- South Africa
The Portugal Golden Visa will be a great option in 2021 and beyond. The advantages of the Portugal Golden Visa program alone are a great reason to start your application today. The program provides you (and your family) the ability to travel, live, work, study and gain residency in another country. After a period of complacency and isolation due to the global pandemic, there has never been a better time to explore another country.
The Golden Visa changes will come into effect on the 1st of January, 2022. So, throughout 2021, prospective applicants can make use of the existing investment amounts and invest in properties wherever they like within Portugal. The new rules aim to limit real estate investment opportunities for high-density areas such as Lisbon, Porto and Algarve. If you have already started the process of buying a property in a high-density area, the current rules of the Golden Visa program of Portugal will be valid for you.
If the holder of the Golden Visa does not stay in Portugal for more than 183 consecutive days, he/she will not be required to pay taxes for income generated outside of Portugal. Only income arising in Portugal (eg. from rent, interest) is taxed in Portugal at 28%.