- What Is The Portugal Citizenship By Investment?
- Benefits of Portugal Citizenship by Investment
- Investment Options
- An Overview Of The Portugal Golden Visa Program
- Portugal Golden Visa Program Requirements
- Portugal Golden Visa Application Fees
- Applying For The Portugal Golden Visa Program
- Visa Processing Time
- How to Get a Portuguese Passport by Investment From India
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Portugal Citizenship By Investment?
Portugal citizenship by investment is a programme established by the Portuguese government in 2012 to attract investors. It is also known as the Golden visa. It is a visa issued by the Portuguese Embassy to non-EU nationals who invest in Portugal.
After 5 years of being on the golden visa, you can get permanent residence or citizenship. This factor pulls many people who apply for the Golden visa.
Pathway to Permanent Residence and Citizenship
Portuguese citizenship by investment is a route towards permanent residence or citizenship. It is the fastest means of settling permanently in Europe. After 5 years of having a Golden visa, you get to apply for permanent residence or citizenship.
If you get permanent residence, you can study, live and work freely in Portugal and other European countries. You are no longer under immigration constraints. You can be admitted into the country any time you wish.
As a citizen, you are entitled to get a Portuguese passport. With this passport, you can visit over 180 countries without applying for a visa. As a Portuguese citizen, you are automatically an EU citizen, so you can live in any country you choose. You have to register your presence.
Citizens of Portugal have the right to vote in elections; they can also be voted for. You can also access social security, affordable education and government-subsidised healthcare.
Your family members benefit from the privileges, too. They can study, work or live freely in Portugal as long as your visa is still valid.
The government of Portugal knows how important family is and allows you to relocate to Portugal without leaving your family behind. You can move to Portugal with your family. They can also join you after you have adequately settled in the country.
There are, however, specific family members that the Portugal citizenship by investment visa allows to migrate to Portugal with you. They are:
- Your spouse or de facto partner.
- Your children who are not more than 18 years of age.
- Your children, who are not more than 26 but still unmarried, depend on you and are enrolled full-time in a Portuguese institution.
- Your siblings, if they are not over 18, have you as their legal guardian.
- Your spouse/partner’s siblings if they are not over 18 and have your partner as their legal guardian.
- Your parents if they are at least 65 and are dependent on you.
- Your spouse/partner’s parents if they are at least 65 and dependent on them.
Peculiar Tax Arrangement
The government of Portugal has a peculiar tax arrangement with golden visa holders. As a golden visa holder, you can be a non-habitual resident (NHR). If you are an NHR, you do not spend up to 183 days in Portugal. Due to this, the government does not tax your income from abroad.
However, your investment running in Portugal will be taxed at a reduced rate. As an NHR, your income is taxed at 20% instead of the usual 48%.
Visa-free Access to the Schengen Area
One of the benefits of Portugal citizenship for Indian via investment is that you no longer need to apply for another visa to visit any country in the Schengen zone. With your Portuguese resident permit, you can visit the Schengen region and stay for 90 days out of a possible 180. This privilege also applies to your family members.
Access to Portugal Borders
Another benefit golden visa holders enjoy is unrestricted access to the Portuguese border. Unlike other Portuguese visas that limit access to the borders, the golden visa gives you unlimited access. This privilege is particularly useful if you have things that will take you out of Portugal quite often.
One thing most people look out for when settling in a foreign country is the weather. As an Indian, you will appreciate the weather in Portugal because it is warm and the winters are mild.
Investment in Arts and Culture
As an Indian, you can invest in the arts and culture of the Portuguese people. You can fund an artistic production or rehabilitation. You can also support the protection of a cultural symbol or site important to the culture of the Portuguese people. There is also an option of paying for the preservation of museum artefacts.
For this category, you must invest €250,000 if the historical site or artefact is in a high-density area. You can invest €200,000 if the historical site or artefact is in a low-density area.
Investment in an Existing Business
You can invest €500,000 in an existing business in Portugal. Your investment can come by you buying shares in the company or simply doing a transfer. Do note that your investment must empower the business enough to employ 5 permanent staff and keep them on the job for at least 3 years.
Starting a Company
A valid investment option that you can look at is starting up a new company. The government did not specify the amount you must invest for this. But you must employ 10 people permanently if your business is situated in a high-density area and 8 people in a low-density area.
Funding Research in Science and Technology
There are many public and private research institutions in Portugal; you can choose to fund the research of one institution to meet the requirement of the golden visa. Your funding must be for research carried out in the field of science or technology.
For this option, you will invest at least €500,000 if the research facility is in the urban area and €400,000 if the facility is in the rural area.
Venture Capital Fund Investment
You can also buy venture capital funds in a business. This is called a fund subscription. If you are going through this route, you have to invest €500,000 in a company. This route is only valid if your funds are not used to purchase real estate.
Again, the business you are funding must have 60% of its assets in Portuguese national territory.
Real Estate Investment
You can get Portugal citizenship by investment in purchasing real estate in Portugal. This is the route that has attracted the most investors since the start of the programme. As an Indian, you can acquire real estate worth €280,000 to €500,000.
The specific amount you need to buy real estate depends on where the property you want to buy is located. If you intend to purchase property in the rural areas of Portugal, you’ll need to invest €400,000. If you purchase property in the urban areas, you’ll need to invest €500,000.
If the property is over 30 years old and needs rehabilitation in an urban area, you’ll need to invest €350,000. If the property needing restoration is in a rural area, you’ll need to invest €280,000.
You cannot buy residential properties in Porto, Lisbon or any other city in the coastal regions of Portugal. The only things you can purchase in these regions are commercial properties.
Note that you can buy more than one property if their combined cost meets or surpasses the financial criteria.
Many discussions have been ongoing in Portugal about this route to obtaining a golden visa. The Parliament has moved to discontinue the route, but the final verdict is yet to be given by the President.
The real estate option is still valid and accepting new and renewal applications. You have to know, though, that this can change soon. As soon as the President signs the verdict of discontinuation, it comes into effect the very next day.
If your application has not been approved when this change comes into play, your application will be changed to the D2 Entrepreneur Visa route.
You can also transfer the sum of €1,500,000 to a bank account in Portugal to meet the financial requirement. This is also another route that the Portuguese Parliament wants to discontinue.
An Overview Of The Portugal Golden Visa Program
The golden visa program is Portugal’s citizenship by investment. This was the Portuguese government’s way of luring non-EU nationals to invest in their economy. In return, after holding the golden visa for 5 years, the foreign national can apply for Portuguese citizenship.
The golden visa requires that the applicant not just invest but maintain the investment for 5 years.
The golden visa is valid for a year. After the first year, the holder can renew and get 2 years. At the end of the 2 years, the visa holder can renew again, making it a total of 5 years.
You can apply for a golden visa. The program is only available for non-EU nationals.
Indians who want to get a golden visa must be at least 18.
Fund from Abroad
The money you’ll use to invest in Portugal must be one you got from abroad. You cannot use a loan you got in Portugal to invest in Portugal.
Investment in Portugal
You must invest in Portugal and submit proof of such before the Embassy approves your application. The amount you will invest depends on the investment option you choose.
Maintain Your Investment
It is not enough to invest in Portugal; you must also maintain the investment you made for 5 years. You are required to swear an affidavit in this regard.
The Portuguese government is interested in keeping criminals out of Portugal and citizens and residents safe. You have to prove that you have not been convicted of any criminal offence. You do this by submitting a criminal record certificate.
To apply for a Golden visa, you must obtain medical insurance acceptable in every country in the EU. The medical insurance policy must be worth at least €30000.
Minimum Stay Requirement
Every Golden visa holder must commit to staying in Portugal for 7 consecutive days every year.
Documents Required for the Golden Visa Application
- Indian Passport. The passport should have been issued no earlier than 10 years before the day you submit your application. Again, it should still be valid 3 months after your visa expires.
- Digital passport photograph taken at most 6 months before you applied for the visa. The passport must meet the photo requirement of the Portugal Embassy.
- Criminal record certificate from India and any other country you spent at least 3 months in the last 5 years.
- Receipt of your Golden visa application fee payment.
- Medical insurance policy certificate.
- Signed consent form showing you permit the SEF to run background checks on you.
- Completed visa application form.
- NIF number, which shows you will pay your taxes in Portugal.
- Affidavit showing you agree to maintain your investment in Portugal.
- Portuguese bank account number. The Embassy can waive this if you have an account with a bank that has a branch in Portugal.
- Marriage and birth certificate of family members.
- Job offers made to employees which show you have created employment in Portugal.
- Deed of purchase if you invested in real estate.
- Statement from a financial institution proving you have transferred the required sum to your account in their bank.
- Statement from a company that proves you have bought shares from their company.
- Statement from the Office of Strategy, Planning and Cultural Assessment stating you invested in the arts and culture of the Portuguese people.
- Adoption certificate or proof you have legal custody of any child with you who is not your biological child.
Portugal Golden Visa Application Fees
You still need to pay some fees to the Portuguese Embassy even after investing in Portugal.
Below is a run-down of the costs you are required to pay:
- €533 as the processing fee for the primary applicant. You will pay this processing fee anytime you want to renew your visa.
- €83 as the processing fee for your family members travelling with you.
- €5325 as the application fee for the principal applicant.
- €2663 as the application fee for your family members.
You will also have to pay fees to the lawyers drawing up your investment papers. Our lawyers at Total Law are available to assist you with this.
You will also pay taxes on the real estate you purchased.
Consult us at Total Law
You can contact us if you want to apply for a Golden visa. We can put you through everything you need to know. We can review your document and advise you on which investment option best suits you. Call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online.
We can also apply for a golden visa for you.
Get the NIF Number and Portuguese Bank Account
To get an NIF number, you need to visit a tax office in Portugal. You can do this yourself if you are on another kind of visa in the country. If you are not, our lawyers can help you get this number.
You can also apply to get it online.
After getting your tax identification number, the next thing to do is open a bank account in Portugal. We can also help you do this too.
Get Your Documents
Ensure that you are meticulous with gathering your documents. One of the significant reasons the Portuguese Embassy rejects visa applications is when the documentation is either erroneous or incomplete. Use the document section above as a checklist.
Make Your Investment
After gathering your documents, you can make an eligible investment in Portugal. If you are confused about the investment to make, you can contact our team to help out.
Pay Visa Fees
Ensure that you pay the visa fees before making the final application to the Embassy. The Embassy will not attend to your application without proof of having paid the visa fees.
The next step is to make the first part of the application online. To do this, you’ll need to visit the ARI website. Complete the form and upload your supporting documents.
Your documents must all be in PDF formats and no larger than 4MB.
After you have applied online, you’ll need to wait for a response from the SEF. Usually, it takes between 2 and 6 months to get an answer from the Embassy.
If your application is successful, you will be given an appointment to submit your application to the Embassy in person.
You have to go to No.4, Panchsheel Marg Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021, India, on the date scheduled for your interview.
The officials will review and collect the documents and your fingerprints.
If you are travelling with your family, you must go with them on this date.
Collect Your Visa
If your application is successful, you will be told where and when to pick up your visa.
Interview with the SEF
The visa you will get in India is an entry permit valid for 120 days. You are expected to book an appointment with the SEF in Portugal within these days. After you meet with them, you’ll be issued a residence permit.
Visa Processing Time
It takes 2 to 6 months for the SEF to respond to your online application.
It takes another 2 to 6 months for the Embassy to decide on your application.
How to Get a Portuguese Passport by Investment From India
After spending 5 years on the golden visa, you can get a Portuguese passport.
But before getting a Portuguese passport, you must first apply for citizenship. The Ministry of Justice presides over the Portuguese citizenship application.
When the Ministry of Justice approves your citizenship application, you can apply to get a Portuguese passport.
You can do this by applying to any of the following locations:
- Passport shops at the airports in Lisbon and Porto.
- Portuguese Consulate or Embassy close to you. You should take this option if you are not in Portugal at the point of application.
- Autonomous Regional Governments of Madeira and Azores.
- Institute of Registration and Notary Affairs (IRN).
Below are the details you need to submit when applying for a passport:
- Your full name.
- Your residence permit or citizen card number.
- Your recent digital passport photographs.
- Your mobile number.
You must first book an appointment online to apply for the passport. On the scheduled date, you can submit the documents listed above to any of the locations.
They will take your fingerprints, photograph and digital signature.
The Portuguese passport costs €65. It will cost more if you are not in Portugal when applying.
After the passport comes out, you can go to the location you applied and pick it up or have it mailed to you for a €10 to €30 fee.
How Can Total Law Help?
Our team at Total Law is dedicated to bringing you closer to your immigration dreams. Our services include helping you gather the needed documents, advising you on the best investment option and helping you draw your investment papers.
We can represent you legally if you are not in Portugal. We can help you get your tax number and bank account and also apply for the visa on your behalf. Do you want to know more about the services we offer? Reach out to us on Call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or send us a message online.
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Indians can settle in Portugal if they are eligible for their settlement route. As an Indian, a golden visa is the fastest way to settle in Portugal and gain permanent residence or citizenship.
You can get residency in Portugal if you buy a house. Note, though, that this residency route may be discontinued soon.
Owning a property in Portugal does not automatically make you a tax resident. You must at least stay in Portugal for 183 days before becoming a tax resident.