- Portugal Citizenship By Investment From Saudi Arabia Overview
- What Are The Benefits of Portugal Citizenship by Investment?
- Types Of Investments That Qualify For The Citizenship By Investment
- Requirements Of The Portugal Golden Visa Program
- Costs Associated With The Portugal Golden Visa Application
- Getting Portuguese Citizenship Through Investment
- Processing Time Once The Application Is Submitted
- Dual Citizenship in Portugal: Is It Allowed?
- How Can Total Law Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
Portugal Citizenship By Investment From Saudi Arabia Overview
The Citizenship by Investment, also known as the Golden Visa, is a program created by the Portuguese government in 2012 to attract high-value investors to Portugal. The program has since attracted many investors far and wide to Portugal.
To get a Golden visa, you must invest between €200,000 and €500,000 in Portugal. Your money must be channelled to an investment approved by the government. It does not just end there; you must also swear an affidavit to maintain your investment as long as the Golden visa lasts.
The Golden visa program is available only to non-EU investors. One of the perks of the visa is that after 5 years, the holder stands a chance to get Portuguese citizenship or permanent residence.
Other benefits include lower tax rates, visa-free access to Schengen countries and low minimum stay requirements.
The Portugal citizenship by investment is a capital-intensive program, and as such, the Portuguese government has attached many benefits to encourage investors to apply.
Below are the benefits you will enjoy as a Golden visa holder:
Eligible for Citizenship or Permanent Residence
The main benefit attracting Saudis to Portugal citizenship by investment Golden visa is that it is a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship. After spending 5 years on a Golden visa, you are eligible for citizenship or permanent residence.
As a permanent resident, you can live freely in Portugal without immigration restrictions. You can leave and re-enter the country as many times as you wish. This means you no longer need a visa to enter, live or do business in Portugal.
When you get Portuguese citizenship, you can get a Portuguese passport. The passport is one of the highly-ranked passports in the world, giving you visa-free entry into over 180 countries.
Additionally, you can then participate in elections; you can vote and be voted for. You will also have access to social security, quality healthcare and a standard education for your family members.
The Golden visa is one of Portugal’s visas that permits family reunions. This means you can either travel with your family to Portugal or they can join you later.
If you have intentions of having your family stay with you in Portugal, you must note that there are specific family members that you can bring.
- Your spouse.
- Your children who are not older than 18.
- Your children who are not older than 26 but are still financially dependent on you. They must also be enrolled to study full-time in a Portuguese institution.
- Your siblings, if they are not older than 18. They must also be in your custody legally.
- Your spouse’s siblings, if they are not older than 18. They must also be in your custody legally.
- Your parents, if they are at least 65 and are financially dependent on you.
- Your spouse’s parents, if they are at least 65 and are financially dependent on you.
Lower Tax Rate
Golden visa holders have a special tax arrangement with the government of Portugal. As a Saudi with a Golden visa, you can be a non-habitual resident (NHR) of Portugal. As a non-habitual tax resident, you do not spend up to 183 days in the country annually.
Due to this, your income from other countries will not be taxed by the government, even if they are sent to a bank account in Portugal.
However, the income from your investment in Portugal will be taxed at a reduced rate. While others pay 48% tax on income, you’ll pay 20%.
Visa-free Access to Schengen Countries
As a Saudi national holding a Golden visa, you can visit Schengen countries and stay for a maximum of 90 days without a visa.
Unrestricted Entry into Portugal
Many Portuguese visas have a limit on the number of times a holder can access the borders. But not the Golden visa. You can leave and re-enter the country as many times as you wish. This is particularly useful to investors who regularly travel to different parts of the world to conduct business.
Live Freely in Portugal
You and your family can live, study and even do business in Portugal. Your family members can enrol in a school and even finish their program within the duration of your Golden visa.
One thing that discourages people from settling in Europe is the cold, especially during winter. But Portugal is located in western Europe, where the weather is warm and the winters mild. During summer, you can enjoy the beaches, clear skies and the sunny weather that reminds you of home.
Before the Portuguese Embassy approves your citizenship by investment application, you must show that you have made a qualifying investment in Portugal.
Below are the investments that qualify for the Golden visa:
- Business Incorporation
- Invest in a Business or Company
- Investment in a Portuguese Heritage
- Investing in Science and Technology
- Venture Capital Investment
- Capital Transfer
One of the investments you can make towards obtaining a Golden visa is creating a new business or company in Portugal. The government of Portugal does not specify any amount you can use for this. But you must follow the rules guiding business incorporation in the country.
If the business is located in a high-density area, then it should show potential to employ at least 10 people permanently. If it is located in a low-density area, you must prove you can employ at least 8 people permanently.
Invest in a Business or Company
Sometimes, incorporating a new business can take a long time and require many bureaucratic processes. If you do not have the patience for this, you can invest in a business already started by someone else. For this investment type, you will have to spend €500,000.
You can invest in the business by buying shares worth €500,000 or transferring that amount to the business.
By virtue of your investment, the business must be able to employ 5 people and keep them at the job for at least 3 straight years.
Investment in a Portuguese Heritage
As a Saudi citizen, you can invest in the culture and arts of the people of Portugal. You can invest in an artistic production that showcases the culture of Portuguese people, or you can invest in rehabilitating an artefact.
You can also protect a cultural site or symbol important to Portugal or pay for the artefacts in a museum to be better preserved.
For this investment type, you’ll invest €200,000 if the art or cultural site is located in a low-density area. If the site or art is in a high-density area, you’ll have to invest €250,000.
Investing in Science and Technology
Another investment type you can consider is investing in science and technology research. This research must be carried out on Portuguese soil. It could be carried out by a private or public research institution.
For this investment type, you’ll invest €400,000 if the research will take place in a low-density area. You’ll invest €500,000 if the research takes place in a high-density area.
Venture Capital Investment
You can also consider the option of doing a fund subscription. In this investment type, you are required to use €500,000 to buy capital shares in a company. Note that you must ensure the business or company does not deal in real estate, directly or indirectly.
Furthermore, the business must have at least 60% of its assets in Portugal.
Investment in Real Estate
Buying property in Portugal for citizenship is another valid investment type. It is the investment type that has attracted the most investors. You can buy a property worth from €280,000 to €500,000.
The amount you’ll need to buy real estate depends on the property’s location. If you want to purchase real estate in a low-density area, you’ll spend €400,000. If it is in a high-density area, you’ll pay €500,000
If you want to refurbish a property in a high-density area over 30 years old, you’ll need to spend €350,000. To do this in a low-density area, you’ll need to spend €280,000.
It is vital to note that you cannot buy residential properties in any of the coastal cities of Portugal, like Porto and Lisbon. You can only purchase commercial properties in a coastal city.
You can buy more than one property if the sum of the properties meets or supersedes the minimum financial requirements.
It is also necessary to note that the Portuguese Parliament has voted to discontinue this investment type. However, the final decision is yet to be made by the President.
Until then, this investment option is still open to fresh applications and renewals. But this can change at any time. Once the President signs to discontinue this route, it will take effect the next day.
Should your application still be unapproved when this happens, you will be re-routed to the D2 Entrepreneur route.
You can transfer €1,500,000 to a Portuguese bank account for this investment type. Note that the Portuguese Parliament also wants to discontinue this route.
You can also meet the investment requirement with a family member or friend. For example, if you need €1,000,000 for an investment whose minimum requirement is €500,000, you can partner with someone and spend €500,000 each. This meets the minimum requirement, and you both will become eligible for a Golden visa.
The Golden visa program is available only to non-EU citizens, and you are eligible for the visa as a Saudi citizen.
To get the Golden visa, you must prove that you are 18 years or above.
To apply for any Portuguese visa, you have to show you have not been convicted of any criminal offence. The government of Portugal is committed to safeguarding its citizens and residents, so you may have a hard time entering Portugal if you have been convicted of a criminal offence.
You must submit a criminal record certificate from Saudi Arabia and any other country where you have spent at least 3 months in the past 5 years.
Fund for Investment Gotten Abroad
You cannot use the money you obtained in Portugal as a loan to invest in Portugal. That defeats the purpose of a Golden visa. Your funds must have been gotten abroad.
Invest in Portugal
You must prove to the Embassy that you have invested in the appropriate investment in Portugal.
Maintaining Your Investment
You will swear an affidavit agreeing to take care of your investment in Portugal for at least 5 years. You are no longer bound by the affidavit after 5 years.
The Portuguese Embassy will not approve your visa application if you do not show you have medical insurance that is acceptable in every country in the EU. The medical insurance must cover at least €30000 in medical expenses. If you are applying with your family members, then they each need to have medical insurance.
Minimum Stay Requirement
Golden visa holders must commit to staying in Portugal for at least 7 consecutive days every year.
You need to present certain documents to show that you are eligible for Portuguese citizenship by investment.
Here they are:
- Saudi Arabian passport issued no earlier than 10 years from the date you submitted your application. It must be valid up to 3 months after the Portugal citizenship by investment visa expires.
- A digital passport that meets the photo requirements of the EU. Ensure that your facial details are showing clearly. Again, if you use recommended glasses, ensure they don’t reflect the light from the camera.
- Affidavit showing you agree to maintain your investment in Portugal for at least 5 years.
- Medical insurance policy certificate that can cater to medical expenses of up to €30,000.
- Criminal record certificate obtained from the Saudi Police. This must not have been issued earlier than 3 months before your application date. Remember, you must also get this document from the Police of any country you spent up to 3 months in the past 5 years.
- Signed consent form showing you permit the SEF to verify your criminal record.
- Receipt showing you have paid the visa fees.
- NIF number showing that you will be a tax-abiding citizen.
- Portuguese bank account number. The Embassy can waive this for you if you already have an account in a bank that has a branch in Portugal.
- Signed and completed Golden visa application form. Signing your visa application form is crucial, as your application will be rejected if the form is unsigned.
- Certificate of company incorporation, which shows you have started a company in Portugal.
- Statement from a bank showing you have transferred the required sum to a company.
- Statement from a public or private research body confirming you have invested in their research.
- Statement or press release from the Office of Strategy, Planning and Cultural Assessment showing that you have invested in refurbishing or protecting an art in Portugal.
- Official release from a company that confirms you have purchased shares in the said company.
- Birth and marriage certificates if you are interested in family reunification.
- Adoption certificates if you intend to travel with your siblings or your partner’s siblings.
- Employment contracts show you have created jobs in Portugal.
If your documents are in Arabic, you’ll have to translate them to Portuguese and also legalise or certify the translations. You can get translation and legalisation services at the Embassy. If your documents are in English, then you have no need for this.
You must also certify all documents that prove your civil status, even if they are in English.
Costs Associated With The Portugal Golden Visa Application
After investing in Portugal, you will still need to pay some fees to the Embassy.
Below are the fees payable:
- €533 for processing your application. This fee will also be paid upon renewal.
- €83 for processing each of your dependent’s applications. This fee will also be paid during visa renewals.
- €5325 as your application fee.
- €2662 as an application fee for each of your dependents.
Total Law Team is Available for Consultation
We can handle your application; message us online or call our line at +44 (0)333 305 9375 . Your chance of getting a visa approval is higher if we make the application for you. We have experienced lawyers who can ensure your application is flawless.
Get an NIF Number and a Portuguese Bank Account
You can get the NIF number at any tax office in Portugal. If you are not in Portugal, you can get the number online. We can also help you get this number.
After getting an NIF number, you can proceed to any bank to open a bank account. This can also be done online.
Prepare Your Documents
The documentation process is one of the most important aspects of your visa application. If you submit the correct document, you stand a high chance of getting visa approval. On the other hand, erroneous or incomplete documentation will lead to a visa refusal.
Ensure you use the document checklist to get your documents ready. Getting your documents ready before you start the application process is advisable.
Make Investment in Portugal
If your documents are ready, you can now make an eligible investment. Are you at a loss as to which investment type to choose? Contact our team for advice.
Pay Visa Fees
Pay visa fees via bank transfer, money order or cheque. The receipt must be attached to your other supporting documents. Note that you can also pay the fees at the Embassy.
Golden Visa Online Pre-application
Visit the ARI website and complete the application form. Ensure you sign your form. All the documents you will attach to the form must be in PDF format and not be larger than 4MB.
If the SEF approves your pre-application, you will be invited to schedule biometric submission online at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Submit Your Biometrics
On the given date, visit the Embassy of Portugal at Building 56 – 6323 Prince Faisal Ibn Saad Ibn, Abdulrahman, Al Woroud District, Riyadh 12251 – 3061, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ensure you go to the Embassy on the scheduled date. You’ll not be attended to if you go on any other date.
Collect Your Visa
If your application is successful, you’ll be told where and when to pick up your visa.
It is important to note that what you get in Saudi Arabia is an entry visa, which is valid for 4 months. You must schedule an appointment with the SEF in Portugal to switch the entry visa to a residence permit.
Processing Time Once The Application Is Submitted
It takes 2 to 6 months for the SEF to respond to your online application.
It will take up to 6 months to get a response from the Embassy after your biometrics are collected.
Dual Citizenship in Portugal: Is It Allowed?
Portugal started allowing dual citizenship in 1981, so you can get Portuguese citizenship as a Saudi. However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not permit its citizens to acquire another nationality without the government’s permission. If you acquire Portuguese citizenship without government permission, you’ll automatically lose your Saudi citizenship.
Portugal citizenship by investment is one of the complex Portuguese visas. The complexity is due to the documentation and process required to get approval. The long process is often a discouraging factor for many. But you don’t need to be discouraged; Total Law can help.
We can help you gather your supporting documents and apply for your visa. We have successfully done this for other Saudi citizens and can also replicate this success for you. Our team of expert and experienced immigration lawyers can help make the process a seamless one for you.
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
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Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
There are many ways to get citizenship in Portugal, with each route having its challenges. However, you’ll get citizenship if you meet the requirements and make an error-free application.
You can stay in Portugal with a Golden visa for 5 years. After that, you are eligible for citizenship or permanent residence. If you do not want either of those, you can renew your Golden Visa.
You do not need to learn Portuguese to qualify for Portuguese citizenship by investment. But you’ll need to if you want to apply for permanent residence or citizenship.