Portugal has no shortage of admirers, for reasons ranging from its world-renowned golf courses and dramatic scenery to its sparkling beaches and captivating historical cities like Porto, so it should be of no great surprise that so many people wish to invest here. Those who set up home in Portugal can also take advantage of a delightful gastronomic scene across the country’s charming cobbled towns and villages. Locations like the Algarve, Madeira and Porto Santo attract prospective residents of many different tastes, some seeking a more relaxed lifestyle, and others a more intense one. Regardless, when you invest to become a resident of Portugal, you can look forward to a whole new way of life.

An affordable residency by investment scheme

Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme was introduced in 2012, and it has gone on to attract almost 1,000 investors – such popularity doubtless partly assured by the lower cost of investment than many alternative schemes.

  • Visa-free travel throughout the Schengen area
  • Low physical residency expectations
  • €500,000 investment into real estate required
  • Property must be maintained
  • Allows for full family residency
  • Permanent residency available from five years
  • Citizenship can be applied for after six years

Your residency by investment options in Portugal

Holders of a Schengen residence identity card or passport can spend up to 90 days in Portugal without a visa. Non-EEA nationals may be subject to certain visa requirements, depending on their nationality. A foreign national must have a residence permit to reside in Portugal for more than 90 days per six month period in the country.

Foreign nationals wishing to reside in Portugal for longer than three months are required to apply for a residence permit within 90 days of their initial legal entry into the territory, as is the case with most EU member states.

However, there are two programs from which non-EU nationals seeking a Portuguese residence permit can choose: the Golden Residence Permit Program, which concerns specified investments, and the EU Blue Card, which is based on highly qualified employment.

Golden Residence Permit Program

This scheme is also known as the ‘Golden Visa’ and was introduced in October 2012 as a means for non-EU foreign investors to acquire a Portuguese residence permit by investing in the country.

Applicants are required to make and maintain a qualifying investment for a minimum period of five years, attested by a signed declaration. They can take advantage of any of the following three current qualifying investment options:

  • The transfer of capital of €1,000,000
  • The acquisition of real estate with a value of at least €500,000
  • The creation of at least 10 new jobs registered with the Social Security department

The minimum residency requirements to qualify for the renewal of the Golden Residence Permit are just seven days during the first year of residence for the first renewal, and 14 days over the two subsequent two year periods for the next few renewals.

EU Blue Card

Also introduced in October 2012 was the EU Blue Card, which provides highly qualified non-EU individuals with an alternative way to secure Portuguese residence.

To apply for the EU Blue Card, the following must be provided:

  • A contract or binding job offer with a salary of at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary (or 1.2 times in certain professions)
  • Proof of health insurance or evidence that the applicant is covered by the National Health Regime
  • Proof of registration with Social Security
  • For regulated professions, documents establishing the stated qualifications of the candidate and for unregulated professions, documents establishing the applicant’s relevant higher-level qualification

Both the Golden Residence Permit Program and EU Blue Card routes allow for the granting of residence permits to the family members of a successful main applicant through the family reunification procedure.

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Program Facts

  • Minimum investment in real estate of 500,000 Euros.
  • 7 days visit required in the first year.
  • Comparatively long period of time before a passport is issued, 6 years plus.
  • Easy transport and movement into the rest of the European mainland.

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