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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.