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Unlocking the Doors to Europe: A Guide to Portugal's Golden Visa Program

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: May 01, 2023 11:30 AM EDT

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Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

(Photo: Nick Karvounis on Unsplash)

Portugal is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. It has good living standards, and the Golden Visa program introduced in 2012 made many families settle here. 

This program started in October 2012, and since then, more than 11,500 applicants have successfully received their golden visas. 

So, if you're a non-EU country resident and wish to relocate to Portugal, this guide will explain the basics of the Golden Visa program to you. So, come on, let's get started!

1. What is the Portugal Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa program is also known as the Residence Permit Program. It is a residency-by-investment scheme that lasts for five years. 

The main reason for launching this program was to encourage people worldwide to settle in this country, especially after Portugal's economic crisis in 2008. 

Investors from around the globe wish to apply for this program as they can easily get residency through it. 

The Golden Visa will grant the investor and their family members the right to work and study in Portugal. You can also move around in Europe, particularly the Schengen area. 

Permanent residency is guaranteed only if the Portuguese government sees that your investment will last five years and that you and your family comply with all state and national laws.

2. Benefits of the program

Even though many countries offer appealing visa schemes to foreigners, Portugal's schemes are considered to be one of the best.

Here are a few reasons why investing in the Golden Visa program can be beneficial for you.

a. If you invest a sum of only €280,000 in the beginning, you can qualify for residency in Portugal. 

b. You will receive access to visit 27 EU nations and the right to move around freely in 172 countries without applying for a visa.

c. You can invest small sums of money in buoyant markets in Portugal, offering you high returns on your investments.

d. After five years, you will be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. After becoming a citizen, you can travel to 188 countries without a visa.

e. Your family members and children who are above 18 years of age can enjoy the same benefits as yours. In addition, if you have parents or a spouse who is above 66, they shall also have the same rights.

3. Prerequisites for the Golden Visa program?

If you wish to apply for the Golden Visa program, you need to make a qualifying investment in funds or real estate and continue it for five years. 

However, it's always advisable to first consult a Golden Visa lawyer or an expert who will be able to guide you through the entire process. 

You'll be required to submit quite a few documents, starting right from your current employment documents to proof of citizenship in your current country. Some of the basic requirements are given below:

a. You have to be a non-EU and non-EEA country resident. Moreover, Swiss citizens are also not allowed.

b. The minimum investment that you have to make is €250,000. However, you'll get to choose from a wide variety of different investment ventures.

c. You need to spend at least 7 days in Portugal for the first year and for the next two years, a minimum of 14 days for each year. This is known as the stay requirement. 

d. The minimum age for applying to the visa program is 18 years. On top of that, you need to have a clean criminal record, both in your home country as well as Portugal. 

4. How to apply for the program?

Once you have decided to invest, contact a visa lawyer who will tell you to bring all the necessary paperwork. 

The agents will go through each document and verify its authenticity. After completing this step, you need to obtain your tax identification number (NIF) in Portugal. 

Here too, you'll receive all the required help from professionals. You have to then open a bank account in Portugal, which can be done remotely too. Then, apply online and make the minimum required investment. 

If you fulfill the necessary requirements, your application will be pre-approved. Then, within about two months, you'll be asked for a biometrics session. 

If all goes well, after about four months of the session, the Portuguese Immigration authorities will approve the Golden Visa.

Over to you...

These are the requirements and basic information that you should know if you're willing to apply for the Golden Visa program. So don't wait anymore, and start filling out your application form today!

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