Residence permit

Portugal Golden Visa processing time — Step by Step Guide

Obtaining a Portuguese residence permit through the Golden Visa Program hesitates from 6 months.

Portugal has 9 investment options, and the option with a minimum price is €250,000. It is an investment in the restoration and conservation of national cultural heritage sites. Profitable options start from €280,000 and are related to purchasing real estate, fund shares, or business investments.

Let’s figure out what will take time and how not to delay the process.

The Golden Visa Program of Portugal gives you a residency within 6 months.
1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence

The first step of obtaining the Golden Visa of Portugal is checking your docs. In Immigrant Invest, the check is obligatory. It allows rating your case’s chances and potential hazards. For preliminary Due Diligence, we need only your passport.

In Immigrant Invest, a certified Anti Money Laundering Officer does this work. Officers evaluate your documents by the standards of Portuguese authorities. Before the procedure, we sign the confidentiality agreement. 

This check allows us to identify the potential risk factors and insure them; for example, we can recommend you attach additional documents to the application or choose another program.

Requirements for the applicant for the Golden Visa

  • Be over 18 years old;
  • do not hold citizenship of Portugal, an EU or EEA country;
  • have no criminal record;
  • earn money for investment not in Portugal;
  • confirm the legality of the origin of funds;
  • open a Portuguese account for making an investment;
  • have no arrears in Portugal;
  • hold medical insurance.
5 days — 3 weeks

Selection of investment option for Golden Visa Program

The Portugal Golden Visa Program has numerous investment options. The most popular choice is purchasing real estate, followed by depositing money in a Portuguese bank, buying fund or company shares, and creating jobs. That’s why we mainly discuss the process applicable to real estate options. In other cases, details can vary.

Amount of investment under different options of the residence program

🏘 €500,000+
Purchase of real estate
🏡 €350,000+
Purchase of real estate built more than 30 years ago or located in urban areas of renovation or for reconstruction
🏚 €280,000+
Purchase of real estate built more than 30 years ago in low-density territories
🔬 €500,000+
Investment in research activities
🏛 €250,000+
Investment in restoration and conservation of national cultural heritage sites
💰 €500,000+
Acquisition of shares in investment funds
👩‍🔧 €500,000+ and 5 jobs
Foundation of a company with capital
🧑‍🏭👨‍🏭 10 jobs
Foundation of a company with unspecified capital
💼 €1,500,000+
Purchase of shares in Portuguese companies
🏦 €1,500,000+
Deposit in a Portuguese bank

Foundation of a company. If you want to open a company, with or without capital, you need to provide some documents:

  1. Passport.
  2. NIF, or Número de Identificação Fiscal, aka Portuguese Tax Identification number.
  3. Office address in Portugal. 
  4. Documents confirming the presence of an accountant.
  5. Company name.
  6. List of the company's activities, 6 at max.
  7. Information about company capital, if you choose an option with capital. You need to deposit this money during the year. 

Company opening takes about 3 weeks and can be done remotely with an attorney. There are 2 duties: €350 — state fee for opening, €15 — fee for the certificate. The monthly cost of an accountant is around €200. 

It is also important to consider corporate taxes: corporate income tax is 21%, value added tax fluctuates from 6 to 23%, municipal surcharge, up to 1,5%, and state surcharge for profit over  €1,500,000, from 3 to 9%. 

Both “creation company” options imply hiring employees, so there are costs on salary, training and social insurance payments. 

Transfer of capital. This category concerns options such as purchasing shares in Portuguese companies, acquiring shares in investment funds, and depositing in a Portuguese bank. The crucial nuance of these options is that you must hold it for 6 years — before receiving permanent residence.

Real estate. All pros and cons of previous options made purchasing different types of real estate the most popular direction of obtaining the Golden Visa of Portugal. So, in the case of real estate, this stage assumes selecting a suitable object.

Agency estate experts will give you a list of the property that fits the program conditions, and you will choose one of them by your criteria. This stage can be fully remote: our experts can take you photos and videos of objects so that you can decide. 

When you have a short list of objects, the agent starts a term discussion with the estate seller.  

Properties in Portugal suitable for the Golden Visa Program

Service apartments and commercial premises in a project near the ocean, Porto, from €350,000

Service apartments and commercial premises in a project near the ocean, Porto, from €350,000

If you want to participate in the Golden Visa Program through investments in real estate in Madeira, you can buy both commercial and residential estate.

Apartments in a residential complex with swimming pools, Madeira, from €350,000

If you want to participate in the Golden Visa Program through investments in real estate in the Faro district, you can buy only commercial estate.

Share in a hotel complex on the coast of Portugal managed by an international hotel group, Algarve, from €280,000

2—5 days

Opening an account in a Portuguese bank

The next stage is about the technical preparation of the deal. During this period, you need to make a power of attorney for a lawyer to oversee the sale, get an individual taxpayer number, and open a bank account. These tasks can be done within three days. 

All of these may be done remotely or during your visit to Portugal. If you take a trip, you will have an opportunity to visit the real estate object and see it live.

1—2 months

Fulfilment of investment conditions

These months are needed to close the deal: signing a contract and money transfer. After this, you get the certificate of ownership, the core document for your future application for the Golden Visa of Portugal.

A critical moment of this step is taxes. When you buy a property, you pay a transfer tax of 6 to 8% and a property tax — of 0.4% annually.

1.5—2 months

Preparation of documents and Golden Visa application

You get the complete list of documents you must collect for applying during this period. The lawyer helps you to fill out all forms and translate and notarize documents from the list. 

Digital copies of all documents are sent to the Portuguese Immigration Office, which starts the consideration process, which takes about 4—6 weeks.   

You also need to pay an application fee of €533 per family member at this stage.

Who can be added to the application for the Portugal Golden Visa

  • Spouse;
  • children up to 18 years old;
  • children over 18 years old, if they are wholly dependent on the investor;
  • parents of the investor or investor’s spouse, if they are entirely dependent on the investor;
  • siblings up to 26 years old, but only in case they are fully dependent on the investor.

You pay an extra cost for every additional family member: application fees, medical insurance, and residence permit cards.

1 day

Trip to Portugal: fingerprinting

The investor and his family's next step is to visit the country to submit the original documents and give their fingerprints. The appointment to the Portuguese Immigration Office for fingerprinting is booked beforehand on the website.   

During this period, you can solve not only bureaucratic issues but also visit numerous places of interest or enjoy the nature of the country.

The cheapest option in the Portuguese Golden Visa Program is purchasing real estate in low-density territories. The amount of investments starts from €280,000.

Old bridge in the south of Portugal, river Guadiana. This region gets into the list of low-density territories, you can also buy a property for Golden Visa Program here, and the minimal price is €280,000

The Golden Visa Program allows you to obtain a residency in Portugal. The amount of investments in central regions is €500,000.

This is the monument of king Jose I in the historical centre of Lisbon. Such cities as Lisbon are attractive for investment, but the amount of investments in central regions starts from €500,000, and here you can buy only a commercial estate

4 — 6 months

Approval and getting the residence permit cards

The Portuguese Immigration Office checks the documents of the Golden Visa applicant for up to six months. After this, you should pay the fee for residence permit cards, €5,340 per family member, and wait for it for about two weeks; then, you get the cards. This step can be made remotely through your lawyer.  

After getting the cards, you should live in the territory of Portugal for at least 7 days during the first year; during the following 2 years, you need to spend at least 14 days in 2 years in Portugal. 

As a result, the timeline for obtaining residency through the Portugal Golden Visa Program looks like this:

1 day
Preliminary Due Diligence
5 days — 3 weeks
Selection of Real Estate
2—5 days
Opening a bank account
1—2 months
Conclusion of purchase and sale transactions
1.5—2 months
Preparation of documents and application
1 day
4—6 months
Approval and getting the residence permit cards
Every 2 years

Renewal of Portugal residence permit cards

The residence permit cards have to be renewed every 2 years. You must collect the same documents, submit them online, pass fingerprints, apply originals, and get new cards.

In 5 years

Obtaining citizenship or permanent residence

After two renovations of residence permits in Portugal, you can apply for citizenship. You can expect an EU passport after 5 years after obtaining a residence permit.

5 reasons to choose the Golden Visa Program of Portugal 

There are different reasons to get a residence card in Portugal, but the most popular “why” are:  

  • Visa-free travel to the Schengen area. You can spend 90 days in these countries without a visa. 
  • Opportunity to legally live and work in Portugal. As a resident, you can stay in the county without limits. 
  • Tax optimization. You can get non-habitual resident status in Portugal for 10 years and a tax reduction. Also, Portugal has double tax treaties with 78 countries
  • Opportunity to get EU citizenship in 5 years. You could apply for citizenship if you were a resident for 5 years; at the same time, you don’t need to live in Portugal permanently during this period. 

And the last but not least reason — Portugal Golden Visa is one of the most exciting programs in terms of expenses and speed: the amount of investments starts from €280,000, and the procedure lasts about 6 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the Golden Visa in Portugal?

Portugal has 10 investment options for the Golden Visa Program, and the cheapest option starts from €250,000.

Is the Portuguese Golden Visa worth it?

It depends on your goals. Portugal allows you to enrol with relatively small capital, travel freedom, legally live in the EU, and obtain European citizenship in a reasonably short time of 5 years.

How long does the Golden Visa process take for Portugal?

You need at least 6 months; the longest step is the approval of your documents by The Portuguese Immigration Office — it takes 4 to 6 months

Is it easy to get residency in Portugal?

The Golden Visa Program allows you to get residency in return for investments in Portugal’s economy. In outline, all Golden Visa Programs are similar, but the Portuguese one will enable one to enrol with relatively small capital.

How long does Portugal's Golden Visa last?

You need to renew your residence permit card, received by the Golden Visa program, every 2 years. However, you can apply for citizenship 5 years after obtaining a residence permit.

When did the Portugal Golden Visa start?

The Portuguese Golden Visa Program was launched in 2012. Since then, more than ten thousand applications from investors have been approved.

Portugal Golden Visa processing time — Step by Step Guide