Residence permit
June 6, 2024
Reading Time: 8 min

7 Portugal Golden Visa advantages for cosmopolitans

Portugal’s Golden Visa Program allows investors to relocate to the EU. However, living in Portugal permanently is not required for investors, nor is proficiency in Portuguese.

Cosmopolitans holding Portuguese residence permits can travel without visas to other Schengen countries and open accounts in EU banks. Additionally, they can qualify for citizenship 5 years after applying for a Golden Visa.

Let’s explore all the perks of being a resident of Portugal and how much it costs to become one as an investor.

Alina Mishurenko
Alina Mishurenko

Explained the benefits of a Golden Visa

Benefits of Portugal residency and how to get it

7 Portugal Golden Visa advantages for cosmopolitans

About Portugal

Portugal’s Golden Visa grants residents the right to live permanently in Portugal, where they can study, work, and start businesses.

Safety. The Portuguese citizens are law-abiding, and the country is safe to live in, holding 7th place in the Global Peace Index 2023. Residents feel safe walking late at night and allowing their children to play outside alone.

Beautiful nature and places of interest. The country boasts clean beaches, picturesque parks, and attractions, such as pieces of mediaeval architecture. Portugal was recognised as the best tourist destination in Europe, having won 26 World Travel Awards.

Quality of life. Portugal has a developed economy and a high standard of living. It ranks 43rd on the IMF list for GDP per capita at $28,970.

1. Visa-free Schengen countries with Portugal residency

The Portugal Golden Visa enables holders to visit the states of the Schengen Area without a visa. With a Portuguese residence permit card, it is possible to stay there for 90 days out of every 180, similar to the conditions of a Schengen visa.

Among the available Schengen Area countries are:

  1. Austria.

  2. Belgium.

  3. Bulgaria.

  4. Croatia.

  5. The Czech Republic.

  6. Denmark.

  7. Estonia.

  8. Finland.

  9. France.

  10. Germany.

  11. Greece.

  12. Hungary.

  13. Iceland.

  14. Italy.

  15. Latvia.

  16. Liechtenstein.

  17. Lithuania.

  18. Luxembourg.

  19. Malta.

  20. The Netherlands.

  21. Norway.

  22. Poland.

  23. Portugal.

  24. Romania.

  25. Slovakia.

  26. Slovenia.

  27. Spain.

  28. Sweden.

  29. Switzerland.

Discover the benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa and a unique way to EU citizenship

2. Portugal’s benefits for families

Portugal is child-friendly. Most beaches, restaurants, parks, and shopping centres are equipped to accommodate visiting families with children.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is 2nd in the rankings of the best cities for living with children. Lisbon hosts about 500 outdoor family events every year.

Local vegetables and fruits are available all year round, most often delivered from the island of Madeira, which boasts a unique microclimate. Portugal is very fond of seafood and fish. In a reputable restaurant, there is always a display or an aquarium where the selection is presented, ensuring guests can be certain of the freshness of the fish and seafood.

3. Portugal Golden Visa tax benefits

The general tax system benefits for individuals in Portugal are as follows:

  1. No inheritance tax. However, when a distant relative or a non-relative enters into an inheritance, a stamp duty of 10% must be paid.

  2. No wealth tax. Portugal is distinct from other countries because it has no wealth tax and there is no popular demand for introducing one.

  3. Low property taxes. When buying property in Portugal, the transfer tax is 0—8%. Property owners pay 0.3—0.8%, with a range of exemptions depending on what you do with the profit and where the house is located.

Сryptocurrency taxes. Income from the sale of crypto assets held for less than one year is taxed at a rate of 28%. If they were held for more than one year, the taxpayer is exempt from paying any tax.

Reduced corporate tax rates apply to resident small and medium-sized businesses on the first €50,000:

  • 17% in mainland Portugal;

  • 12,5% in inland areas and for startups;

  • 11,9% in Madeira and the Azores.

Taxable income exceeding €50,000 is subject to the standard CIT rate of 21% in mainland Portugal and 14,7% in Madeira and the Azores.

The Madeira Free Trade Zone hosts businesses in sectors such as manufacturing, trading, and telecommunications, among others. Companies registered there with a Free Trade Zone licence enjoy a 5% corporate tax rate on transactions with licensed or foreign entities, but deals with other Portuguese companies are taxed at the standard 14,7% rate.

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

4. Affordable and prestigious education

Not only citizens of the country but also foreigners with residence permits can send their children to a free public kindergarten or school. Babies are admitted to a kindergarten from the age of 3 months and enrol in school from 6 years.

There are no queues in paid kindergartens, and children study in small groups of up to 10. You can send your child to a kindergarten with English-speaking teachers or opt for mixed-language education in English and Portuguese.

Public schools are free for citizens and residents of the country. A Portuguese school’s secondary education certificate is recognised across all EU countries. Parents can also choose a private or boarding school where their children study and live throughout the year.

Unlike public schools, which teach in Portuguese, private schools offer lessons in English, German, French, and other languages.

In Portugal, you can obtain a prestigious higher education: four universities are ranked among the best in the world.

Alejandro, 42

Director of a financial fund

Portugal Golden Visa for safety and children’s education

Alejandro, his wife Isabella, and their children lived in Lima, where concerns about safety had grown in recent years.

Considering a move abroad, an old friend invited them to Cascais, Portugal. Captivated by the town’s safety, comfort, and educational opportunities, the couple purchased an apartment, obtained Golden Visas, and relocated to Portugal.

Now, the family enjoys a secure environment, and their children have the prospect of studying at European, British, and American universities after Portuguese school.

Learn a case

5. Savings in Portuguese and other EU banks

More than 150 banks operate in Portugal, providing financial services to individuals and businesses.

The Portugal Golden Visa grants access to the services of EU banks. Bank Due Diligence for residents of Portugal is more relaxed than for third-country nationals, and the likelihood of being refused by a bank is lower.

Investors with Portugal Golden Visas can freely use the services of European banks: open accounts, conduct foreign exchange transactions, and keep savings. This facilitates settlements and protects assets.

6. High-quality healthcare

Portugal’s healthcare system ranks 22nd out of 89 countries and earns particularly good marks for the quality of its infrastructure. A separate study by the World Health Organisation rated Portugal 12th in terms of overall healthcare efficiency.

Medical care is available free of charge at public hospitals for citizens and Portugal Golden Visa residents.

In private clinics, appointments are typically available more quickly than in public ones, and the level of service, including telephone consultations with your doctor, is higher. Private health insurance policies cover part or all of the treatment costs.

Portugal Golden Visa benefits — medical help

Public health insurance in Portugal generally covers some of the costs of prescription drugs. However, you usually need to contribute a payment of 10 to 85% towards medical expenses

7. Portugal’s passport in 5 years

Investors holding Portugal Golden Visas can apply for citizenship after 5 years. Portugal is a member of the European Union, and the country’s citizens can stay in any EU member state without time limits and special permits to work or study.

With a Portuguese passport, an investor can move to any EU country to open a business, change tax residence, or educate their children.

To obtain citizenship, the applicant must meet five conditions:

  1. Be of legal age.

  2. Comply with the 5 years of legal residence in Portugal, calculated from the date of applying for a residence permit.

  3. Pass the Portuguese proficiency test at the elementary level (A2).

  4. Not be convicted of crimes with a prison term of 3 years or more.

  5. Not pose a threat to the country.

Newborn children of residents can become Portuguese citizens, provided that one of the parents has lived in the country for at least one year before the child’s birth. There are no clear rules for Golden Visa holders. However, Immigrant Invest lawyers believe that to register newborn children of investors, it is sufficient that the residence permit was issued at least one year ago.

However, it is not necessary to obtain citizenship: you can apply for permanent residency or continue using the benefits of the temporary residence card.

Other benefits of holding a Portugal temporary residence permit

Portugal enjoys a subtropical climate with mild winters and warm summers, boasting 300 days of sunshine annually. The average temperature is +22°C.

In Lisbon, temperatures are generally comfortable. During the winter, it rains periodically and daytime temperatures average around +10°C. The central and northern parts of Portugal experience colder winters, but temperatures usually do not fall below 0°C.

In summer, the average temperature reaches about +29°C. Along the coast, the sea breeze moderates the heat.

Friendly locals. Portugal is renowned as one of the most hospitable and foreigner-friendly countries, offering a warm welcome that helps newcomers quickly adapt.

Geographically, Portugal is known as the gateway to Europe due to its strategic location at the crossroads of sea routes between Europe, Africa, and North and South America.

From Portugal, travelling to other European countries is convenient. Flight times from Lisbon to various European capitals are as follows:

  • 1.5 hours to Madrid;

  • 2.5 hours to Paris and London;

  • 3 hours to Rome;

  • 3.5 hours to Berlin.

Additionally, sea cruise enthusiasts can embark on transatlantic journeys from the port of Lisbon to New York, with stops in various European and American cities.

Portugal Golden Visa: the Vale do Lobo beach

A total of 398 Portuguese beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag for their pristine sands and waters. Among these sites is Vale do Lobo beach in the Algarve

Conditions for obtaining a residence permit in Portugal: how to get a Portugal Golden Visa

A Portuguese residence permit can be obtained in various ways. For example, one can secure employment with a local company, enrol in a Portuguese educational institution, or marry a citizen of the country.

However, participating in Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is the fastest and easiest method to acquire a residence permit.

Requirements for applicants. The investor must meet the following criteria:

  • be over 18;

  • have no criminal record;

  • have no debts in Portugal;

  • have investment funds earned outside Portugal;

  • have health insurance.

The investors' spouses, children under 26, and parents can also participate in the Portugal Golden Visa Program. However, children over 18 and parents must be financially dependent on the main applicant.

Investment options for obtaining a residence permit in Portugal are as follows:

  1. Purchasing shares of investment and venture funds — €500,000.

  2. Supporting the restoration and conservation of national cultural heritage — €250,000.

  3. Investment in research activities — €500,000.

  4. Investments in a new or established Portuguese business that will provide or keep at least 5 jobs — €500,000.

  5. Creating a business that will provide at least 10 new jobs — no minimum investment required.

The investment requirement remains the same regardless of the family’s composition: both single applicants and large families must contribute the same amount. However, for a family, obtaining a Portugal residence permit incurs higher fees due to additional charges.

Residency validity and renewal. The residence permit is initially granted for two years and can be renewed. To maintain the status, an investor must spend seven days per year in Portugal.

Holding a Golden Visa for five years provides the right to apply for permanent residency or citizenship.

Step-by step obtaining process for a Portugal Golden Visa

Obtaining residency in Portugal through investment takes at least 12 months. Investors are not required to take a language test, and most procedures can be conducted remotely.

1

1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence

The check helps reduce the risk of failure to 1%. Certified Anti-Money Laundering officers at Immigrant Invest conduct the preliminary Due Diligence.

Immigrant Invest only signs an agreement with the investor once the check has been passed and both lawyers and the investor are informed of the potential opportunities and risks.

2

1—2 weeks

Selection of an investment option

Depending on the option, the investor must choose a fund, a company, or a cultural project. This can be done remotely with the assistance of our lawyers, who are able to send reports and other necessary information.

3

1—2 weeks

Registration of a tax number

An investor is issued a unique nine-digit number, known as the Número de Identificação Fiscal, NIF. This number is necessary for various activities, including opening a bank account, purchasing or renting property, registering a business, and conducting many other transactions in Portugal.

An NIF can be obtained through a tax representative in Portugal.

4

1—1.5 months

Opening a bank account

Under the Portugal Golden Visa Program, the investment must be made from the applicant’s account in a Portuguese bank.

Immigrant Invest assists in opening and activating a bank account. However, the investor’s presence in Portugal is required.

Once everything is set up, the applicant can transfer the necessary funds for the investment.

5

2—3 weeks

Fulfilment of the investment condition

The investor transfers money and obtains the required documents. For example, in the case of purchasing investment fund units, this includes the confirmation of the transfer and the agreement with the fund.

6

5—6 months

Collection of documents and application

The investor receives an individual list of documents from the lawyers to prepare. Subsequently, the applicant has the relevant state form completed, and documents translated and certified.

Electronic copies of the documents are sent for consideration to AIMA, the Agency of Integration, Migrations, and Asylum.

7

1—2 weeks

Submission of biometric data

The investor and their family travel to Portugal to submit the original documents and their biometric data for residence permit cards. The appointment for fingerprinting must be booked in advance in the electronic register.

8

6—8 months

Due Diligence

Once the original documents and biometrics are submitted, AIMA begins the Due Diligence check. If approved, AIMA issues a confirmation document that allows the holder to reside in Portugal until the residence permit cards are ready.

9

2 weeks

Obtaining residence permit cards

Once approval is received, the investor pays the fee for the residence permit cards. These are prepared within 2 weeks and are issued personally to the investor or to their lawyer by proxy.

10

Every 2 years

Residence permits renewal

Residence permit cards must be renewed every 2 years. The procedure mirrors the initial application: you need to collect the same documents and submit them electronically, submit biometrics and originals, and obtain new cards.

The Institute of Registries and Notary extends residence permits.

To maintain a residence permit, the investor and their family must spend at least 7 days a year in Portugal. Investors must also retain their investments.

Portugal Golden Visa Program statistics

The Portugal Golden Visa Program has been operating since 2012 and is considered one of the best in the world, according to various rankings.

More than 9,000 foreign investors have received a residence permit in Portugal, predominantly from China, Brazil, the USA, Turkey, and South Africa.

Since the inception of the Golden Visa Program in October 2012 until September 2023, Portugal has issued 12,718 residence permits. The program has contributed approximately €7.3 billion to Portugal’s economy.

Portugal Golden Visa statistics: top 5 nationals among investors

Key points about Portugal Golden Visa benefits

  1. The Portugal Golden Visa Program offers numerous benefits for cosmopolitans seeking to invest and reside in the country. For example, it allows investors to obtain residency in Portugal, with the opportunity to gain citizenship after 5 years.

  2. One of the primary advantages is the ability to travel visa-free to Schengen countries and access EU banking services.

  3. Portugal also offers a safe and attractive living environment with beautiful natural landscapes, a high quality of life, and a welcoming local community.

  4. The Portugal Golden Visa Program has a straightforward application process, typically completed within 12+ months, and does not require investors to pass language tests or reside permanently in Portugal.

  5. Investors have various investment options, including investments in funds and job creation initiatives.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Will you obtain a residence permit in Portugal?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain a residence permit in Portugal?

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the benefits of Portugal's Golden Visa Program?

    Portugal’s Golden Visa grants an investor and their family the right to live permanently in Portugal, where they can study or start a business.

    A Portugal Golden Visa also allows holders to visit Schengen Area states without a visa. With a residence permit card, it is possible to stay there for 90 days within any 180-day period, similar to a Schengen visa.

  • Is Portugal suitable for living with children?

    Yes, Lisbon ranked second among the best cities globally for living with children. Indicators such as the number of schools, outdoor activities, the level of safety, and quality of life were considered.

  • What is the level of medical care in Portugal?

    Portugal’s healthcare system ranks 22nd out of 89 countries and is particularly noted for the quality of its infrastructure. A separate study by the World Health Organisation rated Portugal 12th in terms of overall healthcare efficiency.

    Medical care is available free of charge at public hospitals and is accessible to citizens and Portugal Golden Visa residents.

    In private clinics, appointments are generally quicker to obtain than in public ones, and the level of service is higher, including telephone consultations with doctors. Private health insurance policies cover part or all of the treatment costs.

  • How to get Portugal golden visa?

    Participate in Portugal’s Golden Visa Program. To obtain a Portugal Golden Visa, applicants must choose one of five investment options. The minimum investment amount is €250,000. However, the most popular option is purchasing a fund unit for €500,000 or more.

  • Is it difficult to get Portuguese citizenship?

    To obtain Portugal citizenship, you first need to acquire a residence permit. After 5 years, it will be possible to apply for citizenship.

    The grounds for obtaining a residence permit include naturalisation, marriage, family reunification, and investments.