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Second citizenship

How to get Portugal residency

A residence permit in Portugal can be obtained in different ways, such as finding a job, opening a business or getting married. One can also take part in the investment program.

Cosmopolitans invest at least €250,000 in the country's economy and get a Golden Visa, a particular type of residence permit. The procedure of obtaining the Golden Visa usually takes about six months.

Portugal residence permit

What is a Portugal residence permit?

A residence permit allows the holder to come to Portugal anytime, live in the country and visit other Schengen states without a visa.

To maintain a residence permit, one must spend at least 183 days a year in Portugal. The rule does not apply to investors as they are subject to more flexible conditions.

The validity period of a residence permit depends on the obtaining method. For example, the residence permit for investors, or the Golden Visa, is issued for two years. After that, it can be extended for another 2 years multiple times.

Portugal residence permit benefits

Portugal is a country with a high quality of life and a developed economy. It is comfortable to live and raise children there.

A residence permit allows you to live, work, study and enter the country legally, even when the borders are closed. However, a resident cannot participate in elections and hold public office. 

After five years of living with the resident status, one can apply for citizenship.

Top-7 reasons to move to Portugal

🌅  Nice climate and gorgeous beaches. Portugal is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It is warm and sunny here in summer: you can swim from May to September, and in Madeira — almost all year round. It isn't cold in the winter, so the houses have no central heating.

🕊  Safe environment. Portugal ranks third on the list of the most peaceful countries. The level of crime and corruption in Portugal is low. 

👩‍⚕  Quality medicine. In 2021, Portugal ranked 22nd among countries with the best healthcare systems. Not only citizens of the country but also holders of residence permits in Portugal have the right to free medical care. 

🧑‍🎓 Prestigious education. One can enrol a child in a public kindergarten or school with a residence permit. In Portugal, branches of international schools with high ratings have been opened: the British school of St. Julian’s, the American school of Carlucci and others.

Four universities in Portugal are included in the list of the 500 best in the world. Diplomas of the country's universities are recognised in other EU countries.

💶  Business opportunities. With the status of a residence permit, you can do business in Europe: open accounts in European banks, take loans at low-interest rates, create companies or branches of companies in Portugal and optimise taxes.

Welcoming environment for foreigners. Locals are friendly to expats. The Portuguese language is said to be easy to learn. Although a huge percentage of locals also speak English. 

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦  Enjoyable life with children. Lisbon ranks second in the best cities to live with children. Low rents for three-bedroom apartments also distinguish the city.

How to get portugal residence permit

The Lisbon Oceanarium, with a large collection of sea inhabitants, is popular with Portuguese children

How to get portugal residency

Ursa Beach at the Atlantic Ocean

Getting residency in portugal

View of the Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

How to get residence permit and move to portugal

A piece of a panel of Azulejos (Portuguese tiles) on the facade of an old railways station in Aveiro

How to get golden visa in Portugal

A beach at Benagil Cave. Carvoeiro resort in the Algarve region, Portugal

How to get a Portuguese residency

A residence permit card can be obtained in several ways: by investment, by family reunification, through study or work, through retirement or by marriage.

Prove a sufficient passive income. If the applicant does not have compelling reasons to move to Portugal but has passive income and housing in the country, he also has the right to obtain a residence permit. He also proves a passive income of at least €705 per month.

Invest in the country’s economy. Another way to get a residence permit is to invest in the economic development of Portugal. The minimum investment amount is €250,000. Investors are not required to live constantly in the country to keep the residence permit card.

Is the minimum
investment amount

Find a job in Portugal. One can obtain a residence permit in Portugal by accepting a job offer from a local company. A residence permit is issued to specialists who have signed an employment contract for more than 4 months.

Reunite with family. Status can be obtained by family members of a person who already has a residence permit. You can request reunification with your husband, wife, brother, sister, children and elderly parents. At the same time, family members must be financially dependent on the applicant.

Get married. A residence permit is issued if the applicant's spouse has Portuguese citizenship. At the same time, the migration services carefully check whether the marriage is fictitious.

You can also reunite with your partner if the marriage is not registered. But you have to prove that the relationship is not fictitious.

Enrol in a local university. Residence permits are obtained by students of Portuguese universities who are studying undergraduate, graduate or doctoral programs.

A student residence permit is usually issued for one year and extended during the entire study period. If a foreigner wants to stay in the country after graduation, he must find a job and end an employment contract.

Request status for scientific research. Highly qualified students at the doctorate level or scientific researchers from the Research Center recognised by the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science can obtain a residence permit.

Provide especially valuable services to the state. A residence permit can be obtained for special services to the country, such as science or culture.

Portugal Golden Visa benefits and advantages over other residence permits

A Portugal residence permit by investment allows you to get all the benefits of status without permanent residing in Europe. To do this, you must invest in the country's economy at least €250,000.

A residence permit by investment can be obtained faster than a regular one: on average, getting a Golden Visa takes 4 to 6 months. The investor does not pass a language proficiency test.

To keep the residence permit card in Portugal, the investor only needs to spend 7 days a year in the country. 

A residence permit in Portugal can be extended every 2 years, provided the investor retains the investment: for example, continuing to own real estate or shares of funds.

After 5 years of residency, an investor can obtain permanent residence or Portuguese citizenship. To get a passport in the future, you do not need to live in Portugal: it is enough to comply with the requirements of the investment program. It is one of the easiest ways to get EU citizenship.

An investor can live in Portugal or spend only one week a year in the country. However, the procedure for paying taxes and their size depends on this. After 183 days of living in the country, the investor can get the status of a tax resident.

Comparison of requirements for getting a Golden Visa and other residence permits

CriterionResidence permit by investment (Golden Visa)Other residence permit types
How long to live in the country7 days per year183 days per year
Validity period2 years1 year
Residence permits for family membersYesYes
In the case of financially independent people

In other cases
At least basic proficiency in PortugueseNoYes
D visa is required to enter the countryNoYes
Prospect of citizenshipYes, in 5 yearsYes, in 5 years

Who can obtain a Portugal residence permit

An adult foreigner who does not have problems with the law and debts can obtain a residence permit in Portugal.

The investor's family members can obtain the Golden Visa: 

  • a spouse; 
  • parents — if they are under 65, they should confirm their dependence on the investor;
  • children under 18;
  • children aged between 18 and 26 if they are financially dependent on the investor, registered at the same address as the main applicant and study at a university;
  • siblings under 26 if they are in the investor’s custody. 

How to get a Golden Visa in Portugal

The Portugal Golden Visa program offers investors 8 options:

  1. €250,000 — support for cultural projects;
  2. €350,000 — purchase of real estate objects over 30 years old for restoration;
  3. €500,000 — purchase of residential or commercial property under 30 years old;
  4. €500,000 — investments in research activities;
  5. €500,000 — purchase of units of investment funds;
  6. €500,000 — investment in a new or existing business with the creation of at least 5 jobs;
  7. €1,500,000 — capital transfer;
  8. Opening a business and creating 10 jobs.

The investment amount will not change if the investor includes their wife, children or parents in the application. However, there are additional expenses like government fees.

The most popular options for the residence permit by investment program in Portugal are the purchase of the real estate in the amount of €500,000 or objects for restoration from €350,000. During the 9 years of the program, they were selected by 94% of applicants. 

If a property is located in a sparsely populated region, the minimum investment amount is reduced by 20%: €280,000 for properties under renovation and €400,000 for new ones.

Rental properties can be a good form of passive income. The property can be sold after 5 years.

From January 1, 2022, the terms of the program have changed. To obtain a residence permit in Portugal, it is allowed to buy real estate only in some areas of the country. 

Investors can buy apartments, villas or other objects located in the inland regions of the country, Azores and Madeira.

Examples of properties qualifying for the Golden Visa

Golden visa — Portugal citizenship by investment in real estate

A furnished villa with a swimming pool in a picturesque quiet area, located 2 km from Vieira do Minho, €287,500

How to obtain Golden Visa in Portugal

A share in a four-star hotel with a guaranteed return managed by a world-class hotel group in Porto, €350,000

Documents for applying for a Portugal residence permit 

The final list of the documents required for the Portuguese residence permit depends on the obtaining method. For example, if an investor gets a residence permit for buying real estate, they provide the purchase documents: a signed agreement, registration certificate and a household register. Those who come for work should provide an employment contract. 

Basic documents are:

  • a passport;
  • 2 recent colour photos;
  • medical insurance;
  • a certificate of registration in Portugal;
  • a certificate of income and tax amounts;
  • a certificate of absence of tax debts;
  • a certificate of good conduct;
  • an application for a criminal history check in Portugal.
1 day
Preliminary check
5 days to 3 weeks
Selection of real estate
1.5—2 months
Preparation of documents and application
1 day
4 to 6 months
Getting residence permit cards

Step-by-step procedure for obtaining a residence permit in Portugal by investment

To get a residence permit in Portugal by investment, an investor must go through several stages. Let's consider them using the example of options with the real estate purchase.
Stage Этап
Details Детали
Apply to Immigrant Invest and pass a preliminary check
Apply to Immigrant Invest and pass a preliminary check

You can participate in the program with the help of a licensed agent.

If the residence permit program in Portugal is the most suitable, Immigrant Invest proceeds with a preliminary check.

The Certified Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer conducts a preliminary Due Diligence check. The results will be ready in one working day.

We immediately assess the chances of getting the status. If the lawyers of Immigrant Invest do not find the risks, we sign a contract with the applicant. Otherwise, we will try to find other options.

Apply to Immigrant Invest and pass a preliminary check
Choose and buy real estate
Choose and buy real estate

Immigrant Invest specialists help the applicant find the best places to invest in real estate and select several objects for purchase. Then the applicant needs to go to Portugal for two days to inspect the property and open a bank account.

You can close the sale and purchase transaction when the object is selected. A lawyer in Portugal draws up all documents.

The applicant pays the cost of the property, taxes and fees. After the completion of the transaction, the lawyer on his behalf receives a document on the ownership of the object.

Choose and buy real estate
Collect documents
Collect documents

Immigrant Invest lawyers form a package of documents required to obtain a residence permit in Portugal.

The investor provides personal documents according to the list: passports, certificates, certificates, extracts. Lawyers fill out state forms, help the applicant obtain certificates, certify copies and submit papers for translation.

Collect documents
Apply for participation in the program
Apply for participation in the program

Immigrant Invest lawyers apply on behalf of the investor to participate in the Portugal Golden Visa program. A package of documents is attached to it.

At this stage, copies of papers are sent electronically. The program department checks them for one to two months.

Apply for participation in the program
Submission of original documents and biometrics
Submission of original documents and biometrics

After the verification, the lawyer records the investor and his family to submit original documents and biometric data. By the appointed date, the applicant, his wife and children will arrive in Portugal — at this stage, a personal presence in the country is required.

The investor is issued a document that allows him to live in Portugal until a decision is made.

Submission of original documents and biometrics
Obtain a residence permit
Obtain a residence permit

When the investor submits documents and biometrics, the Due Diligence check begins. It lasts from four to six months.

After a positive answer, the applicant pays the fee for the residence permit cards printed in two weeks. One doesn’t need to go to Portugal for them: they can be received by a lawyer and sent to the investor’s address.

Immigrant Invest takes care of paperwork and approvals at every stage of the program and even after obtaining a residence permit. When an investor needs to renew his resident status, we will help draw up and submit documents.

Obtain a residence permit

Frequently asked questions

How can I get permanent residency in Portugal?

There is no quick way to get permanent residence in Portugal. First, you must live in a country with a residence permit status for five years. It can be obtained in many ways; the fastest is for investment. Participation in the investment program takes from 4 to 6 months.

How hard is it to get residency in Portugal?

A residence permit card can be obtained in several ways: by investment, by family reunification, through study or work, through retirement or by marriage. Сomplexity and duration of a process depend on the method. 

How long does it take to get residency in Portugal?

It depends on the way that one chooses. A residence permit for investment can be obtained faster than a regular one: it usually takes 4 to 6 months. 

Can I get residency in Portugal if I buy a house?

Yes, it’s possible. 94% of applicants for the Portugal Golden Visa choose the purchase of real estate. One can purchase residential properties in the Portuguese inland territories, the Azores and Madeira or commercial properties in any region.

How much to invest in Portugal to get residency?

An investor chooses one of 8 options:

  1. €250,000 — support for cultural projects;
  2. €350,000 — purchase of real estate objects over 30 years old for restoration;
  3. €500,000 — purchase of residential or commercial property under 30 years old;
  4. €500,000 — investments in research activities;
  5. €500,000 — purchase of units of investment funds;
  6. €500,000 — investment in a new or existing business with the creation of at least 5 jobs;
  7. €1,500,000 — capital transfer;
  8. Opening a business and creating 10 jobs.
If I have permanent residency in Portugal, can I get free healthcare?

Yes, holders of residence permits in Portugal have the right to free medical care.

Do I have to pay taxes as a Portuguese resident?

After 183 days living in the country, one becomes a tax resident. 

Income tax in Portugal can reach 48%, but a new tax resident is entitled to benefits. For 10 years, he can pay tax at a flat rate of 20% and not pay tax on income received outside of Portugal.

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How to get Portugal residency