2022

Reading Time: 6 min

Portugal Golden Visas and a wedding in Europe for a lesbian couple

We’ve been together for 20 years, travelled a lot and especially liked it in Europe.

In 2021, we finally decided to get residence permits in a European country to move from Angola and not depend on visa approvals if we want to explore new places. We both have our own businesses but aren’t tied to the workplace, so it all seemed possible.

But we didn’t think that being officially married would be such a big deal money-wise. We thank Immigrant Invest for helping us organise a wedding in Europe and preparing everything for our residency application. We’ve had our happy ending in Portugal, where we’ve been living for half a year already!

Orva and Jaela

Orva and Jaela,

Family from Angola

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Portugal Golden Visa for lesbians

Portugal Golden Visas and a wedding in Europe for a lesbian couple

Orva and Jaela’s background story and LGBT rights in Portugal

Orva and Jaela are a couple from Angola. Orva is a writer and well-known blogger, and Jaela owns an architectural bureau. They have lived together for 20 years but could not legalise their relationship since Angolan law doesn’t recognise or allow same-sex marriages.

The couple travels a lot and likes to visit European countries, where their relationship neither surprises anyone nor causes uncomfortable or dangerous situations.

Being young, Orva and Jaela couldn’t afford relocation to another country, especially on a different continent. But as time passed, both became well-accomplished entrepreneurs and a family. They decided to start a new chapter of their lives in a more LGBT-friendly environment where they both would feel free and enjoy themselves.

During their European journeys, the women visited countries with investment programs. Portugal became their top destination for various reasons, from its vivid nature to the freedoms available to Portuguese citizens and residents.

Portugal is known for its tolerant attitude towards the LGBTQA+ community. They legalised same-sex marriages in 2010, and as of 2016, gay couples can adopt children. Therefore, Portuguese same-sex couples have the same rights regarding marriage laws, adoption, IVF, inheritance, and visa policies.

Considering their own experiences and legal and social environments, Orva and Jaela decided to get residence permits and relocate to Portugal.

Portugal Golden Visa for gays

According to the latest Spartacus Gay Travel Index, Portugal ranked 2nd among 202 states, being one of the world’s safest and queer-friendly countries to visit or live in

Registration of marriage in Europe

Orva and Jaela contacted Immigrant Invest in May 2021. During a consultation with a lawyer, they learnt that there were two options for them to participate in the Portugal Golden Visa Program:

  • apply as independent investors;

  • submit one application as a family.

Immigrant Invest lawyers suggested that the couple legalise their relationship in a country whose legislation allowed same-sex marriages. Thus, they could participate in the Portugal Golden Visa Program as a married couple, and the costs would be half as much.

At the moment, women planned a trip to Germany and decided to register their marriage there.

We helped organise the ceremony. To apply for marriage registration in Germany, Orva and Jaela got certificates of no impediment to marriage from an Angolan Registry Office. Immigrant Invest lawyers translated the certificates and attached them to copies of passports and birth certificates.

Foreigners must personally submit documents and apply for marriage registration; they can choose any registry office in Germany. Orva and Jaela went to Frankfurt as tourists and applied to the local Central Registry Office.

In the end, the couple received a marriage licence and could proceed with the Portugal Golden Visa Program.

Which investment option did the couple choose, and why?

Jaela was the main applicant for the Portugal Golden Visa. Before she signed a Services Agreement with Immigrant Invest, a certified Anti Money Laundering Officer conducted a preliminary Due Diligence check against international legal and business information bases.

The check took one day and showed that Jaela’s financial history was clean. She received income only from the architectural bureau; she had no debts or criminal records.

Jaela and Orva decided to buy shares in an investment fund to obtain Portugal residence permits. Firstly, they did not want to buy real estate in the country yet: under the program conditions, it would cost them at least €500,000. Purchasing fund shares saved them €150,000.

Investment conditions changed in 2022

In 2021, investors bought fund shares for €350,000. Since January 1st, 2022, the minimum amount has increased almost 1.5 times to €500,000.

Alina Mishurenko

Alina Mishurenko,

Editor-in-chief, content creator

The procedure for buying fund shares is entirely remote. The program participant comes to Portugal once the fingerprints are needed for their residence permit card.

Unlike buying real estate, investing in funds allows you to save on taxes and maintenance. In fact, an investor can transfer money to the fund and receive passive income from interest on the deposit for the next 5—10 years.

Choosing an investment fund and getting Portugal Golden Visas

Choosing fund. Participants can invest in funds that meet the following requirements of the Portugal Golden Visa Program:

  • registration with the Portuguese Securities Market Commission;

  • at least 60% of the fund’s capital is invested in Portuguese companies and real estate;

  • the maturity of shares is at least 5 years.

Jaela and Orva chose the Blue Crow investment fund. The fund invested in commercial real estate. The return on investment was 5% per annum; payments were made annually. Additionally, the fund would pay 10% of profits after closing in 2028.

Obtaining a tax number in Portugal. Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF) is an individual tax number. It is mandatory for anyone who wants to open a Portuguese bank account and make payments in the country.

The investor can get a number in person or through a tax representative: they get a power of attorney and visit the Portuguese tax office for the investor.

Jaela took advantage of this opportunity while the couple was in Germany: an Immigrant Invest attorney acted on the investor’s behalf and registered a NIF for her.

Opening a bank account in Portugal. Under the terms of the Portugal Golden Visa Program, all payments must be made from an account in a Portuguese bank.

Immigrant Invest lawyers helped Jaela open an account remotely by proxy through a Portuguese attorney. When the bank approved the account opening, Jaela transferred money to participate in the program.

Purchase of fund units. Before concluding an agreement with an investor, the fund conducted its own Due Diligence check. The fund representatives needed to be sure that the investor’s money was received legally.

The main documents that the investor provided to the fund were the following:

  • a tax declaration;

  • a bank statement from the investor’s account for the last three months;

  • a certified passport copy;

  • a NIF;

  • account details from a Portuguese bank.

Five days later, Jaela received a written confirmation that the fund had approved the investment. Jaela transferred the main amount of €350,000 and a commission of €5,250 to the fund’s account using the bank details.

Collecting documents and applying for residence permits. Immigrant Invest lawyers started preparing documents for Orva and Jaela at the same time as the fund was selected.

When the women registered their marriage in Germany, they sent a certificate to the lawyers. Based on it and an affidavit, Immigrant Invest lawyers applied for residence permits: Jaela and Orva were to receive them as spouses. The affidavit contained an explanation of why Angolan citizens married in Germany.

The main documents that the couple provided when applying for Portugal residence permits were the following:

  • copies of passports;

  • certificates of no criminal records;

  • a marriage certificate;

  • health insurance for the whole family;

  • a signature declaration from the investment fund;

  • a rental agreement and a certificate of registration in Portugal;

  • government questionnaires and forms.

To get a registration address in Portugal, Orva and Jaela rented an apartment in Lisbon: they liked the big capital city with a large queer community.

Top most friendly cities for gay couples in Portugal

  • Lisbon, especially neighbourhoods of Bairro Alto, Principe Real and Arroios

  • Porto

  • Lagos

  • Albufeira

  • Tavira

  • Portimão

The Portuguese Migration Service (SEF) processed Jaela’s application for the Golden Visa Program in two months. In the end, SEF emailed the approval to Immigrant Invest.

Submission of biometric data in Portugal. Immediately after the approval, Jaela and Orva went to Portugal to submit their fingerprints and photos for residence permit cards. Immigrant Invest lawyers accompanied the spouses from the airport to the SEF office.

Obtaining residence permit cards. Due to reorganisation and queues, application processing in SEF took 10.5 months. As soon as the approval came, Jaela paid the fee for residence permit cards — €5,340 per person.

15 months and €366,863 were spent by Orva and Jaela to obtain Portugal Golden Visas

1
May 27th, 2021

Orva and Jaela contacted Immigrant Invest

2
+ 1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence

3
+ 3 weeks

Choosing an investment fund and preparing documents

4
+ 2.5 weeks

Opening a bank account and getting a NIF in Portugal

5
+ 2 weeks

Signing an agreement with the fund and investing

€350,000 — an investment€5,250 — a fund commission

6
+ 1 month

Applying to SEF

€533 — an application fee

7
+ 2 months

Applying for residence permits and fingerprinting

€400 — health insurance

8
+ 10.5 months

Application processing

9
August 19th, 2022

Obtaining Portugal residence permit cards

€10,680 — a fee for two residence permit cards

Orva and Jaela’s life after obtaining Portugal Golden Visas

The couple solved their main tasks: they became EU residents together and moved to an LGBT-friendly country.

Becoming a family officially and registering their relationship became the cherry on top for them.

Couple’s opportunities before and after becoming Portuguese residents

Before

After

❌ Living only in Angola, a county without equal rights for same-sex couples

✅ Relocation to Portugal, a European country with equal rights for same-sex couples

❌ Visas are required for trips to the Schengen Area

✅ Visa-free stay in any Schengen country for up to 90 days out of 180

❌ Angolan passports with 50 visa-free destinations

✅ Prospect of Portugal citizenship in 5 years with 188 visa-free destinations

❌ Bank accounts in Angola

✅ Bank accounts in Portugal, an EU country

Orva and Jaela continued to work remotely from Portugal. Their travel plans started with the beaches of the Algarve and would continue with weekend trips to other EU countries.

Orva and Jaela

Orva and Jaela,

Family from Angola

Immigrant Invest’s lawyers not only helped us to obtain Portugal residence permits but also to level up our lives. We’re an official family now, living in a beautiful vibrant city, spending our weekends surfing and exploring vineyards. We couldn’t be happier. Thank you, Immigrant Invest!

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

This case was provided by our expert

Alina Mishurenko
Alina Mishurenko

Editor-in-chief, content creator

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