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How to add parents to Portugal residence permit program

We decided to move to Portugal to find inexpensive but quality healthcare. We earned a decent income in the US but still sometimes questioned taking our parents to a doctor when they needed it. It was always costly but not the fact that qualitatively. It is the other way round in Portugal: Dad just had surgery that cost us nothing.

Safety was another reason. In the US, many people have guns, and the crime rate is much higher than in Portugal. Here we finally can relax and not be afraid of being robbed.



An owner of a chain of jewelery stores

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

How to add parents to portugal residence permit program

This case was provided by our expert

Vladlena Baranova
Vladlena Baranova

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

How to add parents to Portugal residence permit program

A year ago, Michael and Charlotte received their Portuguese residence permits by investment in order to move there and open a chain of jewellery stores. Michael’s parents moved together with them. However, Charlotte’s parents could not be included in the application because of the age restriction in the Portuguese residence permit program. They received a residence permit a year later using the option that allowed them to be added to the original application.

Why Charlotte’s parents did not receive a residence permit immediately together with the main applicant

The Portuguese residence permit by investment allows including the spouse, children under 26 years old, and parents over 65 years old of the main applicant and their spouse. At the time, Michael’s parents Mia and William were 70 years old, while Charlotte’s father Henry was 65 years old and her mother was 64 years old. As a result, Michael’s parents were included in the application, but Charlotte’s parents were not.

The couple wanted to move to Portugal immediately after obtaining their residence permit in order to register their company, rent a building to use as their store and negotiate with suppliers. Therefore, they used the residence permits for themselves and Michael’s parents and moved to Portugal together. They settled down in their new country of residence and helped Michael’s elderly parents adjust to life in Portugal.

In order to arrange for Charlotte’s parents to migrate to Portugal, the couple used the option of adding family members to the application. after receiving their Portuguese residence permit by investment.

How the parents’ age affected obtaining a residence permit

Family members

Parents of the main applicant

Parents of the main applicant’s spouse


70 years

64 years old


70 years

65 years old

When the parents received their residence permit

Together with the main applicant

A year after the main applicant

Who can be added to a Portuguese residence permit program

Under the terms of the Portuguese residence permit program, any family member who meets the criteria of the program in terms of relationship and age can be added at a later date. This includes children under 26 and parents over 65. They can be added to the program at any time once the main applicant’s residence permit has been issued.

Charlotte and Michael used this procedure to add Charlotte’s parents a year after they received their Portuguese residence permit.

Terms for adding family members to the Portuguese residence permit

Family members



No special conditions

Children under 18 years old

Can be added at any time during the validity of the main applicant’s residence permit

Children 18 to 26 years old

Adult children must be financially dependent on the investor, registered at the same address, and must be enrolled as students at a university

Children older than 26 years old

Cannot be added

Parents aged 66 or older

Can be added

Parents up to 65 years old inclusive

Cannot be added

Why Portugal is suitable for senior citizens

Health insurance is a must for anyone who wants to move to another country. Older people often have chronic illnesses, so getting health insurance can be difficult. For example, in Austria, it is problematic for a foreigner suffering from chronic diseases to obtain medical insurance for a residence permit.

Foreign applicants for Portuguese resident permits can be issued medical insurance policies regardless of whether they have chronic diseases, as one of the goals of Portugal’s migration policy is to attract as many wealthy people as possible from abroad. They are offered quality treatment at low prices within the framework of the country’s basic health insurance program. Only applicants with life-threatening or terminal illnesses cannot get health insurance.

How to get medical insurance for your parents in Portugal:

  1. Contact any medical insurance company in Portugal. They can be found not only in cities but also in towns and villages.

  2. The insurer gives you instructions and refers you to a therapist.

  3. The therapist notes your medical history and gives their opinion.

  4. The parents of the applicant (or the applicant) return to the insurance company, choose a tariff and draw up the medical policy.

A family insurance policy is popular medical insurance. It costs approximately €120 per month with an additional payment of €120 per quarter. The standard package includes services at Portuguese CUF hospitals that operate throughout the country.

Lyle Julien

Lyle Julien,

Investment programs expert

The quality of medicine does not depend on the price of insurance, as all CUF clinics offer a high level of service and use quality equipment. The cost of insurance depends on special options such as emergency evacuation or dentistry. As elsewhere, prosthetics are not included in the insurance policy, they are paid for separately.

Portugal provides quality medical care for all age groups. Many specialized medical centers and nursing homes have been opened and there is an efficient state network of hospitals in operation. Combined with the Mediterranean climate and excellent ecology, this explains why the average life expectancy in Portugal is 78 years.

How parents can be added to the residence permit program

Family members can be added to the main applicant’s Portuguese residence permit only after they have taken out a valid medical insurance policy, proved their kinship to the main applicant or their spouse, proved their permanent source of income abroad, and passed the Due Diligence check.

Documents required for Charlotte’s parents in order to be added to the Portuguese residence permit program. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers helped them collect and prepare these documents:

  1. Certificate from the Pension Fund, confirming the receipt of a pension in the USA.

  2. Birth certificate of a son or daughter, which indicates that the person being added to the program is a parent of the main applicant or their spouse. The certificate must be translated into Portuguese, but it is not necessary to notarize it.

  3. Certificate of no criminal record.

  4. Medical insurance.

Once these documents had been collected, Charlotte and her parents contacted SEF, the Portuguese Foreigners and Borders Service. Evelyn and Henry received certificates of approval of their residence permit cards containing their personal data and photographs. They started living in Portugal based on these certificates. The residence permit cards were sent to Charlotte’s parents by mail after three-and-a-half weeks.

Living together as a family in Portugal

Michael has opened five jewelry stores in Portugal and is actively engaged in business. Sometimes he flies on business trips to the USA.

Moving to Portugal helped Michael reduce the tax burden as he obtained a special tax status of a Non-Habitual Resident for ten years. He is exempt from paying taxes on global income, while his income earned in Portugal is taxed at 20%. When the investor was a US tax resident, he had to pay income tax at 35%.

Charlotte is developing design projects for clients all over Europe: she also often travels on business. She meets international architects and colleagues, travels to exhibitions and is expanding her portfolio.

A residence permit in Portugal to open a business, e.g. a jewelry store

Michael’s first jewelry store in Portugal

Charlotte’s parents, Henry and Evelyn, also live in the villa with their daughter, but they often travel to other countries in Europe. They have already spent a month in France and Spain and plan to visit Switzerland, Germany and Italy.

The couple and their parents live in the town of Oeiras near the ocean. Michael’s parents, Mia and William, often walk along the coast in the mo ing, read books and relax in the afternoon, and invite guests for dinner in the evening.

The family tries to get together for dinner to discuss what they have done during the day and share their plans. Although they miss America, they do not want to return: Portugal has a warm climate and high-quality medicine. They often invite relatives and friends to visit.

A villa in Portugal to live in after obtaining a residence permit by investment

The family’s villa in Oeiras is worth €600,000. The villa has four bedrooms and three bathrooms

Plans for the future

Charlotte, Michael and his parents have been living in Portugal for two years, while Charlotte’s parents have been there for slightly less than a year. Now the family plans to obtain citizenship. It will not be difficult, because participants of the Portuguese residence permit by investment program only need to pass the language proficiency exam at the basic A2 level.

Conditions that must be met by the main applicant and their family members in order to obtain Portuguese citizenship:

  1. Fulfill the conditions of the state program for investors.

  2. They must have held a Portuguese residence permit for 5 years.

  3. Be over 18 years of age.

  4. Have no criminal record.

  5. Not pose a threat to national security.

Immigrant Invest’s lawyers will help the family to prepare documents and apply for Portuguese citizenship.

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

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