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Case Studies 2021

How an investor got a Portugal residence permit during a pandemic

I want to make sure that my children have the freedom to choose where to study, live and work. I want to give them everything that I can. I did not have the opportunity to get a European education or freely travel when I was young. I began to travel around the world only after forty.

Portugal Golden Visa by investment in real estate
Farid, 52 years old
An investor from Algeria
The name and photo of the client have been changed
Portugal Golden Visa for family from Algeria

Farid’s eldest daughter Imane studied in the UK and planned to work in Europe. Younger children Hakim and Gazala were preparing to enter European universities. Farid remembered how hard it was for Imane to get a residence permit in the UK when she applied to enter the university there. He didn’t want his younger children to face the same difficulties when they entered university.

Farid decided to obtain second citizenship in the EU. An EU passport holder can study, live and work in any EU country without getting additional permissions.

Find out about the solution Immigrant Invest proposed to Farid’s family and the legal support provided at each stage. 

Choosing an investment program

Farid contacted Immigrant Invest in April 2021. Before recommending a program, lawyers conducted a preliminary Due Diligence check against international databases containing legal, tax and business information. They wanted to see if they could spot any negative or compromising information on the Internet.

Our preliminary Due Diligence check showed that the risk of Farid’s application being rejected was minimal. Farid’s financial sources were legal and transparent.

Evgeniya Morozova, Head of the Legal Department in Immigrant Invest
Evgeniya Morozova
The head of the Legal Department at Immigrant Invest

Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment requires expenses of at least 1 mln euros for a family of five. The path did not suit Farid as he had capped his budget at  €600,000.

Austria, Spain and Greece allow residents to apply for citizenship after 7—12 years of living in the country. Farid's family did not want to change their place of residence and move to another country. As a result, the investment programs offered by these three countries also did not suit them.

However, the Portugal Golden Visa Program allows new residents to apply for citizenship without residing permanently. After investing, the Golden Visa holder must spend only 7 days a year in Portugal. After five years, they can qualify for citizenship.

Portugal residence permit

Portugal golden visa is obtained by investing at least €250,000 and allows its holders to get tax benefits, travel in the Schengen visa-free, and claim EU citizenship. Investors are not required to live in Portugal to maintain the status: as long as they spend seven days a year in the country, their residence permit remains valid

Portugal residence permit

New tax Portuguese residents do not pay tax on global income if they apply for the status of a Non-Habitual Resident. To become a Portuguese tax residence, the investor needs to live in Portugal for 183 days a year. It will require a residence permit

Portugal residence permit

Investors can apply for permanent residence or Portuguese citizenship after five years as a resident. Portuguese citizens can choose to live in any EU country for life and travel visa-free to 187 countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia

One way of obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa is to buy real estate for €500,000. The investor can choose the property themselves. The option suited Farid as he considered purchasing a house in the European Union.

Portugal Golden Visa holders can travel across the Schengen countries freely. Furthermore, the Portuguese passport allows travelling to more than 180 countries visa-free, including the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the UK. 

Farid decided to apply for a Portugal Golden Visa. The requirements and benefits suited the family’s goals perfectly.

Portugal citizenship by naturalisation with a Golden Visa

Purchase real estate for €500,000
The investment can be returned in 5 years
Get a Portugal Golden Visa
The visa allows the holder to travel within the Schengen area freely
Maintain residency for 5 years
Golden Visa holders must spend only 7 days a year in Portugal to stay residents
Obtain Portugal citizenship
The passport allows citizens to travel to more than 180 countries visa-free

Stages of getting a Portugal Golden Visa by investing in real estate

1. Selecting and buying a property. Natalya Oganesyan, the Real Estate Chief Operations Officer at Immigrant Invest, selected five suitable properties for Farid. The investor had dreamed of owning a small villa on the coast, with three bedrooms, a small garden, a barbecue area and parking for three cars.

We selected properties in the Central and Lisbon regions, as well as in the Alentejo. The property prices varied: the farther away from Lisbon, the cheaper the property.

We worked with Farid in 2021, so he could buy a residential property in any city or region to qualify for the Golden Visa. Since 2022, the rules under the Portugal Golden Visa Program have changed. Now investors can buy residential properties only in internal regions, Madeira or the Azores. Commercial properties are still available for purchase across the country without location restrictions.

Natalia Oganesyan
The Real Estate Chief Operations Officer at Immigrant Invest

Farid chose a new villa on the Portuguese coast worth €500,000. The estate could be bought from the developer immediately. 

The Immigrant Invest lawyers calculated the total amount of expenses for the family. The calculation included the price of the villa, taxes and fees.

€565,715 — the cost of Portugal Golden Visas for a family of five

Property price
Residence permit and citizenship by investment
Property tax
Fee for residence permit cards
Stamp duty
Portuguese medical insurance
Residence permit and citizenship by investment
Application fee

Farid wanted to see the villa before buying it. Immigrant Invest's lawyers helped them get business visas to visit Portugal for two days.

The investor presented the following documents to enter Portugal:

  • a negative PCR test result, which had been taken less than 72 hours before arrival to Portugal;
  • an invitation from the Immigrant Invest Portuguese office;
  • a business visa.

Farid examined the villa. He liked it and said he was ready to buy it. 

Farid opened a bank account in Portugal and received an individual taxpayer number in the Portuguese tax office to purchase the villa. He was required to be present and sign the form in person. 

Oksana Milczarek, the head of the Immigrant Invest office in Portugal, resolved all legal issues. He checked the real estate sale and purchase agreement and the legal validity of the property deed, and he carried out negotiations with the seller on Farid’s behalf.

After signing the sale and purchase agreement, the investor transferred the money from his Algerian account to the developer's escrow account. For currency control purposes, Farid provided a scan of the purchase agreement.

A two-storey villa, similar to the one that Farid has bought. The villa is a part of a family resort on the Portuguese coast. The price is €920,000

Portugal Golden Visa by investment in real estate

The villa has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a large balcony

Portugal Golden Visa by investment in real estate

The resort’s territory has public swimming pools and children’s playgrounds

2. Collecting and submitting documents. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers prepared all the documents required for the application. The process took two weeks. The lawyers uploaded the documents onto the Portuguese Migration Service portal.

The Migration Service carried out a Due Diligence check, which took a month-and-a-half to complete. After that, the Migration Service sent the approval to Immigrant Invest by email. 

3. Fingerprinting in Portugal. The lawyers made Farid and his family appointments to submit their biometrics for residence permit cards. The appointments were on different days.  

First, Farid flew to Portugal alone. The earliest convenient date was at the Migration Office in Coimbra. Farid entered Portugal with a Greek Schengen visa.

Farid’s eldest daughter Imane flew to Portugal from the UK. She took a day off from university, about a week after her father. Imane’s student visa and vaccination certificate allowed her to enter Portugal freely.

Farid’s wife and two younger children flew to Portugal with Schengen visas three weeks later.  They took PCR tests the day before their departure.

Immigrant Invest’s lawyers accompanied all the family members at every stage: from the airport to the Migration Service offices and back. After the family submitted their fingerprints, Immigrant Invest's lawyers sent their original passports to the Portuguese Migration Service.

4. Getting residence permit cards. The Portuguese Migration Service checked the family's original documents and fingerprints for four months. After the approval, Farid paid the fee for the residence permit cards.

The Portuguese Migration Service handed the residence permit cards to Immigrant Invest’s lawyers. Immediately after receiving the cards, the lawyers sent them to Farid and his family.

Stages of participation in the Portugal Golden Visa Program

April 25th, 2021
Farid contacted Immigrant Invest
+ 1 day
Preliminary Due Diligence
At Immigrant Invest
+ 2 weeks
Preparation and applying
Choosing real estate, collection of documents, application submission
+ 2 days
Travel to Portugal
To examine real estate
+ 3 weeks
Purchasing real estate
Registration of the sale and purchase agreement and money transfer to Portugal
+ 1.5 months
Applying for Golden Visas
To the Portuguese Migration Service
+ 1 month
All family members submitted fingerprints in Portugal under pre-booked appointments
+ 4 months
Processing of the application for residence cards
By the Portuguese Migration Service
November 13th, 2021
Farid received residence permit cards

Results of cooperation

On November 13th, the family received the Portuguese residence permit cards. Farid made plans to celebrate the New Year with the whole family in their new villa in Portugal.

Immigrant Invest’s lawyers continued assisting Farid after the family received their resident permits. The lawyers advised the investor on extending the residence permits and the steps to Portugal citizenship for the whole family.

In 5 years, Hakim and Gazala will be students at European universities, while Imane will have graduated and stayed in the EU. Each member of the family will be an EU citizen.

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

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Let’s discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Evgeniya Morozova, head of the Legal
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