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Residence permit in Portugal with savings of 20% for the purchase of commercial real estate

I want to show my children the world and I want them to get a European education. Earlier it seemed to me that these are unattainable dreams. But my business taught me not to give up but look for opportunities.


Kayin, 38 years old

Businessman from Nigeria

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Portugal residence permit by investment in commercial real estate for an investor from Nigeria

Residence permit in Portugal with savings of 20% for the purchase of commercial real estate

Kayin received a residence permit in Portugal by investment for the whole family including his daughter, who was born after the investor’s application was approved.

We will tell you how the investor saved €70,000 and why he bought a share in the hotel, and not the whole property.

Why did the investor choose a residence permit in Portugal

Kayin decided to obtain a residence permit in an EU country in order to travel freely around the region, without visas and restrictions due to the pandemic. He also hoped that the children would receive a European education and, if they wanted, would stay in Europe.

On February 12th, 2021, Kayin turned to Immigrant Invest for advice. The choice of the investment program depended on three criteria:

  1. The residence permit will give the right to visa-free travel to the EU countries and the Schengen area.

  2. In the future, the family will receive citizenship without moving to another country.

  3. Expenses for obtaining a residence permit for the whole family must count up to €350,000.

Visa-free entry to the European Union and Schengen. A residence permit card or permanent residence card of an EU state replaces a Schengen visa. The cardholder has the right to come to the country of residence at any time, even if its borders are closed to tourists. In other states of the European Union and Schengen, on a residence permit or permanent residence card, it is allowed to stay for up to 90 days in half a year.

It is possible to obtain a residence permit in the European Union by investments under the program of Portugal, Greece, Malta and Spain. Malta also issues permanent residence for contributions to the country’s economy.

Citizenship after a residence permit by investment is obtained by naturalization. In Greece, Spain and Malta, an investor can apply for citizenship only if he has lived in the country for several years. At the same time, it is allowed to spend no more than 10 months outside the country five years before applying for citizenship.

Portugal does not require the investor to move and reside permanently. It is enough to spend seven days a year in the country. All relatives of the investor who participated with him in the residence permit program will also be able to obtain citizenship.

7 days a year

Investors spend in Portugal to maintain a residence permit and apply for citizenship

The minimum investment amount under the residence permit program in Portugal is €250,000. The investor also pays fees for filing and issuing residence permit cards, health insurance and taxes when buying real estate. Additional expenses for a family of four are about €25,000.

The Portuguese residence permit program is the only one that solved the investor’s tasks. Kayin also liked the country itself. He vacationed with his family in Portugal several times and praised the climate, infrastructure and friendliness of the locals. It only remained to choose an investment object that fit the terms of the program.

Residence permit in Portugal

Portugal is famous for its golden sandy beaches, dense forests, hidden coves and monumental castles. The climate in Portugal is enjoyable, with an average of more than 300 sunny days a year

How to choose an investment option and save €70,000 on buying real estate

Portugal offers investors eight investment options: from buying real estate to funding scientific research. In some cases, the investor can return the money invested in five years, for example, if he closes a bank deposit or sells the property.

89% of investors chose to buy real estate in 2020. It is allowed to purchase commercial and residential properties in whole or shares in projects.

89% of investors

Choose to buy real estate

An investor can invest 20% less if he buys a property in a region with a low population density which is less than 100 people per square kilometer. The right to a reduced investment amount is secured by the Regulatory Decree of 11.09.2018 No. 9/2018.

The minimum cost of real estate under the residence permit program in Portugal

Object type

In regions with low population density

In other regions

Real estate over 30 years old for restoration



New or secondary property under 30 years



Kayin decided to buy a share in the real estate project. This option is tantamount to buying a physical object. When choosing a project for restoration in a region with a low population density, he will invest 20% less and save €70,000 on participation in the program. In five years, he will be able to sell the stake and return the money invested.

Why Kayin chose to buy a share in a commercial real estate project, not a physical object

You do not need to travel to Portugal to select an object. At the time of contacting Immigrant Invest, Kayin’s wife was pregnant, and the investor did not want to leave her at home alone.

No expenses for property maintenance. Property owners pay utility bills and an annual municipal tax at a rate of up to 0,8% of the value of the property. If you rent out real estate, then there is no guarantee that the income will cover the maintenance costs. In this case, you will have to pay tax on rental income on a progressive scale of 14,5%.

You do not need to renovate the object yourself. If an investor buys a property for restoration, he undertakes to restore the object on his own. Repair costs may exceed the investment cost of the program. When buying a share in a project, the repair costs are included in the transaction amount. The management company is engaged in the repair itself.

Most often, investors buy shares in hotel complexes in Portugal. In this case, the management company is engaged in the maintenance and repair of real estate, and the investor receives income from the lease of the object.

Immigrant Invest real estate experts offered Kayin to acquire a share in a hotel reconstruction project in the south of Portugal, in a region with a low population density.


Boutique hotel in a historic building in Borba

An example of commercial real estate suitable for purchase under the residence permit program in Portugal.

The project involves the reconstruction of a monastery of the beginning of the 17th century. As a result, a four-star hotel with a restaurant, bar, spa, outdoor pool and vineyards will open on site.

  • €280,000 cost of the share

  • 4% per annum guaranteed profitability

  • 7 days a year free holidays for shareholders

How to obtain a residence permit in Portugal: a step-by-step procedure

1. Registration of a taxpayer number. The Portuguese analogue of the TIN is mandatory for investors. Without a tax number in Portugal, you can not make major transactions such as investing and buying real estate.

You can get a taxpayer number remotely. For this, the lawyers of Immigrant Invest selected a tax representative in Portugal, who acted on behalf of the investor by power of attorney.

To register as a Portuguese taxpayer, Kayin submitted to the tax representative:

  • An application for registration as a taxpayer;

  • a copy of the passport;

  • a copy of the TIN registration certificate in Nigeria;

  • confirmation of the investor’s income.

The Portuguese tax service entered Kayin into the register of taxpayers two weeks after the appeal.

2. A Portuguese bank account is needed to buy real estate and make payments under the program. On the recommendation of lawyers from Immigrant Invest, Kayin remotely opened an account with Novo Banco and transferred €350,000 to it.

3. The purchase of a share in the real estate project was accompanied by the lawyers of Immigrant Invest: they contacted the developer, checked the sale and purchase agreement and received an ownership certificate of transfer.

Kayin also paid taxes: 6,5% of the value of the share for the transfer of ownership and 0,8% — stamp duty.

€300,440 — the investor’s expenses for the purchase of commercial real estate in Portugal

  • €280,000 — share in the restoration project

  • €18,200 — tax on the transfer of ownership

  • €2,240 — stamp duty

4. To apply for a residence permit by investment, lawyers prepared a package of documents. It included:

  • copies of the applicants' passports;

  • police clearance certificates for Kayin and his wife;

  • the history of the investor’s welfare with confirmation of the legality of the sources of income;

  • marriage certificate;

  • birth certificates of children;

  • medical insurance;

  • sale and purchase agreement for a share in a real estate project;

  • transfer certificate of ownership of the share;

  • government questionnaires and forms.

Applicants also provide the address of registration in Portugal, which is entered on the residence permit card. Kayin did not plan to buy housing in the country, so the lawyers indicated the address of the tax representative in his application.

For filing an application, the investor paid a fee of €882 for a family of four: €533 for the main applicant, €83 for a spouse and €133 for each of two children.

On April 22nd, 2021, lawyers submitted Kayin‘s application to the Portuguese Migration Service. Four and a half months later, the answer came back: the investor’s candidacy was approved for obtaining a residence permit.

For 4.5 months

The Portuguese migration service considered the investor’s application

How to get a residence permit for a newborn

On June 7th, 2021, the Portuguese migration service approved Kayin’s application, and on September 9th, his third child Dera was born. According to the rules of the program, Kayin could add a minor child to his application at any time, even after the approval of the application.

In order for Kayin‘s newborn daughter to also receive a residence permit in Portugal, the lawyers submitted another application to the migration service. The child’s birth certificate was attached to it. The application fee for joining was €533.


Fee for joining a newborn after the investor’s application was approved

The answer came a week later: the Portuguese migration service allowed the child to join the program and issue the girl with a residence permit card.

How to submit biometrics in Portugal during a pandemic

When an investor receives approval from the immigration office, he can sign up for submission of biometrics. The procedure is obligatory: fingerprints are entered into the biometric card of the residence permit.

It is possible to submit fingerprints for residence permit cards only in Portugal with a personal visit to the migration service office. All applicants, including newborn children, must attend.

In the offices of the migration service in Lisbon and Porto, there were no free windows for submitting biometrics for the next month. Lawyers signed up Kayin and his family to take biometrics at the regional office in Evora.

The family had valid Schengen visas, but they needed a good reason to travel to Portugal. Visiting the migration service is considered a good enough reason to visit the country.

Kayin and his wife have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Therefore, the whole family did PCR tests 72 hours before departure to Portugal.

Before flying to Portugal, the airline sent Kayin a list of required documents. When registering for the flight and passing the Portuguese border, Kayin presented:

  • checking confirmation of the appointment for the collection of fingerprints;

  • approval of the migration service for obtaining a residence permit;

  • negative results of PCR tests for coronavirus;

  • Schengen visas.

On September 15th, 2021, the family flew to Portugal. An attorney of the Immigrant Invest Portuguese office escorted them to the migration office in Evora. At the appointed time, the family submitted their fingerprints and on the same day flew home to Nigeria.

The result of cooperation

On October 1st, 2021, Kayin received residence permit cards by mail: they were sent from Portugal by a tax representative. Participation in the residence permit by investment program took eight months from the date of contacting Immigrant Invest.

Kayin spent €330,555 to participate in the program, including taxes and fees. He did not go beyond the allocated budget of €350,000 and received residence permit cards for the whole family of five.

  • €280 000 — purchase of a share in a real estate project

  • €18,200 — tax on transfer of ownership

  • €2,240 — stamp duty on the purchase of real estate

  • €882 — fee for applying for a residence permit

  • €533 — fee for adding a newborn

  • €26,700 — fee for residence permit cards issuance

  • €2,000 — medical insurance

European future of the family with Portuguese residence permit cards

The family will go on their first trip with Portuguese residence permit cards in winter, when the children start school holidays. Together they will spend a week in Budapest.

In the spring of 2022, the couple will travel to Germany to choose a school for their children. Kayin wants to visit several educational institutions to compare the conditions of study and living.

Landheim Schondorf boarding school is one of the options that the couple will consider for their children. The cost is €36,660 per year

The family plans to spend the summer in Portugal, on the Atlantic coast. And in five years, Kayin expects to sell investment property and buy a small house for his family in the south of the country.

About all the opportunities that opened up for the investor’s family, we talked in the article “What a residence permit in Portugal gives to a cosmopolitan”.

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

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Vladlena Baranova
Vladlena Baranova

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

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