Case Studies

Portugal Golden Visa to Move to the EU: a Happy Retirement in Portugal

My wife and I had long dreamed of moving to a quiet and peaceful European country with a high standard of living. A country where we could rest and receive visits from our grandson whom we adore so much and want to devote all our remaining strength to his upbringing.

Portugal Golden Visa to Move to the EU
Sergey, 59
An owner of a steel company
Clients' names and photos have been changed
Portugal Golden Visa to Move to the EU

Why did the investor decide to move to the EU

Sergey and Irina are a married couple from Minsk. In 2021, they decided to move to an EU country with a high level of medicine to retire and rest there.

The second reason the couple wanted to move to the EU was their grandson, Artyom. Artyom’s parents are always on business trips. So, the boy is often left in the care of a nanny in Vienna — Sergey and Irina’s daughter, her husband, and their son Artyom are citizens of Austria. That is why the grandparents want to devote their time to Artyom’s upbringing and create the best opportunities for him.

That is why Sergey and Irina decided to get a residence permit or citizenship in the EU.

Contacting licensed agent: why Immigrant Invest

Sergey turned to several companies that helped obtain European residence permits. Ultimately, he chose Immigrant Invest because he liked that the company conducts preliminary Due Diligence. He learned about it on the Internet.

Due Diligence is the key stage in residence permits and citizenship by investment programs. If an investor passes it, they obtain citizenship or a residence permit. If an investor is refused, the way to other investment programs can be closed.

That is why Immigrant Invest conducts its Due Diligence. Preliminary Due Diligence helps eliminate possible risks and identify a list of suitable programs for an investor. We carry out preliminary Due Diligence before signing a contract with an investor within one workday.

Suppose the lawyers find points in the investor’s background that could result in their application rejection. In that case, Immigrant Invest experts offer a suitable alternative solution or decline to proceed with the application after explaining the situation to the client concerned.

Evgeniya Morozova Expert Immigrant Invest
Evgeniya Morozova
Head of the Legal Department, lawyer, PhD in Law

Also, Sergey liked that Immigrant Invest has been checked and accredited by the EU’s citizenship and residence permit programs. The licences confirm it.

Sergey left a request for a meeting with Immigrant Invest lawyers and discussed his issue with them. Afterwards, the lawyers asked the investor to provide his passport to conduct a preliminary check.

Immigrant Invest lawyers found no issues preventing Sergey and his family from participating in a program: they have no criminal record or visa denials and no tax debts. They have a legal source of income for the investment contribution under a program. The Immigrant Invest team was 99% confident that any citizenship program would approve Sergey’s application.

Choosing an investment program

Sergey’s main goal was to move to the EU with his wife and get a residence permit for their grandson. The investor’s budget was €600,000. Immigrant Invest lawyers have selected appropriate residence permit programs for the investor.

€600,000
Was Sergey’s budget

An investor can obtain EU citizenship or residence permit by participating in the programs such as  Portugal residence permit, Malta Permanent Residence Programme, Cyprus permanent residence, and Malta citizenship.

Programs the investor chose from

Programs and statusesMinimal investment amount
Portugal residence permit€250,000
Malta permanent residence€150,000
Cyprus permanent residence€300,000
Malta Citizenship€690,000

Sergey chose Portugal Golden Visa because he liked that he could get a special Non-habitual Resident (NHR) status in Portugal for ten years. An NHR doesn’t pay taxes on global income in Portugal, and the tax rate for the income earned in Portugal is reduced to 20%. The income tax rate in Portugal can be as high as 48% without the NHR status.

The investor and his wife also liked that Portugal has a warm climate with approximately 300 sunny days per year. Moreover, Portugal is one of the most environmentally friendly countries and is famous for 372 ecologically clean beaches marked with a blue flag. The country also has high-quality medicine and education.

If Sergey wants, he can apply for permanent residence or citizenship after five years as a resident. At the same time, the investor doesn’t have to live in the country. It is enough to meet the program terms and renew their residence permits to maintain the status. 

Portuguese citizens can choose to live in any EU country and travel to 187 countries visa-free, including the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Living in Portugal with Portugal Golden Visa

Douro river valley, Portugal. Living in Portugal is excellent for ex-pats. Portugal is a safe country with a good climate and ecology. The locals are friendly, law-abiding, and always ready to help. The country has a high level of education, medicine, and business activity

Get an EU residence permit by investing in real estate in Portugal

Porto, the second largest city in the country. Buying a property in Portugal is a profitable investment and an opportunity to ensure a “back up plan” in a peaceful EU country. The average price per square metre in Portugal is €2,950. Investors buy real estate for at least €280,000 if they want to get a Portugal Golden Visa

Higher education in Portugal with Portugal Golden Visa

University of Coimbra in Portugal. Higher education in Portugal is free for EU citizens. However, Portugal Golden Visa holders are also eligible to enrol at a European university. Education in Portugal adheres to the standards of the European Bologna system: some curriculums are developed in conjunction with UK universities, with graduates receiving a dual degree

What makes Portugal Golden Visa so attractive: the program terms

Portugal allows investors to get a residence permit in 4—8 months. After five years of maintaining the status, investors can apply for permanent residence or citizenship in Portugal.

Applicants for a Portugal residence permit, also known as Portugal Golden Visa, pass Due Diligence and fulfil one of the seven investment conditions.

Investment options for Portugal Golden Visa

  1. From €250,000 — supporting arts and restoring cultural heritage.
  2. From €280,000 — purchase of real estate.
  3. From €500,000 — purchase of investment fund units.
  4. From €500,000 — investments in research activities.
  5. From €500,000 — business investments with the creation of at least 5 jobs.
  6. From €1,500,000 — capital transfer.
  7. Opening a company with the creation of at least 10 jobs.

Investors who choose to buy real estate or investment fund units can return the money in 5 years by selling the asset.

Under any of the seven options for Portugal Golden Visa, investors can add in their application their family:

  • a spouse;
  • children under 26: financially dependent on the investor and living with an investor or studying at a university;
  • parents: financially dependent on the investor;
  • siblings under 26 who are in the investor’s custody.

Applicants for a Portugal residence permit do not need to take exams on the country’s language or history and live in the country permanently. To maintain the status, Portugal Golden Visa holders are to spend seven days a year in Portugal.

7 days a year
Is mandatory residing in Portugal to maintain a residence permit

With Portugal's Golden Visa, investors acquire benefits such as visa-free travelling to the Schengen Area and the right to spend in these countries for up to 90 days out of 180.

Portugal Golden Visa holders can enter Portugal anytime, even when the country’s borders are closed. Residents can stay in the country without time limits. At the same time, living in Portugal is a right, not an obligation.

Sergey chose a purchase real estate option for several reasons:

  • the investor had more experience with real estate investment than with other investment options;
  • the investor needed accommodation to live there when he and his wife moved there;
  • the investor liked that he could return the money by selling the asset in five years.

Buying a residential property is the most popular option of the Portugal Golden Visa Program: it is chosen by 90% of investors. Investors pass through six stages to get a Portugal residence permit by investment in real estate. 

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

1
Registration of a taxpayer number in Portugal
2
Opening an account in a Portuguese bank
3
Purchase of a share in a real estate project
4
Submitting an application for a residence permit by investment
5
Submitting biometrics in Portugal
6
Obtaining residence permit cards

First step: the investor obtains a Portuguese tax number 

The tax number Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF) is needed to make payments in Portugal. Investors can get a tax number in Portugal remotely by power of attorney.

In most countries, investors can become a taxpayer only if they live in the country for more than 183 days a year. Portugal allows investors to get a tax number without living in the country. But in this case, investors need to have a tax representative in Portugal, such as a lawyer or law firm.

The tax representative takes responsibility for dealing with the Portuguese tax authorities. They receive official letters and notifications from the tax office and ensure that the investor pays taxes on time.

Immigrant Invest lawyers work directly with a Portuguese company whose lawyers become tax representatives of our clients. At the same time, the client does not need to pay for the representation service additionally: it is included in the accompaniment services for a participant in the residence permit program in Portugal.

Evgeniya Morozova Expert Immigrant Invest
Evgeniya Morozova
Head of the Legal Department, lawyer, PhD in Law

Immigrant Invest lawyer Victor Esik from the Portuguese office filled out an application to get a tax number for Sergey. He also attached the investor's documents to the application:

  • a completed application for registration of a taxpayer number;
  • a copy of the internal passport;
  • a copy of the passport;
  • a taxpayer identification number in an origin country;
  • bank statement to confirm the legality of income.

The Portuguese Tax Authority approved Sergey’s application in two weeks. The investor has entered into the register of taxpayers, got a certificate with a unique nine-digit number, and a personal account on Portugal’s tax service website.

2 weeks
To get the number of the Portuguese taxpayer

Second step: the investor opens a bank account in Portugal

The program requires all payments to be made from a Portuguese bank account. To open an account, the investor had to personally visit a bank in Portugal.

Immigrant Invest lawyers helped Sergey choose a bank in Portugal where he could open an account. Sergey went to Portugal and visited a bank in Lisbon, accompanied by the lawyer Victor Esik.

To open an account, the lawyer provided the bank with Sergey’s passport details, income information and a Portuguese tax number, and the details of the investor’s tax representative in Portugal. The bank conducted its Due Diligence. 

If Sergey had a criminal record, was on sanctions lists, or was a tax evader, he would have been denied opening an account. But there were no problems and law violations in the investor’s biography, so his application was approved within an hour.

Evgeniya Morozova Expert Immigrant Invest
Evgeniya Morozova
Head of the Legal Department, lawyer, PhD in Law

After passing through a bank check, Sergey gave his fingerprints and issued a card with a sample signature. The bank opened an account for the investor.

Third step: buying real estate in Portugal

Sergey and Irina wanted to live in a spacious apartment with a large plot and a swimming pool. Immigrant Invest real estate experts have selected several suitable options for the couple. The couple discussed the proposed apartments, chose two properties, and visited Portugal to inspect them personally.

We recommend setting aside three days to select an apartment in Portugal. The investor is looking at options with a realtor and an Immigrant Invest lawyer. When the investor has made a choice, the realtor provides a lease agreement, and the investor signs it. We check the legal purity of the object and the terms of the contract before viewing the objects.

Natalia Oganesyan - Immigrant Invest
Natalia Oganesyan
Real Estate Chief Operations Officer, RICS certified professional

The investor and his wife chose a three-bedroom apartment 5-minute walk from the ocean. The apartment complex is distinguished by the presence of recreation areas, which include two swimming pools, a solarium, a large garden, and underground parking.

The complex is located in a residential area, close to primary and secondary schools, hospitals, and stadiums, as well as several shops, pharmacies, grocery stores, and with access to the city centre and highway.

Sergey transferred an amount equal to the property’s value and the program’s additional costs to his Portuguese bank account. The amount was reserved by the bank and transferred to the developer after signing the purchase and sale agreement.

Our lawyers checked the legal purity of the transaction. We received an extract from the register on the transfer of ownership of the apartment complex and included it in the package of documents for participation in the program.

The amount was credited to Sergey’s account within 24 hours. When the bank confirmed the transfer, the lawyer received an extract from the bank. It is needed to verify the fulfilment of the investment conditions under the Portugal residence permit program.

€546,546 — total expenses for obtaining a residence permit in Portugal for a family of three

€500,000
Purchasing new apartments
€30,000
Transfer tax
€4,000
Stamp duty
€800
Medical insurance
€1,066
Application fee
€10,680
Residence permit card issuing

Last step: applying for a Portuguese residence permit 

Documents collection for applying for a Portugal residence permit. The lawyers have prepared documents for applying Sergey to the migration service. The list of documents included:

  • a foreign passport;
  • medical insurance;
  • marriage certificate;
  • certificate of a criminal record's absence from the country of residence or the country where the applicant has lived for more than a year; or a certificate from a Portuguese diplomatic mission or consular office. It must be issued no later than three months before the submission of all legally required documentation and translated into Portuguese;
  • NIF;
  • application for permission to consult the Portuguese criminal records file to authorise the SEF to check the applicant in the criminal records file;
  • a sworn statement in which the applicant declares that all minimum quantitative and time requirements (five years) for investment activities in the national territory have been met;
  • evidence of proper tax filing by submitting a no-debt return issued up to 45 days in advance by the Tax and Customs Authority and the Social Security, or if this is not possible, a no-record return from these entities;
  • receipt of payment of the application fee;
  • certificate of ownership transfer on real estate;
  • government questionnaires and forms.

Submitting an application and biometrics at the Migration Service of Portugal. On 9 April 2021, the lawyers filed the investor’s application and got access to the electronic queue for fingerprinting. Fingerprints are needed for the production of biometric residence permit cards.

On the appointed day, Sergei and Irina flew to Portugal. They gave their biometrics at the migration office and returned home to await a decision.

Obtaining residence permit cards. Five months later, the lawyers received a notification from the Immigration and Borders Service of Portugal: Sergei's application was approved.

The investor paid a fee for the production of residence permit cards — €5,340 for each family member. Sergei received the residence permit card by mail on 23 September 2021, eight months after applying to Immigrant Invest.

8 months to get a Portugal residence permit

1
25 January 2021
Sergey turned to Immigrant Invest
2
+ 1 day
Preliminary Due Diligence
3
+ 1 month
Opening a bank account and getting NIF
4
+ 3 weeks
Opening a company in Portugal
5
+ 3 weeks
Documents collection
6
+ 2 weeks
Submitting an application and biometrics at the Migration Service of Portugal
7
+ 5 months
Check in SEF
8
23 September 2021
Obtaining Portuguese residence permit cards

Investor’s life with Portugal Golden Visa

Now the retired couple is ready to move to sunny and friendly Portugal. The family has agreed that Artyom will spend the summer in Portugal with his grandparents. If Artyom likes it here, the parents will send him to a Portuguese school.

In five years, Sergey can apply for permanent residence or citizenship in Portugal. Portuguese citizens can choose to live in any EU country and travel to 187 countries visa-free, including the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

With Portuguese citizenship, Sergey can do business in any EU country without limitations and get tax benefits as an EU citizen. 

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

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Evgeniya Morozova
Head of the Legal Department
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