Buying a €500,000 property can gain you that golden ticket to live in Portugal on your own terms, whether you’re post-Brexit or never were an EU citizen. But time could be running out. Here is how you could get that coveted golden visa in Portugal.
Portugal has long-attracted property buyers and investors from all around the world. They come for the relaxed lifestyle on the Atlantic ocean, the Algarve beaches and golf courses, beautiful streets of Lisbon or Porto and lush countryside.
But, if they’re not an EU citizen they will normally have to leave after 90 days under Schengen Area rules.
Fortunately, Portugal recognises the value of its international residents and – occasionally to the irritation of other EU nations – rolls out the red carpet to the world’s wealthy. Since 2012 the vehicle for welcoming them has been the golden visa, aka, residence permit for investment activity (ARI).
While it has brought in some €6 billion to Portugal’s economy over ten years, there have been calls for it to be ended. So, with the threat of the EU clamping down on this type of visa, here is how to apply.
How to apply for a golden visa in Portugal
Step one: Get help!
Using an English-speaking lawyer or immigration specialist should save you time and money when applying for a golden visa in Portugal. You can contact our team of Property Consultants here, for an introduction, or call 0808 252 7870.
Step two: Gather documents
Your lawyer will advise you on the necessary documentation for yourself and any dependents. Documents will need to be translated into Portuguese to be accepted.
Step three: get NIFty!
Get a tax identification number (NIF) in Portugal and open a Portuguese bank account to confirm your investment. You will need to get a Portuguese fiscal representative to obtain a NIF.
Step four: Find your perfect property.
When you come to organise a viewing trip to Portugal, there are strict rules on the kind of property – and location – which will qualify.
The basic rule is that the minimum price of the property must be €500,000. However, €350,000 is often sufficient in certain older properties requiring renovation, for farms or in areas requiring urban renewal. There is also the option of making a capital transfer of €1.5 million.
Since the start of 2022, buying in the most popular locations of Lisbon, Porto and much of the Algarve – will NOT gain you a golden visa for Portugal. There are some parts of the Algarve where it still applies, notably Alcoutim, Aljezur, Castro Marim, Monchique and Vila do Bispo. The isand of Madeira is also unaffected and is proving a popular option.
Step five: Apply
Once your application is accepted, you will be given an appointment for biometrics collection. You will need to travel to Portugal for this. It then usually takes four months to have your Golden Visa approved by the SEF.
Step six: Get your residency card
The whole process usually takes around half a year.
Your next step to a golden visa in Portugal
- Watch our webinar on golden visas, from Portuguese law firm – Martinez Echevaria
- Contact us for introduction to English speaking solicitor and visa specialist in Portugal
- Search for property in Portugal, Algarve or Lisbon
- Register for upcoming webinar on buying a property in Portugal
- Watch our On Demand webinars on visa and residency in Portugal
- Plan your property purchase in Portugal using our complimentary planner