Portuguese Residency | Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What investment does Portugal’s Golden Visa require?

In order for an applicant to be issued a Golden Visa, he or she must invest a minimum of €350,000 to €500,000 in Portuguese real estate or deposit a minimum of €1,000,000 in an account at a bank located in Portugal. Either investment must be held for at least five years.
In the alternative, the applicant can create a certain number of jobs in Portugal for which the positions remain at least five years.

2. What are the advantages of the Golden Visa?

Holders of a current Golden Visa are granted temporary residency status in Portugal and can become citizens six years after they first establish residency.
They also can travel freely in 26 countries.

3. Is an interview with a government official required?

No, an interview is not part of the application process.

4. What are the requirements for the exploratory visit to Portugal?

The main applicant and all family members who plan to reside together in Portugal must be present to provide fingerprints, have their photographs taken and sign papers. Allow a minimum of three business days in Portugal to complete the process.

5. What is the purpose of requiring applicants to keep funds in a bank in Portugal?

This requirement makes transactions flow smoothly and aids the Portuguese economy. Our attorney is available to assist in setting up such an account, which can be taken care of during the applicant’s exploratory visit.
You, as a Golden Visa applicant, must pay government fees and make the required minimum bank deposit or real estate purchase using such an account.

6. If I buy property in Portugal, what can I buy?

To qualify for the Golden Visa, you can buy any property that you choose and as many parcels as you desire, as long as the total investment comes to at least of €350,000 to €500,000.

7. Can I mortgage part of the property?

No mortgage is allowed for the first €500,000 investment in real estate. Any higher amount may be mortgaged. If you decide to obtain a mortgage, you must find your own lender. Terms are strictly between you and the mortgage provider.

8. Is there property tax in Portugal?

Municipalities in Portugal assess an annual tax known as “IMI.” This tax usually is less than 1.0 percent of the property’s net worth. There also is a property transfer tax, called “IMT,” that is paid by the buyer at the time of purchase.

9. Who can be included in the applicant file for a Golden Visa?

Parents who live under the same roof as the primary applicant as well as dependent children and the applicant’s spouse qualify as family members and can be included.

10. What is the upper age limit to be considered a dependent child?

Under normal circumstances, a dependent child must not yet have reached his or her eighteenth birthday.
There is an exception to this rule for a child who is dependent because of a disabling illness, injury or condition. A student over the age of 18 who is not married and who depends on his or her parents for financial support may qualify as a dependent child if certain conditions are met.

11. What schools in Portugal can my children attend?

If your children have Golden Visa status, they can go to the same schools that Portuguese children attend, at no additional cost. Attendance in public elementary and secondary schools is free.
If your children do not speak Portuguese, they may find the public schools difficult. Private schools taught in English are available. Portuguese residents and citizens alike pay tuition to attend these schools.

12. Is there health care insurance coverage for Portugal’s Golden Visa residents?

Yes, if the Golden Visa holders purchase it. Insurance providers are available, and coverage usually is available at reasonable cost.
If you and your family are in good health, you may expect to pay somewhere around €700 per year for insurance. No medical exam is required for coverage. When you come to Portugal, we’d be happy to help you arrange health insurance coverage.

13.Can primary Golden Visa holders and approved family members work in Portugal?

Yes. They can accept employment or earn money by doing business anywhere in the country.

14. How is residency in Portugal maintained under the Golden Visa program?

Every family member must spend at least seven days in Portugal during the first year. Over the next two years, each person must be in Portugal at least 14 days.
For example, the whole family might reside in Portugal for five days in Year 2 and nine days in Year 3. Years 4 and 5 have the same requirements as Years 2 and 3.

15. Are there residency renewal requirements?

Yes. Residency can only be renewed during times when the Golden Visa holder and family members are in Portugal. It must be renewed every two years, and the original qualifying investment made by the applicant must remain in place. Government and legal fees are charged for each renewal.

16. I am a Golden Visa holder. When can I become a naturalized citizen of Portugal?

If you have established six years of residency, you are eligible. You need to submit your application and pay the government and legal fees charged for this procedure. Once your application is accepted, you must pass tests to show that you have a basic command of the Portuguese language.

These tests include skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Your ability to understand and communicate in everyday situations will determine whether you pass the tests.
Here are some of the areas to prepare for:

  • Reading road signs and news bulletins.
  • Talking about health problems and making appointments.
  • Reserving a hotel room and ordering food.
  • Filling out forms that require personal information.

For more information on becoming a naturalized citizen of Portugal, click here.