Portugal began an innovative program in 2012 to encourage countries outside the European Union to invest in Portuguese real estate, place funds in Portuguese banks or build businesses within the country’s boundaries.
Qualified investors, once they obtain Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit for Investment Activity, commonly called the “Golden Visa,” possess a permit that provides many benefits.
Those who possess a Golden Visa can travel freely in any of the European countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement. They have the same rights as other Portuguese residents and, after five years, they can apply for permanent residency.
After six years, they may be afforded Portuguese citizenship if they meet minimal requirements, complete an application and pass tests regarding their abilities in the use of the Portuguese language.
POINTS OF INTEREST REGARDING PORTUGAL’S GOLDEN VISA PROGRAM
Several interesting points are mentioned under “Frequently Asked Questions.” Listed below are a few not mentioned there:
Regardless of nationality, anyone who is not a member of the European Union may apply.
Applicants and their families are not required to be able to communicate in Portuguese in order to receive the Golden Visa.
There is no upper age limit.
There are no minimum requirements as to education levels, business or management experience or total net worth.
Portugal does not tax income that a Golden Visa holder receives from other countries, often referred to as “worldwide income,” unless the holder lives in Portugal 183 days or more or the condition of the residence in Portugal indicates an intent for it to serve as the Visa holder’s primary residence during the entire year.
After five years as a Golden Visa holder, applicants become eligible for permanent residency.
Once a person becomes a permanent resident of Portugal and maintains that status for one full year, he or she can either continue to be a permanent resident or apply for Portuguese citizenship.
Portugal allows dual citizenship. This means that if the country of origin also allows dual citizenship, there is no need to relinquish original citizenship in order to become a citizen of Portugal.
The quality of life in Portugal is excellent. The country’s warm climate, its up-to-date medical facilities and modern businesses, its schools and its outstanding recreational opportunities make Portugal very attractive to investors and residents alike.