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How to get investor visa to Portugal?

Ieva Miltina Ieva Miltina 22 July 2021
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More and more countries offer various investment schemes that allow easier access to a temporary residency. The same applies to Portugal. Anyone willing to put in a considerable amount of money in the economy of this country is a potential candidate for a Portugal investor visa. And it is no surprise that more and more people are interested in becoming residents in this extremely appealing land with a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouth-watering cuisine.

In 2020 alone, 1182 such visas have been granted, bringing almost 650 million EUR in investment, and from the beginning of the program, it is close to 6 billion EUR. And, indeed, this reflects a smart approach towards immigration policies. Both the new temporary residents of Portugal have gained access to the resources of the beautiful country, and Portugal has gotten a substantial amount of money invested in various fields of economy. It almost sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? The only catch is that you have to be rather wealthy to consider this option. But maybe the numbers are not that bad. Let's see the potential scenarios on how to get an investor visa to Portugal, and what benefits such a move would provide to the lucky investor.

Additionally, I will try to offer some technical details, too. For example, how high is Portugal investor visa cost, and how long would one wait to get this desired permit. Let's start with the basic information.

What is Portugal investor visa?

investor visa application

In this article, I will mostly refer to it as a Portugal investor visa, but there are a few other names you should keep an eye on when looking for more information on the web of countless details and numbers. The official name is ARI (or Autorização de Residência para Investimento in full), translated as a residence permit for investment activity in English. Even more often, it is referred to as the Golden Visa scheme. Even the official web pages use several of these names. Still keep in mind that they all mean the same thing—a visa waiver program for third-country nationals who want to obtain a temporary residence permit to conduct business. The program has been open since 8th October 2012 and has shown successful results since then. I will tell more about the potential investment opportunities in the following paragraphs.

What are ARI/Golden visa beneficiaries entitled to?

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This scheme comes with quite good conditions. If you are eligible for it, you will get a residence visa waiver (meaning, you will get such a visa way easier). You will be allowed to live and work in Portugal with the simple condition that you spend there at least 7 days in the first year, but each following year at least 14 days. The good thing is that most other countries will require you to reside there if you want to keep such privileges. Portugal, nonetheless, doesn't require that, and it is a very attractive trait indeed. What's even more attractive is the possibility to travel within the Schengen area without obtaining an additional visa. No need to elaborate on this amazing chance, right? Additionally, you will be able to invite your family with you, apply for a permanent residency after five years, and if eligible - after six years for citizenship, too. Being accepted for this visa waiver scheme opens your door to the EU and all the benefits that come with that.

How to get an investor visa to Portugal?

portuguese consulate

So this is where I will try to explain the technical route for applying. Don't get too worked up, because this will be short. As soon as you qualify for all Portugal investor visa requirements (more on that in the following paragraph), you should register online in Portal ARI. After submitting all the documents and paying the fees, you will wait for some time and get your answer online.

What are Portugal investor visa requirements?

investment figure

This might be the most important part of the whole article. At least, it should be the most important information that tells whether you are eligible for this type of visa. To be honest, Portugal investor visa requirements might seem quite steep in terms of finances. That is the one aspect that differentiates the potential applicants from those that don't qualify. Portugal investor visa is particularly intended for motivated potential residents to inject their resources into the economy of this country. With that said, if you can say that at least one of these categories applies to you, only then it makes sense to start looking into the investor visa application process. The offer applies if you:

• Have made a capital transfer of at least 1 million EUR

• Created at least 10 job positions within borders of Portugal

• Bought a property that costs at least 500 000 EUR

• Bought at least 30 years old real estate in the urban developing areas worth at least 350 000 EUR

• Invested in the scientific research in Portugal a sum of at least 350 000 EUR

• Invested at least 250 000 EUR in Portuguese arts, culture, and heritage

• Invested no less than 500 000 in SMEs located in Portugal.

These conditions are not intended for Portuguese, EU/EEA nationals.

What are the required documents to apply for an ARI/Golden visa?

documents

Please take into consideration that a more detailed document list will be available after you submit your online pre-registration. There are quite many variables that might change the necessary formalities to prove your eligibility. Nonetheless, here is a list of the basic papers and information that you can expect to be asked for.

Besides the online registration, you will need a valid passport and evidence of legal entry to Portugal. It can be a short-stay Schengen visa, for example. You will be asked to present recent health insurance (either membership in the national healthcare system or international insurance) and a criminal record certificate. Another important element of the application is your tax information from the country of your residence (tax identification number, or equivalent). Last but not least - you will need to present proof of paying the visa fees and also write a sworn statement that shows your commitment to maintaining the investment activity in Portugal for a minimum of five years. Besides the information about yourself, you will need to prove the claimed investment activity. It can be done by submitting a bank statement for the financial investment, employment contracts, or purchase documents for the real estate.

How high does the Portugal investor visa cost?

man holding money

Well, this won't be cheap, either. Initially, you will pay a processing fee of 533 EUR, and the initial visa will cost you (and each family member in the application) a hefty 5325 EUR. If you want to renew your ARI/Golden visa, you will be asked to pay 2663 EUR. The fees might seem quite high, but they are a great investment for a better life and/or business success, aren't they? After all, an investor visa doesn't only bring investment in the economy of Portugal but also provides new opportunities for you as an individual and a businessperson.

What is Portugal's Golden visa processing time?

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Please keep in mind that obtaining this visa is not like a tourist visa. Including the processing time. Arranging all the formalities with the investment or purchasing a property will take you several months, and then the application process might take up to 10 months. Especially now, with all the Covid induced restrictions and disruptions in place, be prepared for a good year before you have a chance to legally move to Portugal.

So what can we take away from all of this information? I hope it is clear for you now what is Portugal investor visa, and what benefits such a permit entitles you with. If you happen to afford to become eligible for such a visa, then Portugal is a great option. Besides being a very pleasant place for living, it is also very well connected to the rest of the world and is located in the EU. That just means a great number of opportunities for your business, if that is an important factor when deciding. Even more so - the startup scene is booming, and many international companies are using the low costs of living and operating a business to move their offices to Portugal. Why wouldn't you, right?

Whatever your reasoning behind this research into Portugal investor visa is, I wish you the best of luck and a smooth process of formalities. Who knows, maybe in a year you will be sipping cocktails with your family in one of the coziest beach cafes with a view to the ocean and thinking back on this article and the inspiration it gave to finally make a move! Cheers to doing great things?

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Ieva Miltina
Ieva Miltina Activist and entrepreneur

Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday. 

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