Portugal CitizenshipResidency & Citizenship
The Portugal Residence Programme or Golden Residence Permit (ARI) is attractive for investors who would like to enjoy the quality of life, great weather and safety that Portugal has to offer but also take advantage of being part of the European Union without being obligated to reside permanently in Portugal. The Golden Residence Permit has been in effect since August 2012 as the Portuguese government looks to generate capital and real estate investment, as well as opening the European door to potential investors.
Portugal is a very attractive option for businessmen and executives who wish to work within the EU easily and conveniently while also providing families with a wonderful opportunity in education and lifestyle.
The Golden Residence Permit for Investment is available to all non – EU national investors.
The holders of the Golden Residence Permit have all benefits of the Schengen Visa, entitling the holder freedom of movement in the 26 member states. The Schengen Treaty was signed on 14 June 1985 together with subsequent conventions the treaty created Europe’s borderless Schengen Area, which operates like a single state for international travel, with external border controls for travellers visiting the area but with no internal border controls. The borderless zone created by the Schengen agreements currently consists of 26 European countries, namely: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Family Grouping & Portuguese Citizenship
The holders of the Golden Residence Permit for Investment Activity have the right to family regrouping, and may gain access to permanent residence permit, as well as to Portuguese citizenship in accordance with current legal provisions – www.sef.pt.
Family regrouping – in simple terms this means that the family and dependents of the holder of the Golden Residence Permit qualify for residence as well, including:
- The spouse
- Minor children
- Adult children who are dependents
- Minor siblings in the custody of permit holder
There are 3 investment options that foreign nationals, either individually or through a company, shall consider for a minimum period of five years to fulfill Golden Residence Permit requirements.
These options are:
- Creation of, at least, 10 job positions;
- Acquisition of real estate in Portugal with a value equal to or above 500 thousand Euros.
- Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 1 million Euros;
What are the Requirements on the Investment Activities?
- An up-to-date certificate issued by the Social Security.
- Public deed or promissory share-purchase agreement of the property, with a declaration of an authorized financial institution to exercise its activity in Portugal stating the effective transfer of capital to its acquisition or to execute as a down payment of the promise to purchase in equal or superior value of 500 thousand Euros, and.
- An up-to-date certificate issued by the Real Estate Registry, which must always be, in the case of contract-promise and where legally feasible, the respective register.
- Performing an investment activity for a minimum period of five years must be attested by a bona fide declaration signed by the Applicant.
- Applicants should provide evidence of having invested the minimum amount required, including stocks or shares of companies.
- Declaration of a financial institution authorized to exercise its activity in Portugal certifying: the effective transfer of capital in the amount of not less than € 1 million, to an account demonstrating the investor is the sole or first holder of capital; or, the acquisition of stocks or shares of companies, and.
- An up-to-date certificate issued by the Commercial Register, certifying that the applicant holds a share in the capital of a company.
The criteria, is simple and transparent, the Portuguese state is committed to support capital investment in Portugal to attract capital, promote job creation and increase investment in Real Estate.
Who are the eligibility requirements to apply to Golden Residence Permit?
Residence permit shall be granted for performing investment activities to Foreign Nationals who, cumulatively:
- Fulfill the investment requirements;
- Hold a valid Schengen visa;
- Legalize their permanence in Portugal within 90 days of their first entry into national territory;
- Meet other requirements under general law; such as:
- Applicants must not have been convicted of a crime punishable with deprivation of liberty exceeding one year
- Applicants must not be subject of an entry ban in national territory following a removal order from the country
- Applicants must not be subject of alerts in the Schengen Information System
- Applicants must not be subject of alerts in SEF’s Information Integrated System issued for purposes of non-admission
Residence permit shall be renewed for a period of two years pursuant, provided the requirements remain valid.
What are the Documents required for application?
- Passport or another valid travelling document;
- Proof of legal entry and permanence in national territory;
- Proof of health insurance;
- Signed application enabling consultation of the Portuguese Criminal Record by SEF;
- Criminal Record Certificate from the relevant authority of the applicant’s home country or from any other country where he / she resided for over a year;
- As means of evidence of compliance with tax obligations, the applicant shall deliver a declaration proving the absence of debts issued by the Inland Revenue and Customs Authority and by the Social Security.
Acquiring Portuguese Citizenship by Naturalization
Citizenship law in Portugal is regulated by Decree-Law n.237 – A/2006 of 14 December. Where citizenship is by means of naturalization, a foreign citizen can be granted Portuguese nationality if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- The applicant is legally considered to be an adult, i.e. 18 years old
- The applicant is a resident in Portugal for at least 6 years
- The applicant has sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language
- The applicant has not been convicted for a crime which corresponds to a penalty equal to or more than 3 years, accordingly to Portuguese law.
The application shall be made by the applicant or by his legal representative in the Portuguese language to the competent departments of the Ministry of Justice.
Once the application is received, it will be sent to the “Conservatória dos Registos Centrais” department, within the Ministry of Justice for evaluation. If the application has not been properly completed or fails to comply with any of the other Ministry of Justice requirements at the time of application, the process will be rejected within 30 days, and the applicant will be given 20 days to respond / clarify. If the application is accepted, the competent services will make internal enquiries, and consult with other entities (which my take up to 120 days) and a decision will be made, within a maximum of 45 days, which will then be submitted to the Ministry of Justice.
The final decision will be communicated to the “Conservatória dos Registos Centrais”, for registration. The applicant will be able to request a Portuguese citizen card as well as a Portuguese passport.