General FAQ regarding the Golden Residence Permit programme
How do I renew the resident permit and how much is it (service fee and applicant fee)?
The residency visa is renewed simply by keeping the original investment (there are no further requirements). The renewal fee charged by the Portuguese Authorities is indeed 2500 Euro.
What is the process regarding family Reunion and how much will it cost?
The family reunion is quite straightforward and simple and it applied directly to spouse and under age children (Under 18 years of age - Minors or children who are under guardianship of the couple or of one of the spouses. Minors adopted by an unmarried applicant, by a married applicant or by the spouse, Children who are of age and of whom the couple or one of the spouses is in charge, that attend a teaching institution.). The cost charged by the Portuguese Authorities for family reunion residency permit is the same of the investor, ie, €5,000 for initial residency permit and €2,500 for each renewal.
Is there a limitation of family members?
Once the applicant obtains the Resident Permit, can they apply for the family reunification at the same time? What documents do family members need to provide, (marriage certificate, birth certificate,..)?
Yes, it is possible for the investor and family members to apply at the same time, although it might be more straightforward to get the approval for the investor first and then request family reunification. The documents for the family are the ones proving the family ties, so Marriage Certificate and Birth Certificates. Please note that the family member will also require criminal record certificate.
Can the applicant work in Portugal?
Yes, there are no restrictions for the investors to work in Portugal.
Where to submit the application for the Golden Resident Permit, in Portugal or I can submit in a local consulate?
The application is submitted by us on behalf of the client at the Immigration Services here in Portugal.
How does the buying process work?
When the client decides on the property, he will then go the lawyer, where a Reservation deposit is made, from 6.000 € to 10.000 € (Credit card, bank transfer preferably) into the lawyers Escrow account. The lawyer prepares an official Offer that is than sent to the owner communicating the client’s intent to purchase. If it is accepted, the client that signs over Power of Attorney to the lawyer and flies home. Meanwhile, the lawyers will then prepare the first of the sales contracts: (have attached our only 2 translated Promissory and Sales Contract for your appraisal).
Promissory Contract: Client promises to pay a deposit from 30 to 100% of the purchase price, until the final title of ownership takes place. The Promissory contract is for those clients who do not have all the necessary funds and need time (1 month, 2 months) to gather the money. So the client pays as much as he can, and then a date is established for the final change-over of ownership (DEEDS) and any outstanding payment.
Bear in mind with the new alteration of the Residency Visa, if the client pays 500.000 € or more on Promissory contract, the process for the Residency Visa can be immediately submitted to the governing body, so that is just a question of the document to emit the Visa as the process will have already been submitted.
Payments for the Promissory deposit and final payments for DEEDS have to be transferred from the clients Portuguese bank account which the lawyers will help open when they are here.
What are the general requirements that the investor has to comply with?
The simplicity of the Golden Visa Programme implies an extremely reduced amount of requirements being asked from the investor. The Golden Visa Programme sets out that the investor must comply with general requirements applicable to all types of qualifying investments and also with the specific requirements of each type of qualifying investment.
In general, all investors have to comply with the following requirements:
a) Keep the investment for a minimum period of 5 years.
b) Funds for investment should come from abroad.
c) Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa.
d) Absence of references in the Portuguese Immigration and the Schengen services.
e) Absence of conviction of relevant crime.
What are the requirements in regards to the stay in Portugal for the Temporary Visa?
The requirement to be in Portugal for investors is only 7 days in the first year and 14 days in the following periods of 2 years. Permanent residency has different time requirements.
What are the requirements for the staying in Portugal for the Permanent Residency?
Holders of Permanent Residency titles should not be away from the country for more than 24 months in a row or 30 alternate months within a period of 3 years. Please note that there is an exception to these time requirements, which can be used if the investor needs to be away for longer periods of time due to business reasons.
Is there a mandatory period the applicant needs to spend in Portugal when they have their Permanent Residency? If so, how many days?
After they get the permanent residency they cannot be away from Portugal for more than 2 years in a row or 30 non-consecutive months within a period of 3 years.
How long will be the process for the renewal of the Resident Permit? Does the applicant need to go to Portugal for it?
The renewal process is very quick and at maximum it will take 60 days. The Investor will need to come here after the renewal has been approved to obtain is new residency permit.
Is there a language requirement test for Naturalization?
Yes, currently, Permanent Residency and Passport always require approval in a language test in Portuguese.
What rights does a resident of Portugal have?
A person authorized to live in Portugal, has the right to education, maintain professional activity,health care, and justice system.
For the applicants first Visit to Portugal, which kind of Visa should be requested? Travel or business?
The clients only need a valid Schengen visa to apply for residency after the investment.
In this respect, when applying for the Schengen visa, the clients should clearly refer that they are coming to Portugal to invest under this program. Usually, we send invitation letters that explains this.
What kind of Visa for second stage, or Permanent Visa? How long is the visa valid?
See above. The clients only need a valid Schengen visa to apply for residency after the investment. No other visa is required.
After the purchase of the property and obtaining the Residency visa, does the applicant get some kind of official stamp in their passport? Or do they get some kind of Residency card?
Once the client makes the investment, the application for the investor residency permit is submitted. The authorities will approve this application within a few days and then the investor has to go to the Immigration Services to provide fingerprints, signature, pictures, etc. On this visit, the client gets an approval letter and then the residency card is issued within a few weeks.
What are the benefits after immigration (after purchase and apply for Temporary Residency Visa) is it the same as a Portuguese citizen?
Yes, holders of residency permits have almost all the rights of citizens (education, health, employment, business, etc).
What is the yearly tax on the properties?
In Portugal, properties are subject to an annual charge, which is between 0.3% and 0.5% of the tax value of the property.
Besides the yearly Tax (IMI) per year or there is any other cost?
Depending on the type of property, there can also be condominium fees. These are fees related to the maintenance costs of properties included in buildings, developments, resorts, etc.
Should I have a personal bank account and TAX number in Portugal? Can you open it for me?
Yes. It is necessary. We can open it for you through a power of attorney. So you just need to be in Portugal for applying for VISA.
Once the applicant decides to acquire the property, how long to Deeds (Final Purchase Contract)?
From a legal point of view, the purchase of the property can take place as soon as the parties are ready. In case of the investor, the normal route is for him to leave us a Power of Attorney that will enable us to represent him when he goes back to China to transfer the funds.
Please note that while we have taken every effort for the above to be accurate many parts of this information can change by law or be out of our hands. We cannot be responsible for these changes and ask that up to date specialist advice is always sought in each case.
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We found Ruth being helpful, friendly and informative. She worked hard despite a difficult competitor and brought the sale of the property to a successful conclusion.