Portugal Golden Residency


Portugal is the westernmost European country. Its colonies extended across Africa, Brazil, Persia, Indochina, and the Malay Peninsula, creating one of the world’s most globalized and peaceful nations. Portugal is considered very safe and has a low crime rate. Although Portuguese is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially in tourist regions. The country is a member of the Schengen area and began using the euro as its currency in 2002. While Portugal is shifting towards offering business-oriented services, a third of its economy remains in manufacturing. It is the world’s largest supplier of cork and enjoys the benefits of a strong tourism industry.

Portugal has produced streamlined legislation to create an efficient process by which non-EU citizens may obtain a residence permit based on investment. The legislation offers three qualifying routes of committing funds to obtain residence status under the Golden Residence Permit program, which must be maintained for a minimum period of five years. After five years as a resident, the applicant is eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

The Portugal GRP program is a five-year residency- investment program for non-EU nationals. The residence permit allows free circulation in the Schengen area and only requires an average of seven days per year stay in Portugal over this period, which can also count towards citizenship eligibility after five years. The program’s qualifying options are:

  1. Capital Transfer
    1. Capital transfer of a minimum of EUR 1 million into a Portuguese bank account or specifically approved investment options
    2. EUR 350,000 for research activities of public or private entities that are part of the national scientific and technological system*
    3. EUR 250,000 in support of artistic production or in the recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage*
    4. EUR 350,000 for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds committed to the capitalization of companies incorporated under the Portuguese law, with a maturity of at least five years and with at least 60% of the investment portfolio in companies with a head office in the national territory
  2. Property Acquisition
    1. A real estate purchase with a minimum value of EUR 500,000*
    2. A real estate purchase with a minimum value of EUR 350,000 for the refurbishment of properties older than 30 years or in an area of urban regeneration, including the cost of renovations*
  3. Business

    1. Creation of a minimum of 10 new jobs
    2. 2. EUR 350,000 for the incorporation or increase of the share capital of a company registered in Portugal, creating or maintaining a minimum of five permanent jobs, for a period of three years

The EUR 1 million capital transfer option is a straightforward route and can include investments in stocks and shares. Portugal has an excellent real estate offering, whether for lifestyle or investment, with a large geographic, environment, and price-point diversity, and many applicants desire to combine the residence permit’s mandatory qualifying stay (an average of seven days per year) with longer visits to Portugal.

Procedures and Time Frame
The process undertaken by Henley & Partners takes the applicant’s needs into consideration and fully meets the requirements of Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit regulations. Following initial contact, we will provide information on Henley & Partners and an overview of the process to assist the applicant’s assessment, including the terms of our Client Agreement (CA).

We will share basic applicant’s information (identification, address and elementary personal data) with our head office for due diligence processing and, if these are favorable, will request payment of an initial retainer fee (linked to the CA) to put the process in motion. For the initial GRP application, the applicant will be requested to travel to Portugal twice.

The first visit, relating to clarifying the qualifying option, may be done within 2–4 days. Only the Main Applicant is needed at this stage. During this visit, the applicant will open his/her local bank account, sign the Powers of Attorney to represent him/her before the Immigration and Border Service (SEF), fiscal and social security authorities, and will be provided with the initial tax planning session with one of our independent tax advisors.

Once the financial commitment is complete, we will then work with the applicant to gather all the necessary documents. When this is concluded, the applicant will be required to
visit Portugal again, together with all the family members (if applicable), to provide biometric data and to fully submit the application to the Portuguese Authorities. This visit can be limited to one day only. The Golden Residence Permit is valid for a period of one year after issue, and renewable for two subsequent periods of two years, equaling a total of five years for the program. There is then an option of another two-year extension or obtaining permanent resident status, contributing towards eligibility for a citizenship application after five years as a resident.

Dual Citizenship
Eligibility for naturalization as a Portuguese citizen is possible after five years of legal residence and compliance
with prevailing requirements, including some knowledge of the Portuguese language (level A2). Portugal allows dual citizenship.

Key Advantages

  1. Low physical presence requirement (seven days during the first year of residence and 14 days for the two subsequent years)
  2. Attractive taxation system
  3. Visa-free travel in Europe’s Schengen area; the right to live, work, and study in Portugal
  4. Eligibility to apply for citizenship after five years as a legal resident while keeping other citizenship(s)
  5. The high quality of life, local cuisine and wines, rich culture, mild climate and a high level of security
  6. Family reunification