The Portugal Golden Visa Program, initiate in 2012, aims to incentivize investors to contribute to Portugal’s economic growth. Since its inception, the program has garnered a total investment exceeding several billion euros, attracting over a thousand family applications annually.
What Makes the Portugal Golden Visa so Popular for Americans?
Dual citizenship offers the unique advantage of holding passports from both Portugal and the United States. Given that both countries acknowledge and permit dual citizenship, individuals are afford the opportunity to maintain the privileges and rights associate with each nationality.
By retaining both your Portuguese and American passports, you not only preserve your ties to both countries but also enjoy the flexibility and benefits that come with dual citizenship. This includes the freedom to travel, reside, and engage in various opportunities in both Portugal and the United States, providing a harmonious connection to the rich cultural and familial roots of each nation.
Path to obtain Portuguese citizenship
Golden Visa holders can pursue citizenship after five years of obtaining their Golden Visa. The program initially provides a two-year temporary residency, and to achieve permanent residency, one needs to stay in Portugal for a minimum of seven days per year. This flexibility allows individuals to maintain their current lifestyle in the US while progressing towards permanent residency and eventual citizenship in Portugal.
To secure citizenship, applicants must pass a basic Portuguese Language exam. The advantage of dual citizenship, permitted by both Portugal and the US, allows individuals to retain both their Portuguese and American passports. This unique feature enhances the appeal of the Portugal Golden Visa program, offering a seamless integration of dual nationalities for those seeking diverse opportunities and lifestyles.
Visa-Free Travel in the Schengen Zone
Upon acquiring your Golden Visa, you gain immediate privileges for visa-free travel within the Schengen Zone. Opting for citizenship after five years affords you a Portuguese passport, providing visa-free access to 188 countries worldwide.
Right to Live and Work in EU/EEA Countries
Golden Visa applicants enjoy the entitlement to reside, work, and study in Portugal during the initial five years of the application process. Should they choose to pursue Portuguese citizenship after this period, these same rights extend to all European Union countries.
You are entitled to bring your family members who are already in Portugal or who will be joining you in Portugal. You may request family reunification in AIMA at the same time as your visa application, or after you have receive your visa. The following is the list of family members that may qualify for family reunification under the Golden Visa:
- Your spouse or partner.
- Your children under 18 years of age or incapacitated children of the couple or of one of their spouses/partners.
- Children over 18 years of age who are dependent on you or your spouse which means that they are single and studying.
- Your parents or your spouse/partner’s parents if they are dependent on you.
- You minor siblings.
After obtaining your Golden Visa and if you become a resident in Portugal (spending more than 183 days in the country) you gain access to the National Healthcare, also called SNS (Serviço Nacional de Saúde) that covers primary and secondary healthcare needs.
To access healthcare services in Portugal, it is necessary to register at your local health center (Centro de Saúde). If you are not a resident in Portugal, it is recommended to have private health insurance that provides coverage in Portugal.
Double Taxation Agreements (DTA)
Portugal has established Double Taxation Agreements (DTA) with numerous countries, including the US, with the primary goal of preventing the scenario where individuals face taxation on the same income in both countries.
Under this agreement, if you, as a US citizen, generate income outside Portugal, that income will not be subjected to taxation in Portugal. This ensures that you are taxed on the same income only in one country.
Additionally, expatriate retirees residing in Portugal can leverage this program as pension income from a foreign source is also exempt from taxation in Portugal.
In addition to the benefits of DTA, Portugal’s overall taxation system is notably advantageous when compared to other European countries.
Low minimum stay requirement
The Portugal Golden Visa program requires a minimum stay of seven days during the initial year, followed by an additional requirement of 14 days for each subsequent two-year period.
When applying for visa renewals, the Portuguese border agency may request evidence of your compliance with the minimum stay requirements. This evidence can be provided in the form of passport stamps, flight tickets, and proof of accommodation.
It is important to note that your eligibility for permanent residency or citizenship after five years is not affected by the actual duration of your stays in Portugal under this investment visa program, as long as you meet the minimum stay requirements.
For expatriates with children, Portugal offers a reassuring environment when it comes to finding suitable schools. The country boasts an array of international schools, catering to diverse curricula, including those following American educational standards.
These international schools provide expat families with the flexibility to choose an educational approach that aligns with their preferences and ensures a seamless transition for their children. The presence of American-curriculum schools further adds to the convenience for expats, offering an educational continuity for students who may have studied in the U.S. or intend to do so in the future.
Golden Visa Program in Portugal
Individuals who are not citizens of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland are eligible to apply for this program. Additionally, applicants must be at least 18 years old and possess a clear criminal record.
The initial stage in securing a Portuguese Golden Visa involves making an investment in Portugal. Various investment methods are available, including:
A contribution of €500,000 or more for acquiring units of investment funds or venture capital fund of funds under Portuguese legislation. These funds should have a maturity of at least five years, with a minimum of 60% of investments realized in commercial companies headquartered in the national territory.
Minimum investment of €500,000 for constitution of a company in Portugal, combined with the creation of five permanent working jobs, or for the reinforcement of the share capital of a company already existing in Portugal, with the creation of at least at least five permanent jobs or maintenance of at least ten job positions, with a minimum of five permanent employees, and for a minimum period of three years.
A capital transfer equal to or exceeding €500,000 for investing in research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions within the national scientific or technological system. A 20% discount applies if the investment is in a designated ‘low-density’ area.
Cultural Heritage Contribution
Known as the Cultural Golden Visa, a donation of a minimum of €250,000 for investing in artistic output, supporting the arts, or contributing to the reconstruction or refurbishment of national heritage. This can be done through local and central authorities, public institutions, or private foundations of public interest. A 20% discount is applicable for investments in ‘low-density’ areas.
Establishing a company and creating a minimum of ten job positions. A 20% discount is granted if the investment is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area.
Why to work with us for your Golden Visa application?
We know Portugal. Due to our extensive local knowledge, we believe that concentrating our services in a single country destination is the best way to give you the most thorough and useful information.
One single channel of communication for the entire process. We provide you with a comprehensive service that covers all aspects of your investment and Golden Visa application.
We recommend what’s best for you based on an extensive process experience that saves time and money to clients. Our pricing is clear and competitive, and we don’t sell services that make us more money.
Technology plays a very important role in our company. We minimize our clients’ involvement in paperwork. We are customers ourselves and we know how to serve you.
Frequently asked questions about Portugal Golden Visa for Americans
What is the Portugal Golden Visa?
The Portugal Golden Visa is a program that grants residency to foreign investors, including Americans, who make qualifying investments in Portugal.
What makes the Golden Visa program in Portugal popular among Americans?
The program is popular due to various factors, such as visa-free travel, investment opportunities, and the potential for European citizenship.
What types of investments qualify for the Golden Visa program?
Qualifying investments include investment funds, business creation, scientific research, and cultural heritage contributions.
How long does it take to obtain Portuguese citizenship through the Golden Visa program?
After holding the Golden Visa for five years, investors can apply for Portuguese citizenship. Now, the five years period start counting from the application date.
What benefits does the Golden Visa offer to Americans?
Benefits include visa-free travel within the Schengen Zone, investment opportunities, and the potential for dual citizenship.
Are there any language requirements for obtaining Portuguese citizenship?
Yes, applicants are typically required to pass a basic Portuguese language exam as part of the citizenship application process.
Can Golden Visa holders live and work in Portugal?
Yes, Golden Visa holders have the right to live, work, and study in Portugal during the residency period.
How is taxation handled for Golden Visa holders in Portugal?
Portugal has Double Taxation Agreements with many countries, including the US, to prevent dual taxation on the same income.
What sets Portugal apart in terms of the Golden Visa program compared to other European countries?
Portugal’s program is known for its flexibility, attractive lifestyle, and advantageous taxation system, making it a preferred choice for many Americans.