Since its inception in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa Scheme has emerged as the most sought-after residence by investment program in Europe. Designed to incentivize international investors to invest in Portugal, the program has amassed a total investment amount exceeding several billion euros since its inception, with thousands of family applications processed annually.

The program has garnered interest from various nationalities, including Chinese, Russian, and American investors. Additionally, Canadian citizens are increasingly drawn to the program, attracted by Portugal’s appealing attributes such as its temperate climate, affordable cost of living, and strategic location. In this article, you’ll discover how you can apply for the Portugal Golden Visa as a Canadian citizen.

Portugal Golden Visa Last Updates

Naturalization period begins from application date

The recent amendment brings about a significant change in how the mandatory legal residency period required for citizenship is calculated. Under the revised approach, the duration from the submission of the temporary residency permit to its final approval is now taken into account.

These alterations are clearly aimed at enhancing the efficiency and accessibility of the Portuguese citizenship acquisition process through naturalization. The primary objective is to tackle the substantial challenge posed by prolonged waiting periods, marking a positive step towards a more streamlined and accessible pathway to citizenship.

Real Estate doesn't qualify

As of October 2023, significant changes have been made to the Portugal Golden Visa program, particularly regarding qualifying investments. Notably, real estate acquisition and investments in real estate-related funds have been excluded from the list of eligible investments for the program.

legal obbligations portugal residency advisors

Can Canadians obtain Portuguese citizenship through the Portugal Golden Visa program?

Both Portugal and Canada permit dual citizenship, allowing individuals to acquire Portuguese citizenship without relinquishing their Canadian citizenship.However, attaining Portuguese citizenship is contingent upon holding the Golden Visa for a minimum of five years and maintaining the required investment.

Initially, the Portugal Golden Visa provides a two-year temporary residency permit, which can be renewed for an additional three years. It’s worth noting that residency in Portugal is not mandatory during this period; maintaining your status only requires visiting Portugal for an average of seven days per year.

To qualify for citizenship, you must meet the five-year residency requirement and successfully pass a basic Portuguese language examination.

Golden Visa Requirements for Canadians

To qualify for the Golden Visa program, the primary applicant must:

  • Hold citizenship from a non-EU, non-Swiss, and non-EEA country
  • Demonstrate a reliable source of income to meet the minimum investment requirement
  • Possess a clean criminal record
  • Spend an average of at least 7 days per year in Portugal
  • Maintain the designated investment in Portugal for the duration of the five-year program
Portuguese Citizenship Vs. Permanent Residency in Portugal

Portugal Golden Visa Program

The Portugal Golden Visa program is accessible to individuals who are not citizens of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland and are over 18 years old. Applicants must also provide a clean criminal record to qualify.

  • Purchasing a property valued at €500,000 or aged over 30 years, and requiring renovation (no longer eligible)
  • Purchasing property in a low-density area with a minimum investment of €280,000 (no longer eligible)
  • Subscribing to a qualifying investment fund in Portugal for €500,000
  • Making a capital transfer of €1.5 million to Portugal (no longer eligible)
  • Establishing a company that generates a minimum of ten jobs for Portuguese citizens
  • Investing €250,000 in arts or national heritage refurbishment projects in Portugal.

The Benefits of a Golden Visa in Portugal for Canadian Citizens

The advantages of the Portugal Golden Visa program for Canadians include:

Include Your Family Members

The program allows you to bring your family members along, ensuring you can all benefit from Portugal’s residency.

Live, Work, and Study in Portugal

As a Golden Visa holder, you have the flexibility to reside, work, and pursue education opportunities in Portugal.

Become an EU Citizen

After meeting the residency requirements, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship, granting you EU citizenship and its associated rights.

Affordable Cost of Living

Portugal offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to other European countries, making it an attractive option for Canadians. As an example, when considering consumer prices in Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, consumer prices are approximately 30.5% higher than in Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

Easily Travel Within Europe

With residency in Portugal, you gain access to the Schengen Area, allowing for visa-free travel to numerous European countries.

Quality of Life

Portugal is known for its high quality of life, including its pleasant climate, beautiful landscapes, and rich cultural heritage.

Several International Schools

For families with children, Portugal offers several international schools, providing quality education options in English or other languages.

Schools in Portugal

Portugal Golden Visa application process

Step 1 – Understand the Program Requirements

Begin by acquainting yourself with the essential prerequisites of the Golden Visa program, including eligibility criteria and the documentation needed. Prepare all necessary paperwork, such as a valid passport, a clean criminal record certificate, and any supporting documents required.

Step 2 – Establish Your Fiscal Presence

To initiate the Portugal Golden Visa process, secure a Portuguese Tax Number (NIF) and designate a fiscal representative. The NIF serves as a crucial identification number for tax purposes. Setting up a bank account can be accomplished remotely for added convenience.

Step 3 – Fulfill Your Investment Obligations

Select an eligible investment avenue, such as real estate acquisition, capital transfer, job creation, investment funds, or scientific research. Fulfill the investment requirement according to the specific guidelines outlined for your chosen option.

Step 4 – Submit Your Online Application

Complete and submit your Golden Visa application electronically through the Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA) website. Ensure all requisite information is provided, necessary documents are uploaded, and the application fee is paid.

Step 5 – Biometric Enrollment in Portugal

Following the application submission, arrange an appointment with AIMA in Portugal to undergo biometric enrollment, including fingerprinting and a photograph. This step typically necessitates your physical presence within Portugal.

Step 6 – Await Golden Visa Approval

Following the completion of the biometric enrollment process, AIMA will review your application. If all criteria are met and your application is approved, you will be granted a residency permit (Golden Visa) valid for an initial duration.

Portugal Golden Visa Documents

The documentation required for the Portugal Golden Visa may vary and is subject to change at the discretion of the Portuguese Immigration Authorities. Below are the typical documents needed:

  • Golden Visa application form
  • Valid passport and, if applicable, a valid Schengen visa, for each applicant
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Applicant’s authorization for AIMA (formerly SEF) to access their Portuguese criminal record
  • Proof of residence, such as a recent utility bill or bank statement
  • Valid health insurance coverage in Portugal
  • Proof of professional occupation, such as an employer-issued letter
  • Documentary evidence of family members’ eligibility for the visa
  • Certificate of no debts from Portuguese tax and insurance authorities
  • Signed statement confirming commitment to meet investment requirements
  • Evidence of the minimum investment
  • Letter from a local bank confirming funds transfer
Documentation

Why choose to work with us?

Expertise in Portugal 

With our in-depth understanding of Portugal, we focus solely on this destination to provide you with the most detailed and relevant information.

Comprehensive Approach 

Experience a seamless process with one central point of contact for all your needs. Our service covers every aspect of your investment journey and Golden Visa application.

Transparency at Every Step 

Benefit from our honest recommendations, tailored to your best interests. Our pricing is transparent and competitive, and we prioritize efficiency to save you time and money.

Streamlined Process 

Harnessing the power of technology, we simplify paperwork and minimize your involvement. As clients ourselves, we understand your needs and strive to provide a hassle-free experience.

Frequently asked questions about Portugal Golden Visa for Canadians

Can Canadians apply for the Portugal Golden Visa program?

Yes, Canadians are eligible to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa program.

What are the benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa for Canadians?

The Portugal Golden Visa offers various benefits for Canadians, including residency rights in Portugal, the ability to travel freely within the Schengen Area, and eligibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship after meeting residency requirements.

What are the investment options available for Canadians under the Golden Visa program?

Canadians can choose from a range of investment options, job creation, investment funds, cultural donation or scientific research.

Can family members of Canadian Golden Visa holders also apply for residency?

Yes, family members of Canadian Golden Visa holders, including spouses, children, and dependent relatives, can also apply for residency under the same application.

Are there any language requirements for Canadians applying for the Golden Visa?

No, there are no language requirements for Canadians applying for the Portugal Golden Visa program.

Can Canadians maintain their Canadian citizenship while holding Portuguese residency or citizenship?

Yes, Canada allows dual citizenship, so Canadians can maintain their Canadian citizenship while holding Portuguese residency or citizenship obtained through the Golden Visa program.