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“Golden Visa” of Portugal

29 October 2018

In our detailed overview of obtaining a Portuguese Golden Visa we will provide a step-by-step guide to applying for a residence permit by investment in real estate and give the insights of specifics and peculiarities of the application process. Reviewing this information will take 10-15 minutes and give you the answers to each question that you might have. Just facts and specifics based on our experience of working with the program.

Stage 1

Preliminary check and signing the contract with Migronis

Duration:1-2 days

What does the applicant do?

Signs a contract with Migronis and pays 50% of the cost of the company’s services (the amount depends on the package of services chosen by the client).

What does the company do?

Reviews applicant's documents before signing the contract in order to assess the chances and possible risks that may occur during application process. Prepares a contract.

Result 1 of stage:

Stage 2

Choosing an investment object

Duration:1-2 days

What does the applicant do?

Informs about his requirements to real property, selects an appropriate object from the options provided by us and chooses the date of viewing an object.

What does the company do?

Sends various real property options according to your preferences, makes arrangements for viewing the selected object.

We cooperate with leading real estate agencies and offer our clients highly liquid properties at real market value. The price of the object is not artificially raised for the purpose of obtaining a Golden Visa.

Result 2 of stage:

Investment object chosen

Stage 3

Visit to Portugal for signing a real estate sale and purchase contract

Duration:1-2 weeks

What does the client do?

Concludes a preliminary sale and purchase contract with a real estate agency, pays a deposit.Issues a power of attorney in the name of a proxy-agent accredited to provide services in obtaining a residence permit and related documents, as well as for representation of the applicant’s interests before local authorities. Signs the real property sale and purchase contract, pays the necessary investment amount. Pays taxes and fees accompanying the act of purchasing real property.

What does the company do?

Receives the tax number in the local tax administration which is further required for the registration of the transaction and applying for a residence permit. Opens an account in a local bank, obtains life insurance in the same bank or an insurance company. Re-registers all utility payment contracts in the name of the client.

What does the notary do?

Follows up execution of the contract of sale and purchase of real estate in the bank (in the case of a partial mortgage) or in his office.

Расходы на 3 этапе

€ 350.000 the minimum amount of investment in real property object built more than 30 years ago and which is subject to reconstruction, or € 500,000 for any type of real estate for the main applicant; € 150-200 the minimum amount to be paid when opening an account in a bank; From € 200 a year for medical insurance per each applicant; From € 200 a year for a tax number and tax representative services (if necessary) per each applicant;   Taxes payable by the main applicant only once when buying a real property item: From € 25.000 – IMT (5-6.5% of the assessed value of the property), From € 1500 – IDS (0.3-0.5% of the cost), € 350 – registration of housing with local authorities, € 650 – registration of purchase.

Return of the deposit In case of a successful transaction, the amount of a deposit is returned to the client, and in case where a transaction is canceled at the buyer’s initiative, it remains with the real estate agency as a compensation. Tax number Assigning a tax number is not associated with the change of tax residency. The document is required for carrying out transactions in the country. Our experts will provide assistance in this aspect. The duration of obtaining the document is 1 business day. Taxes The property owner must annually pay the municipal real estate tax (Imposto Municipal do Imovel, IMI) which is set by each municipality and ranges from 0.3% to 0.5% of the assessed value of the property specified in the documentation issued during development or revaluation by government authorities. The tax is charged once a year and is paid the next year after the purchase of real estate. Payment is made in 1, 2 or 3 payments depending on the amount of tax: If the amount does not exceed € 400.00, the tax is paid in 1 payment in April; If the amount is from € 400.00 to € 2,000.00, the tax is paid in 2 payments – ½ in April and ½ in November; If the amount exceeds € 2,000.00, the tax is paid in 3 payments – ⅓ in April, ⅓ in July and ⅓ in November.   The tax amount can be reduced provided that the taxpayer has dependent minor children who are registered at the same address (1 child – 10%, 2 or more – 15% of the assessed value of real estate). The asset management company shall take care of the timely payment of taxes.

Result 3 of stage:

Document confirming property ownership

Stage 4

Preparation of documents and submission of the case to the SEF

Duration:15–30 days

What does the applicant do?

Provides the company with originals or notarized copies of all necessary documents, fills out a questionnaire.

What does the company do?

Receives certificates of no criminal record, fills out government forms, arranges for notarization of the copies of documents, translation and apostilization of the entire package of documents. Sends the case to the Portuguese Immigration Office (SEF). Submission of documents and payment of fees is carried out by a certified agent. The personal presence of the applicant is not required.

Расходы на 4 этапе

$ 3,000– $ 10,000 for preparation of documents (obtaining a certificate of no criminal record, translation and apostilization), € 527.60 – fee for the initial submission of documents for consideration per main applicant and € 80.04 per each family member. The final amount depends on the number of family and the documents provided.

The Portuguese program of provides for the mandatory apostilization of all civil documents. We help arrange for apostillization of the entire package within 2 days. Certificates of no criminal record Under normal procedure, a certificate of no criminal record is issued within a month, but there is a possibility to speed up the process for an additional fee and receive a certificate within 1 day. When is it preferable to do obtain certificates Some documents (conclusion of health examination, extracts and utility bills) have a “shelf life” of 3-6 months. It is better to obtain them closer to the date of filing.

Result 4 of stage:

The application form, which is filled out only in the state language.

Stage 5

Consideration of the case in the SEF

Duration:4-7 months

What does the applicant do?

Pays the rest of the cost of Migronis’ services.

What does the company do?

Prepares the additional documents and certificates requested by the SEF (if necessary).

What does SEF do?

Examines the documents, issues a decision on the case.

Result 5 of stage:

Stage 6

Obtaining a residence permit

Duration:up to 20 days

What does the applicant do?

Visits Portugal to submit biometric data. Pays fees for grant of a residence permit and issuance of a plastic card of a resident of Portugal.

What does the company do?

Follows up payment of invoices by the client.

Расходы на 6 этапе

€ 5,274.40 for grant of a residence permit per each person and € 2,637.40  for the subsequent renewal of the residence permit card per each applicant.

Initially, a residence permit is issued for 1 year, then renewed for 2 years, and then for another 2 years. In order to maintain the status, an applicant is required to spend 7 days a year in the country. We will remind about the necessity to renew the status 6 months before the expiration of the term. Getting a permanent residence After 5 years of holding a residence permit, a resident has the right to obtain permanent residency (valid for a period of 5 years and automatically renewed). Obtaining citizenship An application for citizenship can be submitted 6 years after the date of grant of the first residence permit. The application shall be accompanied by a certificate confirming the state language proficiency at A2 level (basic knowledge) and a certificate of no criminal record from the country of origin. For the time being, the Government of Portugal introduced a bill on granting citizenship after 5 years of LEGAL stay/residence in Portugal without knowledge of the language,however the bill has not yet been approved and is under consideration. Life insurance There are no special restrictions as to the terms of life insurance. It is sufficient to have life insurance for all applicants with one of the Portuguese insurance companies. As a rule, such types of insurance, as well as real estate insurance, are obtained when opening an account in a local bank. The cost depends on the “insurance coverage”. The applicant can choose the appropriate insurance option for his family.

Result 6 of stage:

Portuguese permanent residence permit received.

Difficulties in obtaining a residence permit in Portugal and their solutions

  • I do not know the Portuguese real property market and do not want to buy an overvalued property.


    We work with the entire database of Portugal’s real estate and offer only liquid objects. It is important to define the requirements to the property in advance, since real estate “for own needs” for € 500,000 (a house on the beach or an apartment with good renovation in a prestigious area) will not bring the same income as several apartments for the same amount in an area with high demand for rent. Our office in Portugal provides professional services in property management, so we are also interested in the object to generate income. In this article you can find a Standard & Poor’s review of the real estate market in Portugal.

  • When filling out government forms, translators may make minor spelling mistakes. Error correction takes time and money.


    We independently prepare a case, translate and legalize documents, so the case is prepared quickly and without errors, and thereafter successfully passes the examination at the Immigration Agency.

  • I want to get permanent residence and a passport in the future, but I don’t know Portuguese.


    Such a requirement does exist. However, providing a certificate of completion of the courses for a minimum knowledge of the language will suffice. By October 2018, there already have been successful cases of obtaining permanent residence within the Golden Visa program. In addition, the country's parliament is considering amendments to the law, according to which the norm regarding language proficiency can be abolished. As of March 2018, more than 6,200 foreign investors and 10,600 their family members received a Golden Visa. At the same time, the absolute majority of applicants do not speak Portuguese and are not integrated into Portuguese society (they do not live in the country and do not want to move), however they plan to renew the status. That is why the Parliament is considering the possibility of abolishing this norm. In our practice there are successful cases of obtaining permanent residency and citizenship. For more detailed information, please contact our expert for a consultation on the Portuguese program.

  • Residence permit of Portugal is valid for 1 year. After expiration of a 12-month period, it must be renewed.


    Solution: We will remind you of the necessity of renewing the residence permit six months before the expiration date, and will arrange for the replacement of the document in case of its loss/damage, etc. The renewal procedure takes up to 20 days.

Expert recommendations

Julia Solovey

expert on European residency programs, head of the Portuguese office

“Portuguese Golden Visa Program is indeed one of the best in Europe. Despite the relatively high investment threshold (€ 500.000) compared to the program of Greece (€ 250.000), it is more popular for several reasons: In Greece, you must permanently own real estate – if you sell it, the residence permit will not be renewed, and in Portugal you can sell the property in 5 years; In Portugal, it is possible to obtain permanent residence and citizenship with a minimum knowledge of the language and subject to staying in the country for 7 days a year. In Greece, it is required to have lived there for 7 years out of 10 and know the language, and the residence permit is not converted to permanent residence. The Maltese Permanent Residency Program neither provides for the possibility of obtaining citizenship in the future; The residence permit and permanent residence of Portugal are granted together with the right of employment; A property item can be exchanged for another one within 5 years (selling and buying a new one); It is possible to buy several property items with a total value of € 500.000; Having received a Portuguese passport in 6 years, you can live and work in England and in all EU and Schengen countries for 365 days a year, and you can visit the United States and Canada without visas; When obtaining Portuguese citizenship, there is no need to renounce the basic citizenship; According to the Standard & Poor’s report the real estate market in Portugal is one of the most attractive in the EU (the projected growth by 2021 is 5-7%).”


on the Portuguese Golden Visa program

  • The only EU residence permit program which provides for the possibility of getting a passport in 6 years.
  • In addition to a residence permit, you can receive income from liquid real estate with the right to sell the real property item in 5 years while maintaining the status.
  • The Portuguese passport is among the ten “strongest” passports in terms of lifting visa restrictions (ranked 4th out of 100 according to travel freedom)
  • The opportunity to become a tax resident and get a tax holiday for 10 years.
  • Adult children can receive the status together with the main applicant.
  • Portugal is known for its high living standards, political stability and low crime situation.

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