Immigration to Portugal

Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced many aspects of its culture: salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes, the Algarve’s beaches are a major destination and much of the nations architecture dates to the 1500s-1800s, when Portugal had a powerful maritime empire.Portugal is ranked 41stout of 187 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index 2014, placing it in the very high human development group. It became a member of the European Union in 1986.The country is famous for its history and cultural heritage, as well as its warm climate and range of diverse landscapes, beaches, hillsides and mountains, a wondrous national park, numerous natural parks and reserves, superb cuisine and hospitable people.

  • Capital: Lisbon
  • Population:10.32 million (2016)
  • Currency: Euro
The Golden Residence Permit Program
The Golden Residence Permit Program was introduced in October 2012, targeting non-European citizens seeking to live and work in Portugal and to enjoy the benefit if traveling to the Schengen Area. The Program allows investors and their families to obtain Portugal residence even while maintaining residence elsewhere.
Applicants are required to be of good character, i.e., no convictions for any crime punishable with a prison sentence of one year or more. The Applicants must also not have been banned from Portugal in the past, and must not have any red flags on for entry into the Schengen Area. Finally, applicants under the Program must be able and willing to make a capital investment, purchase Portuguese real estate, or create at least 10 jobs.

Whilst the vast majority of an application under the Program may be prepared from abroad, applicants must travel to Portugal for the purpose of supplying biometric data.

The initial residence permits are issued for one year and must be renewed upon expiry. The renewal depends on the applicant meeting program’s residence obligation.

Governing Regulation

The Golden Residence Permit Program was established pursuant to Order n. 11820-A/2012 and Order no. 1661-A/2013, which amends Act n. 23/2007 and defines the legal framework for the entry, permanence, and exit of foreigners from Portugal.

The Program is administered by the Portuguese Servio de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF), the countrys aliens and border control authority.

Residence Requirements

The applicants are required to fulfill following residence obligation in order to have their residence permits:
  • 7 days during the first year of residence; and
  • 14 days during each subsequent two years of residence.


Residents of Portugal can take advantage of several benefits, including:

  • Live, study and travel in Europe.
  • Most popular European property investment scheme
  • Very minimal residency requirements.
  • Profitable real estate investment
  • Naturalize for citizenship after 6 years. Citizens of Portugal may travel visa-free to around 170 countries, including Canada, the United States, the
  • European Union (including the United Kingdom), and the Schengen region.
  • No taxes unless you live 183 days in Portugal
  • No interviews, No language tests
  • Immigrate to Europe with family and children and enjoy the safety an mobility that comes with residence in Europe.
  • Travel freely in Schengen including Switzerland, Germany etc.
  • Qualify for Portuguese PR after 5 years of living.

Visa-Free Travel

Citizens of Portugalcan benefit from visa-free travel to about172 countries and territories, including Canada, the United States, the European Union (including the United Kingdom), and the Schengen region. Please note however that visa-free travel to the listed countries is subject to change.

Application Process

The application process for the Portuguese Golden Residence Permit Program complex and time consuming taking between 4 to 6 months. Our experienced partners are capable to provide assistance through every step of the application process, that may include the following steps:

Step 1: Complete our online assessment form and thereafter, if found eligible, book a formal consultation with AIA to discuss the Program with a member of the AIA team, who will assist you in selecting the best investment option available.

Step 2:Become a client of AIA, and begin collecting documents for your application.

Step 3:Work in concert with AIA to complete all necessary application forms and obtain all required documentation. All documents must be provided either in Portuguese or in English, and if original documents are not in these two languages, then they must be translated, notarized, and legalized.

Step 4:Purchase of real estate in Portugal, investment in a Portuguese business, or investment in Government financial instruments.

Step 5:Submission of the application to the SEF,the body thatprocesses Golden Residence Permit applications. AIA via its authorized partners will provide the SEF with documentary evidence of the purchase of real estate or of the investment, such as share or ownership certificates.

Step 6:Granting ofthe residence permit, with the right to settle in Portugal and travel throughout the Schengen Area.

How we can help

At AIA we endeavour to make the complex and demanding process of applying for an alternative citizenship as easy as possible for our clients.

We offer the following standard services in association with our Authorized Partners:

  • A dedicated relationship manager as your single point of contact throughout your application.
  • Professional guidance via our authorized representative on the application procedure and support throughout the process.
  • Documentation preparation and validation.
  • Representation by our authorized partner on your behalf before the Government.
  • Management and resolution of any legal queries related to the application.
  • Additional services available on request for clients wishing to utilize our partner network to support their application, including the following:
    • Concierge services
    • Property investment and advice
    • Notary Public services
    • Relocation assistance
    • Translation services
    • Tax planning
    • Medical services
    • Trust planning
    • Banking services
    • Fiduciary services

Investment Options

Investments under the Portuguese Golden Residence Permit Program must be maintained for a minimum of 5 years from the date the residence permit is granted. Applicants may choose one of the following three qualifying investments:

1. Capital Transfer

Applicants under this first option must make a capital investment of at least Euro 1,000,000.

2.Real Estate

Applicants under this second option must purchase residential, commercial, or agricultural real estate worth at least Euro 350,000 to Euro 500,000.

3. Ten Jobs

Applicants under this third option must create at least ten jobs in Portugal.

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