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Portugal Golden Visa: How To Benefit From the Current Rules Before the Changes

Portugal Golden Visa regulation has undergone certain amendments. Changes in the Golden Visa rules will be effective as of  Jan. 1, 2022. The two main changes in the rules are as follows:

  • Buying a residential property in Lisbon, Porto, or along the coast will not qualify you for Golden Visa in Portugal
  • The minimum investment amount for fund subscription will increase from €350,000 to €500,000.

Find the guideline about the application process and how much time each process takes below.

Starting Your Application for Golden Visa to Portugal

You’ll need to submit certain documents to be eligible to apply for the program. These documents include a tax number, a valid bank account, proof of address, proof of payment, and other personal documents. 

Let’s begin with the very first step of applying to the Portugal Golden Visa program: getting a NIF number.

Get a Portuguese Tax Number (NIF)

NIF number is necessary for you to make transactions in Portugal. It’ll take around one week to get a NIF number. Note that you won’t directly become a tax resident when you get a NIF number. 

You’ll need the following documents to get a NIF number:

  • Passport 
  • Address proof
  • NIF application submission form, and
  • Declaration forms for assigning NIF representatives.

Those above mentioned documents need to be certified by a notary or a lawyer in Portugal. Appointing a lawyer is an option to handle this work for yo

Open a Bank Account in Portugal

You’ll need a bank account in Portugal as the main applicant. While some banks allow you to open bank accounts remotely, others don’t. Also, note that each bank entails its own regulations and requirements. 

In total, the whole process of opening a bank account may take around three weeks.

The following documents are required to open a bank account in Portugal:

  • Passport 
  • Proof of address
  • Tax ID
  • Tax return 
  • Payslip 
  • Employment letter
  • Bank account opening forms

These documents must be signed by a lawyer in Portugal and a notary. When you get the certification, you’ll mail the documents to the bank.

Personal Documents 

Personal documents such as birth certificates and marriage certificates, and police reports are required. These documents need to be apostilled and translated into Portuguese. Then, you’ll make them certified. 

The process of preparing the documents and apostilled may take around two to three months.

In addition, you need to submit some documents in Portugal as well. These are:

  • Confirmation that you fulfill the investment requirements
  • The permission you give for authorities to access Portuguese criminal records
  • No debt certificate – you can get if from the Portuguese tax office and national insurance office
  • Declaration by Portugal banks that verify the transfer of funds (if any)
  • Proof that you’ll comply with the minimum investment threshold
  • Documents like property purchase papers, or a declaration letter from the fund manager.

Submit the Documents Online

At this point, assigning a lawyer will make the process easy. Following the preparation of all the necessary documents, you’ll submit them to the SEF portal. It’s the official website of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service. 

Duration of the Application Process

The whole process typically takes around three to four months. Depending on your situation, the process can take less or more time. This is why it’s advisable to start the application process as soon as possible.

The average duration of each step is as follows:

  • Getting a NIF number: One week 
  • Opening a bank account: Three weeks 
  • Fund subscription: Two weeks 
  • Property purchase: Three weeks 
  • Getting Personal Documents ready: 10-12 weeks 
  • Online submission: One week 

What Are the 2022 Changes in Golden Visa for Portugal?

The following changes will be in effect as of Jan. 1, 2022:

  • The minimum amount of investment fund option will increase from €350,000 to €500,000
  • Capital transfer investment option will increase from €1 million to €1.5 million
  • Geographical restrictions in real estate investment: You’ll not be eligible for Portugal Golden Visa if you buy a residential property in Lisbon, Porto, or in a coastal town. Qualifying properties are required to be located in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira; or, they must be in the inland, rural, or low-density areas.
  • The minimum investment amount in a Research and Development project will increase from €350,000 to €500,000 
  • Minimum incorporation amount in job and company creation: It’ll increase from €350,000 to €500,000. 

Note that the minimum required investment amount for qualifying real estate will be the same as before.

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