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Portugal golden visa application process

Portugal golden visa application process

This article will outline the Portugal golden visa application process and what you’ll need to do to get a golden visa.


Portugal’s golden visa program is one of Europe’s most popular residency-by-investment programs. The program offers investors a fast track to Portuguese residency and citizenship.


Obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa is a straightforward process. Even so, it takes a little more than six months to complete the process if you do all the work yourself.

It’s advisable to work with an immigration lawyer to assist you with obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa, so you can be sure that your application is submitted.

Working with an immigration attorney will ensure that your investment pays off, as it’ll put in a visa application faster.

Portugal golden visa application process overview:

What is the Portugal golden visa program?

The Portugal Golden Visa program offers a quick and easy way for non-EU citizens to get residency in Portugal.


To qualify, applicants must make at least €280,000 investment in real estate. Once granted residency, holders can live and work in Portugal and travel throughout the Schengen Area.

The program has been popular with Chinese and South African investors, who have made up the majority of applicants in recent years.

Basic requirements

The Portugal golden visa program needs you to fulfill particular requirements, which include:

  • You must be 18 years or older
  • Invest in Portugal. See the Portugal golden visa investment opportunities listed here. 
  • You must not have any criminal history. 
  • Not have EU or Swiss citizenship.
Portuguese golden visa

The application process

Step 1: Decide on your investment


When deciding between the Portugal Golden Visa, you first need to decide what investment you want to make.

If you wish to buy qualifying real estate, this can delay your visa process as you may need to search for the property.


Step 2: Open a Portuguese Bank account & get a NIF number


After deciding on the investment that you intend to make, you must open a Portuguese bank account and get a Portuguese tax identification number (NIF).

You must get your NIF number from Portugal by visiting and submitting proof of your address from your own country.

But, if you use an immigration consultancy and give them power of attorney, they will get the NIF number and open the account for you.


Step 3: Make your investment


Before starting your investment project, you’ve got to underwrite your account with funds from abroad.

The money will need to come from your Portuguese account, which your immigration consultancy helps you set up with your outside capital.



Step 4: Submit visa application & documents


Once your investment is finalized, you can submit your application for the Golden Visa to Portugal. If working with a Portugal golden visa lawyer, they will handle this.


You’ll need to submit the following documents:


  • Passport or valid identification document

  • Proof of legal entry into Portugal

  • Proof of health insurance

  • Criminal record certificate from country of origin or residence

  • Evidence of compliance with tax and social security obligations

  • Portugal golden visa investment receipt

  • Receipt of payment of the application fees


You should remember that these documents must be translated into Portuguese and legalized with an apostille if they do not originate from Portugal.


Step 5: Attend SEF appointment


When you submit your application, you (or your immigration consultancy) will schedule a SEF appointment.


At the SEF appointment, they will take your fingerprints.

This indicates your application is complete, and you’ll receive your permit cards.


Step 6: Collect your Portugal golden visa & residence permits


After the SEF biometrics appointment, it will take about four months to receive your residence cards. If a Portuguese immigration lawyer is helping you, you’ll receive your cards at home.

These initial permits are valid for two years and can be renewed before you can apply for a lifetime permit.

Portugal golden visa application process

Tips for a successful application

If you want your application to be successful, one of the most critical aspects that will make or break your application is criminal records.


It’s unlikely that the Portuguese government will reject your application for any other document. Another tip is to ensure you have all the required documents, including a valid passport, clean criminal records, evidence of compliance with tax and social security obligations, etc.


Only complete or accurate applications are accepted. So double-check everything before you submit it!


Once your application is approved, you will receive a visa to live and work in Portugal for up to five years.


After that, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship. Are you interested in moving to Portugal? The Golden Visa program may be right for you.


Contact us via email or schedule a free consultation call and talk to our immigration consultants to start the application process.

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