1. Briefly, can you list the steps necessary to obtain a golden visa?
This involves preliminary steps as obtaining Portuguese tax numbers and opening a bank account. It also involves then transferring the necessary funds for the investment to be made/completed. It also involves that the Client obtains documentation from his/her home country attesting absence of any criminal history, the family relations with other family members also participating in the Golden Visa application, and other documents.
When this has been achieved, the Golden Visa application may be submitted, with its inherent subsequent steps taking place thereafter.
2. Is it possible to make the golden visa deadline before the end of the year and is there a long waiting list?
This is entirely possible. It is advisable that for whoever wants to meet the deadline, the process is started no later than early September 2021. There is no such thing as a waiting list or a maximum number of applications.
3. What is a realistic timeframe from starting your application to receiving your golden visa in your hand?
With the current adjustments that Covid entailed, this will probably be of around 9 months.
4. How often do you have to visit Portugal, as this has changed recently?
Applicants are required to be in Portugal to collect their biometric data before the Immigration Services, initially, half way through the process to obtain the Golden Visa. Once the Golden Visa/Residency is granted, applicants will be required to spend 14 days in Portugal during the validity of the residency cards (these are valid for 2 years and renewed every 2 years).
5. How do the current restrictions affect the application process?
The only impact that Covid has had was in the appointments for biometrics. The Immigration Services have been closed nearly 6 months between 2020 and 2021 and this has generated a backlog in what concerns the biometrics. Of course, there have been situations where applicants from certain jurisdictions have not been allowed to travel to Portugal on time for their appointments or at any other time, but this issue has been strongly diminished.
6. Have you had any golden visa applicants which have achieved a Portuguese passport?
Absolutely. We have had over 100 clients that have achieved this. It is a modest number still for the overall clientele that we represent but this has to do with the fact that many of our clients cannot hold dual citizenship. The process is objective and document driven and it takes between 7 months to circa 14 months, normally.
7. Is the €350,000 golden visa through refurbishment very straight forward to obtain the golden visa, if so, have you achieved many applications this way?
The overriding majority of our clients chose the € 500,000 route but we also represent clients that decided to proceed with this type of investment.
It involves additional conditions that the € 500,000 option does not, such as the undertaking of refurbishment on the property(ies) acquired, and in that view, it is typically less straightforward.
8. If I have adult children planning to move with me – do I put them on the application?
It depends. Children with at least 18 years of age are required to fulfil three requirements:
• Being financially dependent from any of the parents;
• Being single (i.e. not married);
• Being in any form of education in any location in the world.
In addition, these requirements need to be shown not only in the initial application for the Golden Visa, but also at each renewal, which takes place every two years. This has to be taken into consideration.
9. Are there any other bureaucratic and practical considerations to think about in the golden visa process?
The process involves tying up a certain investment, that requires being made in a certain way, and then a residency application. There are multiple levels or moments involving bureaucracy and practicalities which are very important. However, this is where being represented by someone locally and that is completely conversant with these matters, makes a complete difference.
10. Martinhal Residences and Martinhal Sagres will be exempt of this deadline please can you explain why? Martinhal Sagres has a €400,000 amount needed to apply for the golden visa please can you explain how this is possible?
This will be the case because the changes to the regulations that are envisaged to take place on 1st January 2022, will entail that the geographical restrictions that will be imposed and will prevent investments done in the coastal areas of Portugal to substantiate a Golden Visa application, will only apply to properties with a pure residential use. Martinhal Residences in Lisbon and Martinhal Sagres are both projects where the use of the properties therein is classed as “services” and, therefore, the regulations that will come into force will not have any impact on these properties.
The reduced amount of investment of € 400,000 for Martinhal Sagres derives from a provision of the legislation that establishes that investments made in low density or less developed areas, benefit from a 20% reduction from the normal minimum thresholds of investment (in this case, from the normal € 500,000 there is a reduction to € 400,000). This is exactly the case with the area where Martinhal Sagres is located.
Note from Martinhal Residences in October 2023:
The Golden Visa and NHR (Non-Habitual Residence) regimes have both changed in 2023, or are changing. While they both will still be in place, how one gets a Golden Visa (or Residence Permit) or an NHR status is changing completely. Please consult with EDGE International Lawyers, or another lawyer, to understand what has changed and how you can still avail of these regimes, or D2 or D7.
The Martinhal Team