Who can apply to Portugal’s Residence Permit for Investment Activity (or Golden Visa regime)?


All third country citizens who conduct an investment activity, as an individual businessperson or through a company set up in Portugal or in another EU Member State and who, in addition, are stably settled in Portugal, as along as these citizens fulfill the quantitative requirements and the time requirements set out by the relevant legislation, may apply for a Residence Permit for Investment.

Portuguese, EU and EEE nationals are not eligible for the ARI / Golden Visa scheme.

Source: SEF (as of 23.03.2022)


Can I still move to Portugal after Brexit?


Following Brexit, UK citizens no longer have an automatic right to relocate to Portugal, and will need to apply for a visa, just like any other non-EU national.

One option is to obtain a ‘Golden Visa’, an investment visa that grants residency in return for making an investment in Portuguese property, technology or sciences, or opening a bank account holding at least €1.5million. After five years, you will be able to apply for permanent residency or even citizenship with a Portuguese passport.

The D7 visa, also known as the retirement visa or passive income visa, is perfect for those with a regular income, like a pension or remote job. As long as your income meets the Portuguese minimum wage (less than €700 per month), this visa is attainable for British retirees, rental income earners, freelancers, and remote workers.

The D2 visa is designed to support entrepreneurs wanting to establish startups business in Portugal. There are no limitations on the type of business, but proof that there is an existing startup capital €5k will be required.

Answer supplied in October 2023  by Sonia Rola, a Chamber Member who is a Senior Associate Solicitor and Accredited Family Mediator at Buckles Solicitors LLP.

To contact and find more information about Sonia Rola, please click here


Do I need an immigration lawyer to move to Portugal?


Depending on your unique circumstance, you may or may not need legal representation when moving to Portugal. You possibly can do it yourself if you can speak Portuguese. However, there are many advantages to employing an experienced lawyer. An immigration attorney can represent you, help you with your visa application, and offer crucial legal advice for your investment-related activities. It is always advisable to speak with a specialist to learn the precise criteria for your country of origin.

Answer supplied in October 2023  by Sonia Rola, a Chamber Member who is a Senior Associate Solicitor and Accredited Family Mediator at Buckles Solicitors LLP.

To contact and find more information about Sonia Rola, please click here


What are the tax benefits of moving to Portugal?


The importance of tax and financial planning when making the move to Portugal shouldn’t be underestimated. Even for those who have already made the move and are settled in, it’s crucial to regularly reassess financial arrangements to ensure they’re up-to-date.

Once you become a resident, be prepared for Portuguese taxes on your worldwide income and certain capital gains. While most individuals are considered tax residents after 183 days, it can happen sooner if you relocate with the intention of making Portugal your home. Also, be mindful of residency rules in your home country.

It is, however, possible for new residents to take advantage of Portugal’s “non-habitual residence” (NHR) law, new residents can benefit from substantial tax breaks for the first 10 years. Applications must be made through the local tax office as soon as possible after arriving and applicants must not have resided there within the previous five tax years in order to be eligible.

NHR allows those eligible to receive certain overseas income tax-free or, in the case of pensioners, at a reduced rate, in addition to providing a fixed income tax rate of 20% to individuals employed in “high value-added” professions.

It’s important to remain mindful that what was a tax-efficient practice here in the UK will be the same in Portugal, however. UK ISAs, for example, are taxable for Portuguese residents.

Those choosing to relocate should reevaluate their financial planning to make sure the measures in place better reflect their new living circumstances. Sourcing a local advisor who can recommend tax-efficient solutions for managing assets and wealth is crucial.

Answer supplied in October 2023 by Sonia Rola, a Chamber Member who is a Senior Associate Solicitor and Accredited Family Mediator at Buckles Solicitors LLP.

To contact and find more information about Sonia Rola, please click here


What visa do I need to move to Portugal?


Portugal’s immigration and visa system operates on two tiers, catering to either EU/EFTA citizens or third-country nationals.

EU/EFTA citizens enjoy visa-free entry to Portugal, along with certain family members, even if they are not from the EU. They can stay for three months to seek employment or establish a business, with the same rights as Portuguese workers once hired.

They must obtain a registration certificate if they wish to extend their stay beyond three months. Then, after five years, they can apply for a permanent residence certificate.

Any non-EU/EFTA nationals staying in Portugal for less than three months may require a visa unless their country has an agreement with Portugal. Currently, 61 countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have visa-free agreements for short stays.

Those planning to stay in Portugal for more than three months must obtain a long-term national visa before arrival and a Portuguese residence permit after reaching the country. This applies to UK citizens following Brexit.

Portugal offers three different types of visas:

Short-term visas, also referred to as Schengen visas, are valid for stays up to 90 days. With this visa, you’ll have the freedom to travel throughout the Schengen Area countries for the duration of your stay.

You will need to apply for a Schengen Visa at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country. This should be done no more than six months and no later than 15 days before your trip to Portugal.

The cost of a Schengen short-stay visa is €80 for adults, with children aged 6 to 12 paying a reduced fee of €40. In some countries, there may be an additional service fee, which is usually no more than half of the standard visa cost. This means the maximum service fee is €40 (or €20 for children aged 6 to 12).

Nationals of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, or Ukraine will be charged a reduced fee of just €35 because these countries all hold Visa Facilitation Agreements with the EU.

Visas for Short-Term National Stay include:

o   Short-term general visa: This 90-day visa can be used for a variety of things, including travel, visiting relatives, short-term employment, and business.

o   Seasonal work visa: This visa is for seasonal work in either land transport; Food, alcohol, or tobacco industries; Retail; Agriculture, forestry, hunting, or fishing

o   Airport transit visa: This is allowed to enable movement between flights in an airport’s international region without going through the Schengen Zone. All travellers who change flights in a Schengen airport must have this visa, unless they are excluded from needing a visa to enter Portugal.

Temporary Stay visa are required if you are a third-country national planning to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days but less than a year, you will need a Temporary Stay visa.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Family members, Portuguese residents, and other EU/EFTA nationals are exempt from obtaining this visa.

To apply for the Temporary Stay visa, simply visit the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country. While the deadline for visa decisions is 30 days before your travel date, you can start the application process months in advance.

The cost of the Temporary Stay visa is €75, but there are certain individuals who are exempt from paying this fee. This includes children who are family members of Portuguese residents or EU/EFTA residents, those with study scholarships from Portugal, highly qualified researchers, and patients and accompanying persons under Cooperation Agreements in the Field of Health with Portugal.

The main types of Temporary Stay visas are;

o   Any study programme in Portugal lasting 90 days to one year is eligible for the study visa. Secondary, graduate, and postgraduate education are all included.

o   Any type of professional training, unpaid internship, or volunteering for a charity or NGO with a Portuguese base is permitted with the Professional training, internship, or volunteering visa.

o   The medical treatment visa can be used to receive your own medical care through the Portuguese health system or to travel with a family member who is receiving medical attention.

o   The Self Support visa is for anyone who can demonstrate that they can support themselves financially for a 12-month stay in Portugal, whether they are working-age or retired.

o   The religious training or study must be done at a recognised institution or congregation to qualify for the religious purposes visa.


National long-stay visas: A national long-stay residency visa, also known as the Portuguese national visa, allows you to enjoy an extended stay of up to a year.

To obtain a Residency Visa, you’ll need to apply for a Portuguese residency permit from the Portugal Immigration Service (SEF). The application process and requirements are the same as those for the Temporary Stay visa. You can find all the necessary information and the application form (PDF) on our website.

However, there are a few key differences to note. The deadline for applying for the Residency Visa is 60 days, compared to the 30-day deadline for the Temporary Stay visa. Additionally, the cost of the Residency Visa is slightly higher at €90. The exemption categories remain the same as those for the Temporary Stay visa.

There are several long-term visa options:

o   Work visa: Ideal for long-term or permanent work placements lasting longer than one year.

o   Study visa: Granted for study periods of more than a year at all educational levels.

o   Professional training, internship, or volunteering visa: Covers various forms of professional training, unpaid internships, or volunteering opportunities lasting longer than 12 months.

o   Family reunion visa: Designed for family members of non-EU/EFTA residents in Portugal who are also from outside the EU.

o   Digital Nomad Visa: Perfect for remote workers, this visa requires verification of active income and an employment contract from a foreign employer. Your monthly earnings must be at least four times the Portuguese minimum wage. For guidance on this visa, contact our advisors at Pearls of Portugal.

o   Golden Visa Scheme: Designed to attract foreign investment, this special visa program expedites the process for non-EU investors who meet certain investment criteria. Successful applicants will receive a Portuguese residence permit and can later apply for full Portuguese citizenship.


Answer supplied in October 2023 by Sonia Rola, a Chamber Member who is a Senior Associate Solicitor and Accredited Family Mediator at Buckles Solicitors LLP.

To contact and find more information about Sonia Rola, please click here