Portugal Golden Visa Program
Portugal Golden Visa Program

Portuguese Golden Residence Program

Initial Application

  1. Document preparation time:
  • After the applicants make a full payment or transfer the public deed, they can begin preparing the documents for their initial application for a golden residence permit while their lawyer can simultaneously assist them in setting up an appointment with SEF to start the official application process.
  1. The requirements for the main applicant:  
  • According to the Golden Residence Permit Act, a husband and wife cannot jointly apply for the golden residence permit as the main applicant. It is the real estate ownership that defines the main applicant, however, the spouse and other dependents can obtain the golden residence permit card through the family reunification plan.
  • Note: The dependent can simultaneously apply for the golden residence permit with the main applicant, or submit their application after the main applicant’s.

List of the initial application documents for the golden residence permit

  • Documents that need to be prepared by all applicants:

    • ID photo: each applicant needs to provide 4 colour photos against a white background measuring 45mm high by  35mm wide;
    • Passport: The passport should be valid for at least six months with at least two blank pages, and the applicants need to provide a copy of the passport.
    • Private medical insurance: The applicants do not need to purchase full medical insurance when they make their first application. But if the applicants want to reside in Portugal for a long time, it is recommended to purchase medical insurance, as SEF may check if they are insured.
    • No criminal record: If the applicants have lived in a third country for a period of one year or more, the applicants need to provide a criminal record issued by the relevant local authorities.
      • Note: a non-criminal record is valid for three months.
  • Documents that only the main applicants need to prepare:

    • Proof of Living Guarantee: According to the minimum living standard in Portugal, it is recommended that the main applicant deposits €6,000 for each applicant (including the main applicant) per year into his Portuguese bank account.
  • Documents that the dependent applicants need to prepare:

    • Spouse: marriage certificate
    • Children (under 18 years of age): birth certificate; parental (non-main applicant) statement for permission to apply for the golden residence permit for children.
    • Children (over 18 years of age): birth certificate; Proof of unmarried status, student certification and financial dependence.
    • Main applicant’s parents (under 65 years old): Birth certificate of the main applicant or his/her spouse; proof of financial dependence;
    • main applicant’s parents (over 65 years old): Birth certificate of the main applicant or his/her spouse;
    • Note:
      • The dependent’s application documents need to be submitted to the notary office and translated into Portuguese followed by notarization by the two countries’ embassies.
      • There are two ways to notarize the marriage certificate:
      • The main applicant or his/her spouse will present the original file and the copy of the marriage certificate to the notary office, then the notary shall check whether the original and the copy of the marriage certificate are identical.
      • If the main applicant or his/her spouse’s marriage certificate is lost, or their marriage certificate cannot be used for notarization, they can go to the notary office to do the marriage entity notarization.
      • Note: This document is valid for six months from the date of notarization.
      • There are two ways to notarize the birth certificate:
      • The applicants who need to provide the birth certificate shall present the original and the copy of the birth certificate issued by the hospital to the notary office, then the notary checks whether the two documents are identical. Finally, the notary issues the birth certificate.
      • If the applicant cannot provide the birth certificate, the applicant and his/her parents shall do the birth entity notarization at the notary office.
        • Note: This document is valid for six months from the date of notarization.
  • Statement of Guardian’s permission to apply for the residence permit for a child: Portugal Golden Visa Program1

    • If a child applies for the golden residence permit with only one of their parents, the guardian of the child who does not apply for the golden residence permit needs to write a statement that declares he/she agrees that the child can apply for the golden residence permit with another guardian.
    • If the parents of the child both apply for the golden residence permit, this document is not required.
      • Proof of studies: full-time student status provided by schools accredited by the Ministry of Education.
      • Proof of financial dependence: The main applicants must write a living statement and provide other documents, such as living expenses, tuition / medical expenses to prove that their children/parents/spouse’s parents are financially dependent on the main applicant.
  • The documents that the lawyer can assist all of the applicants to prepare:

    • The public deed or the promissory agreement of the property:   the public deed issued by the Portuguese Land Registry or the promissory agreement (original and copy documents) registered by the local notary office;
    • Proof of Payment: proof of payment of at least €500,000 issued by the Portuguese bank (if it is a non-cash payment, such as a bank transfer);
    • Debt-free statement:      A document issued by the Portuguese tax department and the social security department certifying that the applicant has no debt in Portugal;
    • Declaration of credit: A document drafted by the lawyer and signed by the applicants that they are willing to apply for the golden residence permit.
    • An Application Form for the Golden Residence Permit;
      • Letter of Responsibility: The main applicant is required to sign their name in the official accountability letter for the dependents,  declaring responsibility for them.
    • Note:
      • Time: It takes about 1 week to notarize the documents, while it takes about 4 weeks to notarize the documents of double notarization.
      • Document validity: All documents need to be submitted to SEF within the period of validity of the document;
      • Submission of documents: SEF has the right to require the applicants to update or supplement the relevant documents. This includes but is not limited to the documents mentioned above.
      • Suggestion: Applicants should provide accurate information and make sure that the information is not altered, or it may affect the application process and the result.
      • The lawyer will book an appointment with SEF to submit the application for the golden residence permit
      • Such appointment shall be made before the applicants go to Portugal to submit the application.
      • Then SEF will send an appointment letter to the lawyer and the letter will be delivered to the applicants via the agency.
      • The applicants can then purchase the tickets to confirm their trip to Portugal.
      • The applicants must have a legal visa to enter Portugal.
      • Apart from the above-mentioned document, (The applicant can bring all the documents in person when entering Portugal, or have all the documents sent to the lawyer in Portugal with the assistance of the agency), the applicant will also bring a hard copy of the appointment letter.
      • The applicants pay the case filing fee at the SEF office accompanied by the lawyer (€ 520.4 for the main applicant, € 81.1 /dependent), submit their documents and biometric information.

  • SEF regulations:

    • all the documents must be submitted at the first application as the initial filing and SEF will check the documents’ complicity.
      • If the portfolio is complete, SEF will accept the application and review the portfolio. If any document is missing, SEF will refuse the application.
    • SEF will inform the applicants if their portfolio is not complete within 10 days from the date of submission.
      • And the applicants must reply to SEF and file extra supporting documents within 10 to 20 days from the receipt of SEF’ s notification, or the SEF has the right to deny this application.
    • The main applicants must submit the first application in person and submit the biometric information.
      • In addition, it is recommended that all the applicants should make their first application in person as the initial filing.
      • If the dependents cannot apply in person together with the main applicants, they will have to apply for a separate appointment, unaccompanied by the main applicant.
  • Processing & Approval

    • According to the new regulations of SEF, the related departments need to reply within 90 days of the applicant’s first application for the Golden Residence Permit
    • SEF will approve the application for the golden residence permit after processing all the documents of the applicants.
    • SEF will send the letter of approval to the lawyer, then the letter will be sent to the applicant via the agency.
    • The lawyer assists the applicants to apply for a residence card authorization, and the bank will send the authorization document to the main applicant’s email. Then the applicants sign the document under the guidance of the agency.
    • After the main applicants send an authorized email to the bank, and the lawyer will receive the check from the bank and make a payment to SEF.
    • It usually takes one to two months to produce the residence card from the date of the payment.
    • The first golden residence permit card issued to the applicant is valid for one year.

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