Golden Visa, Nationality and other Visas

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    1. Golden Visa

    The most popular and consistent residency program in Europe.

    The Portuguese Golden Visa has proved to be the most popular and consistent residency program in Europe with investors from all countries attracted to its flexibility and benefits since it combines: the investment and immigration areas, granting to the applicants and to their direct family members, a renewable residence permit in Portugal.

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    2. Residence Permit D7

    Passive income earners, including retirees, who intend to move to Portugal, may advantageously apply for a specific residence permit: the D7 Visa.

    This civil residency right can advantageously be accumulated, if convenient for the holder, with a special tax status (NHR program – non-habitual tax resident) that grants the applicant a 10-year income tax break.

    Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who intend to relocate to Portugal and have a reasonable net regular passive income can apply for this residency option without being subject to any investment activities in Portuguese territory.
    The D7 Visa must be renewed at the end of the first year and then every two years. Except for duly justified cases based on personal or professional reasons, the holder of the D7 Permit shall be out of Portugal for at most six consecutive months and eight non-consecutive months during the validity of each card.

    The process for a passive income D7 Visa is considerably faster and less costly to obtain, entitling the holder to the main benefits of Portugal residency, namely:

    • Security, democracy and life quality;
    • Free entry and circulation in the Schengen Area;
    • Family reunification;
    • Access to Portugal resident’s rights, such as education, recognition of diplomas and qualifications, healthcare, social security, trade union protection, justice and courts;
    • Freedom to live in Portugal and to develop, or not, a professional activity;
    • Option to apply to the NHR tax program for tax purposes (low or no taxation for ten years on most foreign-source income, applicable to pension income, dividends, interests, royalties, and real estate income foreigner sourced);
    • Access to permanent residency or citizenship after five years, subject to passing a language test of basic Portuguese.

    Successful application

    The D7 Visa is a two stages process that starts at the Portuguese Consulate of the applicant’s residency area – to apply for a residency visa that allows for a maximum of two entries and a stay in Portugal – and is concluded in Portugal before the Immigration Office with an interview to obtain a residency permit card.

    The primary documents for a successful application are the following:

    • Declaration outlining reasons for obtaining Portuguese residency;
    • Criminal record certificate;
    • Documentary evidence of having accommodation in Portugal (property title deed or rental agreement);
    • Documentary evidence of sufficient economic means available in Portugal for 12 months;
    • Documentary evidence of having a reasonable net regular passive income (pensions, dividends, rents, and more).

    3. Digital Nomad

    Portugal is one of the European countries where you can have a Visa created, especially for remote foreign workers. You can, therefore, work remotely for a certain period in our country, during which you can leave and enter Portugal whenever necessary.

    Is it possible to work for your company abroad but simultaneously live legally in Portugal? Yes, temporarily or with a residence permit? Both are an option.

    How can I do it? With a Digital Nomad Visa.

    Why Digital Nomad?

    The Portuguese Government recently changed the Law and created this Visa, which allows citizens from outside the European Union and the European Economic Area to live and work abroad from Portugal.

    The digital nomad visa allows for a more extended stay, which can be temporary or a residence permit.

    For a temporary stay of one year – note that a tourist visa is for 90 days – you can travel multiple times to Portugal without limitations on entry or exit.

    Why Portugal?

    The Digital Nomad Visa may be applied for from October 30 2022. Published in the Republic Diary on September 30, 2022, the Regulatory Decree nº4/2022 requires foreign citizens to prove that their monthly income over the last three months is equivalent to four times the national minimum wage, 2820 euros per month. In addition, they must present proof of fiscal residence, a work contract or some document from the employer that proves the employment relationship.

    Why is the Portuguese Government betting on this? Portugal was elected in 2020 as the best place in the world to live during the pandemic. The sun, the beach, the natural beauty, the excellent weather conditions, the access to the European Union, the lower cost of living and a good internet connection are some examples of the many advantages that our country has to offer.

    Portugal has been cited in several media as attractive for remote workers. For example, according to the “Nomad List” platform, Portugal has five cities in the top 20 of the best in the world for working remotely: Lisbon is in 1st place, Madeira in 5th place, Porto in 11th place, Portimão in 15th place and Lagos in 16th place.

    In addition to coworking spaces, the real estate market in Portugal is prepared for digital nomadic workers. It provides coliving spaces, with private rooms and everyday work and leisure spaces, which can rent for short periods.

    The remote worker may choose from rooms that exist within private residences intended for university students, hotels that already have programmes aimed at these professionals or villas created especially to integrate them with the local community, thus allowing cultural exchange, villas that we can find in Lisbon, Ericeira or the Azores, for example.

    4. Residence Permit D3

    With the D3 Visa, you can travel to Portugal and apply for a Residence Permit at the Foreigners and Borders Service. You can choose between the Residence Permit for Portugal or the EU Blue Card.

    However, the Visa is only valid for four months. Therefore, the Residence Permit is the “final” document that enables the professional to reside in Portugal.

    The EU Blue Card differs from other residence permits because, after 18 months of granting, its holder may move to another EU Member State to exercise a highly qualified activity with his family. That is, after this period, if you obtain a promise of employment or an employment contract with a company located in another Member State of the European Union, as long as the conditions of time and minimum monthly remuneration are observed, you can request the exchange of your EU Blue Card issued by Portugal for the Member State where you intend to reside, without further bureaucracy.

    Both residence permits are valid for an initial period of one year. Then, they are renewed for successive periods of two years.

    What is a highly qualified activity?

    The Law defines a highly qualified activity as one whose exercise requires specialized technical skills of an exceptional nature or an adequate qualification for the practice of the function.

    More specifically, it is the activity performed by professionals falling into any of the two groups below:

    • Leadership and management positions as executives, officers and legislators; senior public administration officials, managers; administrative and commercial managers; service managers and the like; company directors;
    • Specialists in intellectual and scientific activities include engineers and scientists, health professionals, teachers, business and administration professionals, information and communication technology professionals, cultural professionals, and legal experts.

    Residence for highly qualified activity

    A residence visa is granted for the exercise of a highly qualified activity carried out by a worker subordinate to third-country nationals who:

    • Holds a valid work contract or promise of work contract with at least one-year duration, to which corresponds an annual remuneration of at least 1.5 times the national average gross annual salary or three times the social support index value (IAS);
    • In the case of a regulated profession, holds high professional qualifications, duly proven in compliance with the provisions of Law no. 9/2009, of March 4, or specific Law regarding the recognition of professional qualifications necessary for the access and exercise of the profession indicated in the employment contract or promise of employment contract;
    • In the case of an unregulated profession, hold high professional qualifications appropriate to the activity or sector specified in the employment contract or promise of employment contract

    What is needed to qualify for a D3?

    To apply for a D3 Visa, the applicant must already have a work contract or a promise of a work contract and must also meet the following specic requirements:

    • That the activity to be developed is framed as a highly qualified activity and that the professional proves adequate qualification or experience for its exercise;
    • The contract must be stipulated for an indefinite period or, at least, have a duration of 1 year;
    • That the envisaged salary corresponds to an annual remuneration of at least 1.5 times the national average gross annual salary or three times the social support index (IAS)*. However, for employment in professions considered to have a particular need for third-country national workers, 1.2 times the national average gross wage or twice the value of the IAS is required.

    The IAS is the reference value for calculating Social Security in Portugal, and its value in 2020 was 438.81 euros. Therefore, if the Visa applicant wishes to obtain the EU Blue Card following this, the expected salary must be slightly higher, corresponding to an annual remuneration of at least 1.5 times the national average yearly gross salary.

    5. Residence Permit D2

    The D2 Visa is a two-step process that begins at the Portuguese Consulate of the applicant’s area of residence – to apply for a residence visa that allows a maximum of two entries and a stay in Portugal – and is completed in Portugal before the Immigration Office with an interview to obtain a residence card.

    The application’s granting or rejection will consider the relevance to the investment’s economic, social, scientific, technological, or cultural relevance.

    Residence D2 must be renewed at the end of the second year and, after that, every three years.

    Except in duly justified cases, for personal or professional reasons, the D2 Authorization holder must be present in Portugal for up to six consecutive months and eight interpolated months during the validity of each card.

    The process to obtain a D2 visa is considerably quick, giving the holder the right to the main benefits of residing in Portugal, namely:

    • Security, democracy and quality of life;
    • Free entry and circulation in the Schengen area;
    • Family reunification;
    • Conjugation with the NHR tax program for tax purposes (low or taxation exception for ten years on most foreign and national income within the scope of a high-value activity;
    • Access to the right to education, recognition of diplomas and qualifications, healthcare, social security, justice and courts;
    • Access to permanent residence or citizenship after five years, subject to proof the knowledge of the Portuguese language, level A2. D2 Visa can be obtained through three different situations:
      – Contract or written proposal for a service provision contract within the scope of liberal professions;
      – Investment operations in Portugal through the constitution or participation in a company;
    • Development of an entrepreneurial project, including creating an innovative base company integrated with a certified incubator.

    There is no minimum share capital subject to the D2 Visa application. In Portugal, companies can be incorporated with a share capital of € 1. However, the share capital must be appropriate to the activity and relevant to the request analysis.

    The primary documents for a successful D2 Visa application are as follows:

    1. Declaration with the reasons for the application;

    2. Criminal background certificate;

    3. Documentary proof of accommodation;

    4. Proof of economic means available in Portugal for 12 months;

    5. Evidence related to the enterprise option:

    A. Promise or Contract to provide services for the exercise of a liberal profession:

    • When applicable, a statement issued by the respective professional order on the verification of the registration requirements;
    • Document proving the academic qualification to practice the profession.

    B. Proof of incorporation of a company under the terms of Portuguese Law or of an investment operation:

    • Declaration of Beginning of Activity;
    • Investment Contract;
    • Business plan;
    • Curriculum.

    C. Documentary demonstration of the intention to carry out an investment operation in Portuguese territory, duly described and identified:

    • proof of availability of financial means in Portugal, including those resulting from financing obtained from a financial institution in Portugal;
    • Business plan.

    6. Nationality

    There are several ways to obtain the Portuguese nationality. They are:

    • Being born in Portuguese territory;
    • 1st or 2nd degree descent from a Portuguese citizen;
    • Marriage or civil partnership, for more than 3 years, with a Portuguese citizen;
    • Legal residence in Portuguese territory for at least 5 years; this includes the Golden Visa Residence Permit;
    • Individuals who are not stateless but have held the Portuguese nationality in the past;
    • Members of communities of Portuguese descent;
    • Foreigners who have rendered or are called upon to render relevant services to the Portuguese State or the national community;
    • Descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews;
    • Nationals of former Portuguese colonies;

    Some nationality applications require proof of ties to the Portuguese community, with the requirement being the knowledge of the Portuguese language, i.e. A2 level Portuguese. Other forms of nationality demand stronger ties than the above-mentioned, such as nationality by descent from Portuguese Sephardic Jews.

    To acquire Portuguese nationality you cannot:

    • have been sentenced to 3 or more years in prison for a crime punishable under Portuguese law;
    • hold public office, other than technical positions, in another country;
    • have performed non-compulsory military service in another country;
    • been involved in terrorist-related activities.

    Each nationality application deserves careful consideration, so please contact us for further clarification.

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