Residence Programs by Investments in Spain and Portugal

1. Spanish Golden Visa investment program

The general procedure to obtain a Spanish residence visa through investments (called the “Golden Visa”) is through a real estate investment equal to or above EUR 500.000. However, pursuant to Spanish Law, there is more than one option to obtain the Visa based on investments, which are:

  • Holding Spanish public debt: investment equal to or above EUR 2.000.000;
  • Holding shares or stock in Spanish entities: investment equal to or above EUR 1.000.000;
  • Investing in a bank deposit with a Spanish financial entity: investment equal to or above EUR 1.000.000;
  • Business project of general interest developed in Spain.
  • The general requirements to apply for the Golden Visa program are:
  • Not to have entered or stayed irregularly in the Spanish territory;
  • Have the legal age (over 18);
  • Not to have been refused entry in any Schengen countries;
  • Not to have a criminal record;
  • Have public or a private health insurance with an authorized entity in Spain;
  • Have sufficient economic means to cover personal expenses as well of those of family members during the stay in Spain;
  • Pay the authorization or visa processing tax;
  • Proof of the investment must be made through a Registry of Property certificate attesting ownership.
  • Investment must be kept during the program and for further renewals.

The procedure to obtain the Spanish Golden Visa can be summarised as follow:

  • Application for a “N.I.E.” (Foreign Nationals ID Number);
  • Purchase of a real estate property or investment in alternative investments options as described above;
  • Application for a one-year investor visa;

Once the visa is granted, the holder and owner of the real estate is allowed to spend a year in Spain, and travel freely in the Schengen area for 90 days out of every 180 days.

The interested party will not be obliged to spend a minimum time-period in Spain during the year. However, to get the residency permission at the end of the year, he/she must visit Spain at least once in the first year.

After the first year, the holder of the Visa can apply for an authorization to reside in Spain. The authorization is granted for two years, renewable for another two years.

Finally, after five years of continuous residence, investors can apply for a permanent residence in Spain.

2. Portuguese Golden Residence program

Who can request a Portuguese residence permit for investment activities?

Third country nationals who either carry out investment activities personally or through a company that lead, as a rule, to at least one of the following situations in Portuguese territory and for a minimum period of five years:

  • The acquisition of real estate with a value of EUR 500,000 or more;
  • Transfer of capital worth EUR 1,000,000 or more (including investments in company stocks or shares);
  • The creation of at least 10 direct jobs.

How should a request to acquire real estate be filled in?

  • By demonstrating full ownership of real estate through the presentation of property transfer deed or a property purchase undertaking. These documents should include a declaration from a financial institution, authorised to carry out activities in Portuguese territory, stating that a transfer of EUR 500,000 or more has effectively been made for its acquisition, or as a signal of a purchase undertaking, and
  • By submitting an up-to-date certificate from the property register, which, in the case of a promissory contract, provided that it is legally viable, should always include the respective entry.

The property may:

  • be acquired under a co-ownership scheme, provided that each co-owner invests EUR 500,000 or more, or through a promissory sale-purchase agreement indicating an amount of EUR 500,000 or more; the respective transfer deed should be submitted before requesting the renewal of the residency permit for investors;
  • be encumbered starting from a threshold in excess of EUR 500,000
  • be leased and exploited for commercial, agricultural or tourism purposes.

The holders of Golden Residence Permits for Investment Activity have the right to family regrouping, and may gain access to a permanent residence permit, as well as to Portuguese citizenship in accordance to the current legal provisions.

For the purposes of renewing a residency permit, you may have to show that you have resided in Portuguese territory for a minimum period of 7 days, either consecutively or non-consecutively, during the first year, and 14 days in subsequent two year periods.

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