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Portugal is located in South-Western Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the oldest European nation-state, and Lisbon, its capital, is the oldest city of Western Europe. Portugal is ranked 41st out of 187 countries in the United Nations’ Human Development Index 2014, placing it in the ‘very high human development’ group. It became a member of the European Union in 1986.

Portugal is a semi-presidential constitutional republic, with division of powers between the executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The President and the Prime Minister share the country’s chief executive powers.

Portugal is renowned worldwide for its history and cultural heritage, as well as its warm climate and range of diverse landscapes only a short distance away from each other. Citizens and visitors alike can enjoy beaches, hillsides and mountains, a wondrous national park, and numerous natural parks and reserves. Portugal governs the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, which are located in the Atlantic Ocean, and which provide some of the world’s most breath-taking and unforgettable landscapes. Finally, Portugal can boast a superb cuisine, fine wines, and hospitable people.

The Golden Residence Permit Programme

The Golden Residence Permit Programme has been operating since October 2012, and is the ideal solution for non-European citizens seeking the freedom to live and work in Portugal and to travel to the Schengen Area. The Programme is open to investors and their families, who may all obtain residence of Portugal. Residence may be obtained even while maintaining residence elsewhere.

Applicants under the Programme must be of good character, which entails, among other things, having no convictions for any crime punishable with a prison sentence of one year or more. Applicants must not have been banned from Portugal in the past, and must not be on any alert list for entry into the Schengen Area. Finally, applicants under the Programme must be able and willing to make a capital investment, purchase Portuguese real estate, or create at least 10 jobs.

Whilst the vast majority of an application under the Programme may be prepared from abroad, applicants must travel to Portugal for the purpose of supplying biometric data.

Newly-issued residence permits are valid for one year, after which time they must be renewed. Renewal depends on the applicant having fulfilled the Programme’s residence requirements.

The Law

The Golden Residence Permit Programme was established by Order n. 11820-A/2012 and Order no. 1661-A/2013, which amends Act n. 23/2007 and lays down the legal framework for the entry, permanence, and exit of foreigners from Portugal.

The Programme is administered by the Portuguese Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF), the country’s aliens and border control authority.

Residence Requirements

Portuguese residence permits must be renewed, and renewal depends on an applicant’s ability to prove that he or she resided in Portugal for the following minimal periods of time:

  • 7 days during the first year of residence; and
  • 14 days during each subsequent two years of residence.


Residents of Portugal can take advantage of a range of benefits, including:

  • The ability, both for applicants and their families, to live, work, study, and undertake business in Portugal

  • The safety and mobility that comes with residence in Europe, as well as access to some of the world’s best and most developed business markets

Importantly, residents may seek permanent residence after 5 years, and they may seek citizenship the following year (after 6 years of residence). Citizens of Portugal may travel visa-free to around 170 countries, including Canada, the United States, the European Union (including the United Kingdom), and the Schengen region.

Visa-Free Travel

Citizens of Portugal can benefit from visa-free travel to about 172 countries and territories, listed below. Please note however that visa-free travel to the listed countries is subject to change. We strongly recommend contacting the relevant Government authorities and agencies before travelling.

Application Process

The process of applying to the Portuguese Golden Residence Permit Programme can be a difficult one, which we advise could take between 4 to 6 months. CS Global Partners is on-hand to provide assistance through every step of the application process, which may best be summarised as follows:

Step 1: Discussion of the Programme with a member of the CS Global Partners team, who will assist you in selecting the best investment option available.

Step 2: Become a client of CS Global Partners, and begin collecting documents for your application.

Step 3: Work in concert with CS Global Partners to complete all necessary application forms and obtain all required documentation. All documents must be provided either in Portuguese or in English, and if original documents are not in these two languages, then they must be translated, notarised, and legalised.

Step 4: Purchase of real estate in Portugal, investment in a Portuguese business, or investment in Government financial instruments.

Step 5: Submission of the application to the SEF, the body that processes Golden Residence Permit applications. CS Global Partners will provide the SEF with documentary evidence of the purchase of real estate or of the investment, such as share or ownership certificates.

Step 6: Granting of the residence permit, with the right to settle in Portugal and travel throughout the Schengen Area.

How we can help

At CS Global Partners we understand that applying for an alternative citizenship can be a complex and daunting process. This is why we make the application process as easy for our clients as possible.

We offer the following standard services:

  • A dedicated relationship manager as your single point of contact throughout your application.
  • Professional guidance on the application procedure and support throughout the process.
  • Documentation preparation and validation.
  • Representation on your behalf before the Government.
  • Management and resolution of any legal queries related to the application.
  • Additional services available on request for clients wishing to utilise our partner network to support their application, including the following:
    • Concierge services
    • Property investment and advice
    • Notary Public services
    • Relocation assistance
    • Translation services
    • Tax planning
    • Medical services
    • Trust planning
    • Banking services
    • Fiduciary services

Investment Options

Investments under the Portuguese Golden Residence Permit Programme must be maintained for a minimum of 5 years from the date the residence permit is granted. Applicants may choose one of the following three qualifying investments:

1. Capital Transfer

Applicants under this first option must make a capital investment of at least €1,000,000.

2. Real Estate

Applicants under this second option must purchase residential, commercial, or agricultural real estate worth at least €500,000.

3. Ten Jobs

Applicants under this third option must create at least ten jobs in Portugal.

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