Portugal has established the Golden Residence Permit Program under the Law of 4th July 2007, Act 23/2007, which was further amended by the Law of 9th August 2012, Act 29/2012. This program serves to grant investors a right to residence in Portugal. The residency period is for one year, and may be renewed for a successive period of two years.

To be admissible for this program, the applicant must do one of the following: either acquire a real estate property worth a minimum of 500,000 Euros or transfer capital worth 1 million Euros or establish a business that can create 10 new jobs for the Portuguese economy. In addition, the investment must be maintained for a minimum of 5 years from the date the residency permit is granted. An important factor to note is that the applicant and his family members are not required to live in Portugal to obtain the residency.

The applicant must submit the required forms and documents then undergo a biometric exam in Portugal. The entire process takes about a month. Spouse and children below 18 years old can be included in the application.

There are many advantages in becoming a resident in Portugal. The applicant would have the ability to travel visa-free around the Schengen area. In addition, this opens the doors for the applicant to obtain E.U. citizenship. Following a 5-year period as a Golden residency visa holder, an application for permanent residence can be made and on the 6th year of residency, an application for citizenship can be made. Its not yet very clear as to how the process and what are requirements of naturalization since this is very new.

For more information, please visit the government website:

http://www.portugal.gov.pt/en.aspx