a 5-step guide

Golden Visa Requirements

Below are the main milestones on your pathway to citizenship/residency in Portugal, via a Golden Visa.

For a full explanation of Portugal's Golden Visa program - including every step in detail, stakeholders, and pitfalls to avoid - see "The Portuguese Golden Visa: Insider's Guide" by following "Insider's guide" in the top menu.

Step 1: Select a Portuguese lawyer

While it is not a legal requirement to use a Portuguese lawyer, it is definitely wise.

The visa application system is complex and ever-changing. To navigate the maze alone is to invite unnecessary uncertainty around your application.

The good immigration teams in Portugal have a 100% visa application success rate, as it is their job to stay up to date with all changes and requirements of the system.

To learn more about who to hire, see the biographies and reviews here:

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Step 2: Get a NIF

Your NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) is your Portuguese tax number. (This does not make you a Portuguese tax resident.)

Obtaining a NIF is a legal requirement for a visa application.

Your lawyer will sort this out for you as part of their package. It should take around a week.

You can read more about the process of securing a NIF in The Portuguese Golden Visa: Insider's Guide, available here:

Portuguese tax services logo

Milestone 3: Open bank account

Opening a bank account in Portugal is a legal requirement for your visa application.

Again, your lawyer will sort this out for you.

If you choose to do this remotely (without visiting Portugal) it will take 4-6 weeks to complete. If you visit the bank in person you can complete this step in 1 day.

See options for which bank to use:

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Milestone 4: Complete a "qualifying investment"

The Golden Visa Community exists to help you fully understand your options.

We highly recommend that you read "The Portuguese Golden Visa: Insider's Guide" by following Insider’s guide in the menu) to learn about qualifying investments.

99% of applicants invest in a qualifying Investment Fund or purchase qualifying Real Estate.

Learn more about both options in the Insider’s guide:

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Milestone 5: Submit Golden Visa application + follow up actions

Your lawyer will submit your “initial application” to SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Border Service).

SEF will schedule a “biometrics appointment” to take your picture and fingerprints. You must attend in person. After this your application is complete.

You will be issued with your Golden Visa - a Portuguese residency permit, valid for 2 years. Every 2 years your lawyer must renew your Golden Visa.

5 years later your lawyer can apply for your citizenship.

Golden Visa Card