In recent years, many Turkish nationals have moved or are considering emigrating to Portugal (Statista). The Portugal Golden Visa (PGV) is the most popular of its type in Europe, and hundreds of people from Turkey have taken advantage of it since it was launched in 2012 (government data; Statista). An alternative to the investment-based Golden Visa is the D7 Visa (based on passive income) or the Start-Up Visa (for highly qualified entrepreneurs).
THE PORTUGUESE GOLDEN VISA REQUIREMENTS
APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY OR CITIZENSHIP AFTER FIVE YEARS
The Golden Visa is a Residency-by-Investment Program (RBI) enabling Turkish nationals to obtain a renewable residency permit in return for investing in Portugal.
THREE POSSIBLE PATHWAYS
- Investment fund starting at EUR 500,000
- Real estate investment with a minimum value of EUR 280,000
- Buying either commercial or residential real estate with a minimum value of EUR 400,000
PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA (PGV)
The PGV (View the programme)application can cover the principal candidate, their spouse or common-law partner, any dependent children, and their parents.
There are three possible pathways.
An investment in a qualifying Portuguese private investment fund starting at EUR 500,000 and then holding the investment for five years or more.
Purchasing real estate in an urban regeneration area with a minimum value of EUR 280,000 in a low-density rural area or EUR 350,000 in other areas. The property must be over thirty years old and in one of the many designated interior areas of the country thus there is an obligation to refurbish it.
The last route is buying either commercial or residential real estate valued at EUR 400,000 in a low-density area, or EUR 500,000 outside that, again in a designated area.
Successful applicants will receive a residence permit valid for two years, which they can then renew every subsequent two years, provided all conditions are met.
After five years they are allowed to apply for permanent residency or citizenship. During the five years they must spend seven days per year in Portugal. There is no language, education, or career experience requirements to apply for the PGV program. The current processing time of a PGV application is anywhere between 12 and 20 months.
PORTUGAL START-UP VISA PROGRAM
The Portugal Start-Up Visa (SUV) (View the programme) program is designed for innovative entrepreneurs with ideas that will contribute to Portugal’s economic growth. The SUV program also grants a residency permit to the same array of dependents and likewise can be converted to either permanent residency or citizenship after 5 years.
It requires a minimum commitment of at least EUR 175,000, including a minimum of EUR 25,000, which will be used as initial capitalization for the venture. A government-approved business incubator must be hired for a three-year period and any requisite research and development must be conducted through government-supported Portuguese research facilities. The current processing time is approximately five months, in effect constituting a fast track to a renewable residence permit in Portugal.
THE ADVANTAGES OF PORTUGUESE RESIDENCY STATUS AND CITIZENSHIP
Jean-François Harvey, Founder and Worldwide Managing Partner of Harvey Law Group, explains that “Many people ask us, “How do I get Portuguese citizenship?” The Golden Visa Program has been hugely popular, with more than 10,000 granted. For those from Turkey with the necessary funds, it represents a practicable, affordable, and achievable conduit to first have a residency permit and, in the long term, Portuguese citizenship. Portugal is an attractive destination, and Portuguese citizenship offers many benefits. Most importantly, as an EU national, you will have freedom of movement between all European Union members.”
Portugal is ranked as one of the safest places in the world and one of the most picturesque, with beautiful beaches, an historic culture, and charming cities. Its Mediterranean weather is not dissimilar to that of Turkey’s south-western coastal region.
Portuguese infrastructure is excellent, plus the education and healthcare systems are world-class and subsidized by the government. It has a favorable tax regime, with no inheritance tax, no wealth tax, and an exemption from all foreign-sourced income tax. Further, with a Portuguese residency permit, you can travel visa-free to all Schengen countries. Once Portuguese citizenship is obtained after five years, there is the right to live, study, work, do business, and obtain social benefits throughout the entire EU area.
With any of these programs there are a number of intricacies and complexities that may arise based on one family’s unique situation.