The 10 most common mistakes in the application for the Golden Visa in Portugal

The 10 most common mistakes in the application for the Golden Visa in Portugal

Before we move into the usual mistakes people make on their applications, it is once again important to highlight in what consists the Golden Visa and its benefits.

The Golden Visa is a program launched by the Portuguese Government in 2012, has a fast-track incentive for foreign investors from outside the European Union to obtain a fully valid residence permit in Portugal. In this scope, the extra-EU citizens only have to make one of the qualifying investments to obtain authorization of residence in the country.

This permit, also named ARI (meaning “Residence permit for investment activity”, when translated to English), will allow the investor and its family members to enter and/or live in Portugal and travel freely in the 26 countries that belong to the Schengen Area.

This is a strategy to attract foreign investment, also used by other European countries, namely, Austria, Belgium, Bulgary, Cyprus, Spain, Estonia, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, United Kingdom, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

Error #1 – Missing essential documents.

For example, to do rehabilitation works on real estate assets, with an overall amount of 350 thousand euros or more, the essentials documents are:

  • Passport or another valid proof of travel;
  • Proof of entry and legal permanence in national territory;
  • Certificate of health care protection, namely:

– a document that attests that you are covered by the National Health Service or document that demonstrates that you are a holder of an internationally recognized health care insurance that is valid for the requested period of residence or that is known to auto-renew;

  • Criminal record from the country of origin, or the country (or countries) in which you have resided for more than one year if you haven’t been in your home country. This should have been issued up to 3 months before presenting all the legally required documentation and translated to Portuguese.
  • A certificate with the Tax Identification Number, or equivalent, from the home, residence or tax residence country;
  • Fulfillment of a requirement (based on the approved model) where you authorize the access to your Portuguese Criminal Record;
  • A sworn statement under which you vow to maintain the quantitative and temporal requirements (5 years) of the investment on the national territory;
  • Proof of a regularized contributive situation with the presentation of a negative debt declaration, issued with a maximum advance of 45 days, by the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority and by the Social Security;
  • Receipt of payment of the tax for analyzing the Golden Visa application.

Error #2 – Need to clarify some documents.

There are documents that are not sufficiently clear, so the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) can have doubts interpreting them.

Error #3 – Presenting outdated documents.

Error #4 – Lack of biometric data collected.

When the application is processed, the SEF will get in touch with the investor and schedule a meeting with him and (his family members) to gather signatures and fingerprints. It turns out that, sometimes, it is difficult for these meetings to happen, since the people involved do not live in the country.

Error #5 – Not being able to carry on at least one of the investment activities.

Some applicants don’t provide enough guarantees to invest in at least one of the following activities:

a) Transferring funds in the total amount of a million euros or more.

b) The creation of, at least, 10 jobs.

c) The acquisition of a property of 500 thousand euros or more.

d) The acquisition of a property with at least 30 years or located in an area of urban rehabilitation, and the renovation of the property with construction works that make the total amount of 350 thousand euros or more.

Read more about these and other Portuguese Golden Visa requirements in our post about the Golden Visa: Frequently Asked Questions.

Error #6 – Not meeting one of the requirements contemplated by the law.

There are candidates which are already marked, for example, on the Schengen services or already have convictions on their criminal records.

Error #7 – Not relying on specialized professionals to complete the application.

Every original document that is not on Portuguese needs to be translated. This translation needs to be certified by a translator certified by the Portuguese Consulate, by a Portuguese lawyer or by the Consulate of the issuer country in Portugal.

UrHome Portugal works with a team of specialized lawyers that can collaborate with you during all the application processes.

Error #8 – Not being aware of the outlines of the application.

If you need someone to clarify all your doubts, you can contact UrHome, because of their wide range of services and because they can provide all the legal support you may need.

Error #9 – Not having a declaration from your financial institution authorizing the transfer of funds of the million euros to fulfill your application (including the investment in shares or stock companies).

Error #10 – Not being able to prove the creation of jobs properly registered on Social Security, through an updated certification.

This combination of mistakes pointed out above are common and serve as an alert for the potential investors to promptly organize their necessary documentation to provide to the competent authorities.

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