Many folks ask, ‘Can we get residency in Portugal if we buy a house?’ As is expected, the solution is not that simple. It is determined by your personal and financial circumstances. Investing in real estate does not provide you with the automatic residence. There are, however, alternatives to apply for it apart from your property purchase. The odds are that you’ll be permitted to spend as much time in Portugal as you want; you may simply have to handle these situations through visas and Portuguese bureaucracy!
- Get a NIF to Purchase a House!
To begin, you must have a NIF in order to buy a house in Portugal. The NIF stands for ‘Number de Identificaço Fiscal or Number de Contribuinte’, which is a fiscal number. Each Portuguese citizen will have one of these, as well ex-pats and foreigners purchasing property in Portugal. So, before you even begin the process of purchasing a Portuguese home, you must obtain your NIF from a Finances office near you (or in Lisbon if you are not yet settled). If you wish to learn more about the NIF, this blog may be of assistance.
Buying a house does not provide you with automatic residency rights in Portugal.
So, can I get Residency in Portugal if I buy a House? Both yes and no! It is critical to recognise that simply purchasing property in Portugal does not entitle you to immediate resident rights in Portugal. No, you cannot simply buy a property in Portugal and move in to live there!
Even if you own a Portuguese property, you must still apply for Portuguese residency through the necessary official processes. The difficulty of obtaining Portuguese residence will be determined by a variety of factors, including the amount of money you have to invest in Portuguese property or company and the nation you have a passport from (having an EU passport makes it much simpler!).
- Participate in the Golden Visa Program.
If you have a substantial sum (above €500,000) to invest in Portuguese property or company, there is an exemption to the above restriction. You may be eligible for the Golden Visa scheme if you spend more than €500,000 in a Portuguese property or more than €250,000 in arts and heritage or other companies. This effectively boosts (some could even argue ensures) the odds of your residency and citizenship applications being accepted if you meet specified scheme conditions. Portugal devised this programme to entice investors to invest in the country. Some places are exempt from the Golden Visa scheme (last time I looked, Lisbon and soon to be Porto were exceptions to the plan), so verify with your lawyers.
Through this system, you can get Portuguese residence and seek permanent Portuguese residency after 5 years. Depending on your status and length of stay in Portugal, you may potentially be able to apply for citizenship. Check out Portugal residency by investment blog for more details.
- Other Options for Procuring Portuguese Residency
If you have not invested at least €500,000 of your own money in Portuguese property or company, you will be ineligible for the Golden Visa scheme. In this case, you will need to investigate other options for obtaining Portuguese residency.
- CRUE for European Union Passport Holders
If you hold an EU passport, you will be relieved to discover that the process is pretty straightforward. Within three months of your arrival in Portugal, you must provide your passport, proof of address, and proof of finances or job to your local Camara (town hall). They will provide you a CRUE document, or Certificado de Registo de Cidado da Unio Europeia. This will provide you residency for 5 years, after which you can renew it for another 5 years or apply for a permanent residency certificate.
- Non-EU Passport Holders’ Visa Options
If you do not have an EU passport, you will most likely need to apply for a visa and then use your visa to apply for your residence certificate. You will require a different form of visa depending on whether you are a student, worker, retiree, or living off your savings. The D7 visa, which is popular among freelancers and digital nomads, is one of the most popular possibilities.
The good news is that, regardless of your condition, with a little forethought and some funds, it is quite probable that you will be able to obtain Portuguese residence and live in your Portuguese home. However, purchasing a home in Portugal is not a prerequisite for residency.