Portugal attracts retirees from around the world, due in part to its low cost of living, warm weather, and rich culture. As a popular retirement location for foreigners, Portugal has a simple, easy visa process for retirees, known as one of the most lenient visa applications in Europe. Here is everything you need to know about obtaining a retirement visa for Portugal.
Applicants Should Have An Income Of $750 A Month
Before approving a residency visa application, the Portuguese government asks for proof that applicants can financially sustain themselves while living in the country. The amount of income required varies from applicant to applicant depending on factors such as their number of dependents and the Portuguese location where a retiree is planning on living. However, Portugal’s general criteria is a minimum monthly income of 665 euros — roughly $750.
The income can come from just about any source — social security, bank annuities, military pensions, or private insurance companies, to name a few. Sometimes, applicants can even show proof of sufficient savings. So long as an applicant can provide proof of an income to live on, this step of the application process will be an easy one to fulfill.
Applicants Must Find Accommodations Prior To Submitting An Application
Prior to submitting an application, retirees must have a plan as to where they will stay. This can be either a rental property or a purchased property, and it can be located anywhere in the country.
Before submitting a formal visa application, individuals can travel to Portugal as tourists and view available properties. Some choose to purchase their own homes, while others opt to rent. Applicants also have the option of initially staying in more temporary lodgings, such as renting an apartment, then settling down in a permanent location after completing the visa application process.
Applicants Can Include A Spouse And Dependents On Their Visa
There are two visa application options for couples retiring together in Portugal. Both people interested in retiring in Portugal can apply for their own retirement visas, in which case each submits their own, separate application. However, if a spouse cannot qualify for any reason, such as a lack of personal income, they can be included as a dependent on the other’s visa.
In addition to spouses, applicants can classify parents and any minor children, as well as children over 18 who are attending a school in Portugal, as dependents. In order to include dependents, an applicant must prove they have sufficient income to provide for everyone, as well as accommodations for all. Applicants will then have to prove a familial relationship with additional documentation.
The Application Process Begins At Home
Before any direct travel to Portugal is necessary, applicants begin the visa process by contacting the Embassy of Portugal in the United States. This is where hopeful retirees will submit the necessary applications and documents.
The following documents are required for Portugal retirement visa applications:
- Application form for the desired visa
- Proof of income, presented via bank statements or similar documentation
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal
- International health insurance policy certificate
- The applicant’s passport, valid for at least another six months
- At least two passport-size photos of the applicant
- Applicant’s criminal background clearance certificate
- Birth certificates of any dependents
- Marriage certificate, if applicable
- Payment for associated application fees
After completing the application process and receiving retirement visa approval, a retiree can travel to Portugal and begin their stay on the resident visa.
The Residency Permit Must Be Renewed
The temporary residency permit is valid for two years, after which it can be renewed for another three years. Applicants can undergo this process indefinitely, renewing their visa every three years. After five years of living on a residency visa, residents become eligible for a permanent residency permit and can opt to upgrade their visa rather than renew it.
As long as a retiree has spent at least six months of the year in Portugal, qualifying for a residency renewal will be trouble-free.
Portugal’s Golden Visa Is Another Option For Retirees
While most people interested in retiring in Portugal will use the standard retirement visa, some may consider applying for the Golden Visa. In order to qualify, an individual must do at least one of the following:
- Purchase Portugese property worth at least 500,000 euros.
- Make a capital transfer of at least 1 million euros into Portugal. This number will increase to 1.5 million euros beginning in 2022.
- Create at least 10 new jobs in Portugal.
- Invest in Portuguese businesses, scientific research, or arts culture. Exact amounts required depend on the area of investment.
Those who retire on a Golden Visa face much more lenient tax requirements, as well as a much shorter requirement for time spent in Portugal when applying for permanent residency.
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