In our time, working on ourselves and building our successful business, it is not difficult to forget about what surrounds us and the conditions in which we live. And our health and the health of our loved ones – this is the main thing, but, unfortunately, many people are too late to think about the welfare of their family. But what to do about it?
Today we will tell you the story of the couple from Russia who despite of doubts decided to move to Portugal under the golden visa program with their parents and started their new happy life on the Atlantic coast.
First thoughts about moving
The young couple started their first business back in 2010 by opening their first jewelry store in Moscow. This kind of business, while it can bring in a good income, of course, has a lot of risks. Fortunately, the spouses succeeded, and by 2018 their network already had three stores across Moscow. Moving was out of the question: why go anywhere at all if everything is good at home?
Anna: It was Lev, our Moscow partner, who first started talking about moving. He had long thought about the opportunity to try his hand at the European market, but going alone without support seemed a terrible gamble. In 2018 everything changed: he managed to reach a supplier from Portugal.
That’s when the couple learned about the opportunity to move as a family through the Golden Visa Portugal investment program. According to its terms, anyone could qualify for the resident status, by investing in opening a business or buying real estate, and, more importantly, they could take their entire family with them!
Andrey: To be honest, initially Anya and I were not too excited about moving. We had everything in Russia: friends, reliable business, a place to live. It seemed that by moving we would have to start practically from scratch, but then I realized one important thing – our parents are not getting younger, and living conditions in Moscow leave much to be desired. Terrible ecology, crazy pace of life, constant stress… For them moving was a breath of fresh air and we just could not help trying.
Golden Visa Portugal. More about the program
Let’s take a closer look at what the Portugal Golden Visa immigration program is all about. In short, it is an opportunity for any foreign investor to obtain a residence permit in Portugal for their capital investment.
The program offers 3 options for obtaining VPV for investment. The most popular of these is the purchase of real estate worth at least €280,000 or €500,000. The requirements for the minimum price are based on the parameters of the property, such as its location, age, and condition.
Alternative investment options include €1,000,000 investment in the economy, starting a business and creating 10 jobs, and €350,000 investment in a business and creating 5 jobs.
What is important: the investment for the residence permit must be maintained for 5 years from the date of residency.
Why didn’t Anna’s parents get a residence permit right away with the main applicant?
Under the terms of the Portugal Golden Visa program, a residence permit is also guaranteed to the spouse, children under the age of 26, and parents over 65 years of the main applicant and their spouse. At that time, Andrew’s parents were 70 years old, Anna’s father was 64 and her mother was 63. As a result, the investor’s parents were included in the application, but the spouse’s parents were not.
Anna: Then we had only two options. We could have waited in Russia for a couple of years, and my parents would also have been eligible, but here the interests of our partner and his agreement with the supplier were the cornerstone. The decision had to be made quickly, but we couldn’t leave my mom and dad behind either.
Why Portugal is suitable for the elderly
Health insurance is a must for those who want to move to another country. The elderly often suffer from chronic illnesses, so getting health insurance can be difficult. For example, in Austria, it is problematic for a foreigner suffering from chronic diseases to get health insurance to obtain a residence permit.
One of the goals of Portugal’s migration policy is to attract as many wealthy people from abroad as possible. They are offered quality treatment at low prices under the country’s basic medical insurance program. As a result, foreign applicants for a residence permit in Portugal can get a health insurance policy regardless of whether they have chronic diseases.
How to get health insurance for parents in Portugal
If you want to get health insurance for your relatives in Portugal, the plan of action would be this:
- Go to any health insurance company in Portugal. You can find them not only in cities but also in towns and villages.
- The insurer gives you health insurance in Portugal.
- The insurer gives you instructions and refers you to a therapist.
- The therapist writes down your medical history and gives you his or her opinion.
- The applicant’s parents (or the applicant himself/herself) return to the insurance company, choose a rate and take out a health policy.
The most popular option for health insurance is a family policy. It costs about 120 euros/month, with an additional payment of 120 euros per quarter. The standard package includes services in Portuguese CUF hospitals, which operate throughout the country.
The quality of medicine does not depend on the price of insurance, as all CUF clinics offer a high level of service and use quality equipment. The cost of insurance depends on special options, such as emergency evacuation or dentistry. As elsewhere, dentures are not included in the insurance policy, they are paid for separately.
Portugal provides quality medical care for all age groups. The country has many specialized medical centers and nursing homes, and an efficient state network of hospitals. Combined with the Mediterranean climate and excellent ecology, this explains why the average life expectancy in Portugal is 78 years.
Collaboration with MoveToCascais and new introductions
Andrew: Of course, there were still many questions. Besides the official registration, we had to deal with the housing, apply for the immigration program, and of course resolve the issue with Anja’s parents. In addition, we still had a lot of work in Russia, so we did not think about organizing our move. Fortunately, at that time we found the service MoveToCascais, where at the consultation we learned about the possibility of including relatives in the program for obtaining a residence permit “in absentia”.
According to the terms of the Portuguese residence permit program, any family member who meets the criteria of the program in terms of kinship and age can be added later. This includes children under the age of 26 and parents over the age of 65. They can be added to the program at any time after the principal applicant has been issued a residence permit. That’s how it turned out: Anna and Andrew used this procedure to add their parents two years after they received residency status in Portugal.
How can parents be included in the residency program?
Family members can only be added to the main applicant of a Portuguese residence permit after they have obtained a valid health insurance policy, proven their relationship to the main applicant or their spouse, proven a permanent source of income abroad, and pass a Due Diligence check.
Documents required for Anna’s parents to be included in the Portuguese residency program:
- Certificate from the Pension Fund confirming receipt of a pension in Russia.
- The birth certificate of the son or daughter indicating that the person being added to the program is the parent of the principal applicant or his/her spouse. The certificate must be translated into Portuguese but does not need to be notarized.
- Certificate of a clean criminal record.
- Medical insurance.
After these documents were collected, Anna and her parents went to the SEF. There they received certificates of approval for their residence permit cards and, based on these certificates, they began their new life in Portugal.
Family life together in Portugal
Anna, Andrew, and his parents have been living in Portugal for three years, and Anna’s parents for just under two. Now the family plans to obtain citizenship. It will not be difficult, because for the participants of the Portuguese program “Golden Visa” it is enough to pass the exam on the knowledge of the language at the basic level A2.
For the family, the move was the beginning of a new life. For the arrival of Anna’s parents, the couple decided to buy a small villa by the coast in Cascais. Andriy kept on doing business: the couple had already opened their third store in Lisbon! Anna, in turn, plans to open a small family restaurant with her parents.
Anna: The place turned out to be just great! Cascais, although a small town, has everything we and our parents need. Besides, Lisbon is very close, only half an hour by car. The weather and climate are also nice: almost all year round the temperature does not drop below 10 degrees Celsius.
Andrew: Although we were initially skeptical about the whole story with the move, I’m glad we decided. Portugal has become a breath of fresh air for us! Life feels different here: there is no constant Moscow rush, you can always find time for yourself and your loved ones.
For the couple, life in Portugal is not just about new opportunities. Here they found a new home, where they became closer to each other and finally can not worry about the health and safety of their loved ones.