Send money to Portugal

One of the many steps to make an effective investment in Portugal is to transfer money to Portugal. Many clientes are concerned about taxes but neglect the fact that you can also loose a lot of money in this step. We would like to clarify the best options below. If you have doubts or questions do not hesitate to contact us.


It is good to remember that for a Gold Visa application you need to have money in a Portuguese bank account to pay your investment. You also need transfer the money from an account in your name to Portugal. The SEF will require a proof of the capital flow when you apply for the Gold Visa. The Portuguese bank will supply you with a certificate.


In order to prevent service providers from including costs indiscriminately in the exchange process, the financial institutions created the VET - Total Effective Value.


It represents the cost of a foreign exchange transaction in the chosen currency. The VET includes the exchange rate, fares, and taxes that are included in the transaction. This amount must be clear before finalizing the deal. Check it out for some key factors that you have to pay attention before transferring money abroad:


  • The exchange rate used by the chosen company;      
  • Transfer fees and the fee of intermediary banks;      
  • Transfer methods;      
  • Transfer options;      
  • Delivery time;      
  • Minimum and maximum values acceptable;
  • Taxes; 
  • Customer service in your mother tongue.

Having in mind all topics above you can begin the search for the better option to transfer the investment money. Everything above will have an influence on the final cost of your investment. What should be analyzed are the visible and invisible costs of each "item". Remember that in all cases, because the rates vary a lot without a survey, it is more difficult to arrive at an overall cost. However, there are some options that are simpler, and for this reason more indicated for cost reduction.


Bank transfer

It is commonly agreed that this is one of the safest options, but depending on the amount you need to transfer it becomes the most expensive. Because it's calculated by the percentage the lower the value of the transaction the more expensive this option becomes. Having a good relationship with banking institutions makes it possible to negotiate the fees charged for this operation. However, it is important to request the VET from your manager. Be aware in which currency the bank fee is charged, because some may be charged in euro increasing the cost of the transaction. You can also ask your bank how many intermediate banks are involved. The more intermediates the more fees will be paid to increase the costs of the operation. Pay attention to the SWIFT rate.


What is SWIFT? It is a code created for international transactions aimed at increasing security. Traditional banks usually charge a fee for using this code. It is mandatory for each international account to have a SWIFT number.


Specialized agencies

Security first! This is the first aspect that must be observed. Check if the chosen company is authorized to make international transactions and if it is protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation FDIC in the US or Financial Conduct Authority FCA in the UK. Big companies are usually registered. However, there are some small companies that work with competitive rates to become attractive. When you receive an indication of one of these, check for registration to see if it fits the regulation. We also advise you to always do a good search to avoid abusive rates and false fees. Costs are similar to banks. The main difference is that some companies use fixed commissions and fixed fees making the cost lower than conventional banks when it comes to large amounts of money. 


Online Transfer

The digital revolution has affected all areas and the financial sector would be no different. With competitive rates and simplified processes, digital online transfer platforms have become a reference in the market. The main difference is how the commission will be charged. For example: 

  • Transferwise - works with the commission by each transaction composed by a fixed rate and also a variable rate. In this simulation, they do not inform the percentage of each one, only the final value (VET). Thus, the greater the amount to be transferred, the higher the fee that will be paid. The tool has a limit of 1 million reais for international shipments from Brazil, that is, the lowest investment for Gold Visa
  • Remessa Online - With a rate of 1.30% which is fixed regardless of the amount and plus 0.38% of IOF this company becomes a good option for high-value transfers. It has only these two fees that make up the VET making it clear what the amount charged for each transaction is.

There are other similar options such as World Remit, HiFX, OFX, PayPal.



A question that still comes up frequently is: can I bring cash to Portugal? The answer is yes. You are allowed to travel with any amount of money. However, if you are entering or leaving the European Union carrying an amount over 10,000 euros, or its equivalent in a different currency, you are under a legal obligation to declare it at Customs. You can not do the golden visa investments via cash payment. 


Comparing the methods, we list advantages and disadvantages:







Cash (cash)

Payment of only two taxes

Transaction speed

Not safe

Not legal for golden visa investments

High tax amounts

High exchange rate (tourism)

Bank transfer


Possibility of transferring high values

competitive exchange rates

Very high rates

Intermediary Banks

Delays in making transfers effective

Specialized agencies

Personalized service

Transparency in the amounts charged

Fees and rates similar to conventional bank branches

High exchange rate

Online Transfer


Easy transaction

Clear VET

Some enable values

Low transfer limit (some)



 We also did not include some options such as Travel Money, Correios, Check International for working with sending small amounts and in simulations, they was no suitability for the golden visa investment.


In general, the final rates are increased by 2.5% in the case of online transference against 10%-12% from the banks.  The final cost varies according to the bank fees of both the beneficiary and the sender and how they are charged. We always recommend that you request the assistance of a specialist. Why? Because financial transactions require detailed legislative and financial knowledge so that the transaction is not categorized as a financial crime in your country. Despite being well regulated in most countries, some agencies do not correctly practice what the market rules leading some clients to fall into traps. Don’t forget to check the taxes that you have to pay in order to not having a problem applying for Golden Visa. 





Despite the great care, we take over no responsibility for the topicality, correctness, completeness of the information on this site.