Can GV holders have European bank accounts outside Portugal?

Hi, all.
Anybody aware of whether GV holders can legally have European bank accounts outside Portugal? We’re starting to plan our investment / tax strategy and would find it helpful to get an answer to this question.
Thanks in advance.

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sure, why not?

the account outside Portugal doesn’t help you for GV itself - the GV investment has to be in a Portuguese bank - but there’s no reason you can’t have bank accounts elsewhere … assuming you can convince anyone to open one for you in a country you aren’t resident in.

And no, your Portuguese residency does not help you get an account elsewhere in Europe; banking is a national function.

Thanks for the fast reply, Jeff. Helpful!

Many banks accept a residence card plus utility bill esp in Germany, Holland, Switzerland. But they will do diligence if the value of the relationship is over 200K and if remittances are from ‘shady’ countries. Never a problem if remittance is from US, India or France (our three prior residences) but lots of questions if from Switzerland (employer), Singapore (resident in 2000) etc. Basically if money is from US (politics) or a high tax or high regulation country no problem.

It’s a piece of a puzzle. If you are actually physically resident in the EU that helps, sure. I think there’s a fair bit of “it depends” involved. I have opened multiple accounts in (EU land) and had to prove source of funds and my background and have a wealth mgmt relationship in place already. Yet PT bank didn’t ask very many questions at all when I sent GV money over. though the bank may have been choosing to ride the GV relationship (e.g. you’re applying for GV, SEF is going to inspect your ass for us, we’ll call that good).

YMMV seems to be the watchword.

Thanks, Bharat. Appreciate the feedback.


In some cases it might help you. As a legal EU resident you actually have a right to open “basic bank accounts” in other EU countries without being resident there.

Note that this account type is not really fully featured, but usually comes with a payment card and a basic current account. The banks are also allowed to charge fees for the accounts, so they are not always attractive.

You may still be asked for a reason why you want to open an account in the particular country you’re applying to open in. In most cases you’ll also be asked for proof of your EU address, which is something you might not be able to provide if you don’t actually live in Portugal. Still, if you own a property and have utility bills in your name, that should be sufficient. And you’d provide your Portuguese NIF as your tax number.

There are also quite a few (online) banks that offer their regular accounts across the EU, and they are often not so strict with checking proof of address.

You also have some investment/savings focused banks like this, e.g. MeDirect in Malta.

In all cases you’re likely to be asked to prove source of funds once you hit a certain level of turnover in your account.

NOTE: For US citizens and residents, your options may be more limited as many banks choose not to work with you due to FATCA.

Thank you, Thomas! And I’d like to let you know how much I appreciate your having founded this web site. It has been absolutely invaluable as we embark on our GV experience!


I second that sentiment. Thank you.