Update: We have our NIF and have opened a bank account, but haven’t yet sent money to it…Trying to decide the best way to do that. Has anyone worked with Rational FX? That is who GCS is recommending. We are honing in on our real estate purchase and have sent GV specific related docs out for translation/apostille services (last week). Things are rolling along!
Hi Courtney. I would recommend Transferwise if you can use them. Multi currency and you can have accounts in all major currencies
+1 to TransferWise. I have used several currency conversion companies such as Interactive Brokers, OFX, and Revolut. TransferWise was the most consistently cost effective and speedy for me. They also have very accurate estimates of when the money will arrive.
Thanks Joseph and zzz. we’ll look into Transferwise!
It’s worth checking with the bank that you opened in PT if they will accept USD and convert USD to EUR for you after the transfer. Then you don’t have to go through a transfer service. We have Transferwise and remembered that their transfer fee was around $1,800+. Most U.S bank will do wire transfer for $25-$50 and some don’t charge anything for a wire transfer.
I hadn’t thought about that option…
Yes, Bison Bank performs currency conversions at mid-market par, with no fees or spreads. It sounds too good to be true but they delivered; I’m impressed.
It’s also worth relaying this advice from my banker at Bison: SEF may be alarmed if money arrives by any means other than a standard wire transfer from a traditional financial institution. The bank must provide SEF with documentation about the source of funds for a Golden Visa investment, and SEF likes things to be a certain way. I prefer to minimize friction.
We ended up using the bank where the funds originated to do a wire transfer and only paid $40 for the fee. We did it in US dollars and Bison Bank did an exchange for us to euros at the market rate. We have managed to do this and purchase the fund already.
My banker at Bison Bank advised me that they were happy to accept funds from various sources through various channels; they’re not the gatekeepers. He further clarified that SEF explicitly does care about the source of funds and their manner of arrival, and that Bison would be documenting the provenance of the funds to SEF. SEF likes to see clean sourcing from legal activities, originating in traditional banks, transmitted through traditional wire transfers. TransferWise is great but it is explicitly not a traditional wire transfer.
The fact that I paid no transaction fees and no margins for converting USD to EUR at Bison Bank certainly sweetened the deal. My only transfer and conversion cost was a few Euros charged by the correspondent central bank that routed the wire transfer. That is a strictly better deal than TransferWise, which does charge a percentage.
I embraced the advise of the experienced professionals guiding me through this process. I didn’t want to stall or jeopardize my application by using a nontraditional money transfer service, particularly when it would have cost me more than the wire transfer. You can do what’s right for you.
Hi Courtney, can you share us your updates and experience so far.
Did you process your application with Henley? Do you know anybody at this forum started his application with Henley? what is your experience so far.
Yes, we hired Henley. We have been through the initial stages through the purchase of the fund. We are now in the third stage where are prepping our paperwork for the GRP application (Apostilles on Marriage/Birth Certificates, Police Reports, Tax ID verification).
Hi, So right now we are in the process of due diligence on the real estate purchase, which GCS located. NIF/opening bank account went pretty smoothly. I have an American’s tendency to want updates and follow up in a way that is a little different from the Portuguese style, but they have been responsive to that. I spoke with someone that I discovered online who has completed the GV process with GCS (at least to the point of getting the visa for himself and his husband) and that person was very complimentary. He actually had a chance to meet them in person in Lisbon prior to the pandemic (which was nice to hear).
Also, we have used RationalFX a couple of times for tranferring funds. I did a test run with that and our US bank, sending 1k through RFX, 1K from my bank with the currency exchange done by the Portuguese bank, and 1k exchanged to euros by my bank before sending to the Portuguese bank. I got the best exchange and speed from Rational FX. So I was happy at that. But I’m sad about the exchange rates in general!!
Thanks for your reply. can i talk with you with whatsapp or zoom meeting or by anyway. I want to discuss with you something in privately. i will start my proceeds soon with Henley.
@khalooda85 feel free to DM me here.
Hi Courtney, I’m looking at using GCS. Do you continue to be happy with their services?
Hi. Newbie here, thinking of getting golden visa before it’s too late. Has anyone gone with Arton Capital for Portuguese Real Estate project? Btw what’s the advisory fee H & P, GV are charging for single person?
More or less.
I would say they and the laywers they assigned us to are a bit less proactive than I’m used to, but I think that is also the American in me. We are having delays in the real estate purchase that prevented us from submitting the GV application before the end of the year (but we are purchasing a condo that will also be used for tourism purposes, so we are fine with respect to the change in minimums even though we are buying in the Algarve). That wasn’t GCS’s fault, but I’ve sometimes felt I had to push to get responses from the lawyers. But they are ultimately responsive to questions. I would say that if you are going the RE route, you may not want to rely solely on their suggestions. But that is really even the case here in the US.
Thanks much Courtney.
If I might ask, did the condo also involve refurbishment? I’m thinking of requesting that they find me a property that needs to be refurbished, so curious is anyone has gone down that road with GCS.