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Golden Visa Portugal: find out who can apply and what the rules are

22 de January, 2019

Golden Visa Portugal: find out who can apply and what the rules are

Reading: 7 min

Since 2012, a specific regime of Residence Permit for Investment Activity (ARI) has been in force in Portugal, also known as “Gold Visa”, “Golden Visa” or “Golden Visa”. To date, Golden Visa has been granted to more than 6,962 investors, and Brazilians are in the TOP 3 of the nationalities that most requested this type of Residence Permit for Portugal! Learn all about Golden Visa Portugal in the article below.

Modifications to Golden Visa Portugal rules

In September/2015 Golden Visa had its rules updated to cover new areas of investment, and in 2018 it underwent further modifications, the latter in order to clarify concepts and specify the means of proof necessary to prove the investment to obtain it.

The regime is still in force and is very attractive for those interested in investing in Portugal. Come to know its main features!

What are the advantages of Golden Visa Portugal?

Through this regime, Portugal seeks to encourage foreign investment in the country at the level of individuals (foreign citizens) and, in return, the beneficiary of Golden Visa acquires the possibility of:

  • Enter Portugal with no need for a residence visa;
  • Live and work in Portugal, if you wish;
  • Travelling within the Schengen area without a visa;
  • Benefit from family reunion;
  • Apply for a Permanent Residence Permit, after 5 years of maintenance of the investment made;
  • Request the acquisition of Portuguese nationality after 5 years of maintenance of the investment made.

Therefore, it is an excellent alternative for those who wish to take advantage of investment opportunities in Portugal and, at the same time, for those who wish to reside or work legally in Portugal and still move around the Schengen area without the need for a visa. At the end of 5 years you can also apply for a permanent residence permit or Portuguese citizenship (“Portuguese passport”).

In addition, Golden Visa is the appropriate way for those who wish to acquire Portuguese nationality without necessarily having to reside in the country for the legally required period (5 years of residence). That is, ideal for an investor who does not intend or cannot reside in Portugal for a minimum period of 5 years (general rule established in the Portuguese Nationality Law).

If all these advantages were not enough, the Golden Visa holder will also be able to benefit from family reunification, i.e. the application for a Golden Visa also for his direct family members, such as spouses and children, subject to compliance with the applicable legal requirements, of course.

Golden Visa or D7 Visa? Find out which is the best option for you.

Who can apply for Golden Visa Portugal

Golden Visa is available to all non-EU foreign citizens (Brazilians, for example) who carry out an investment activity, in person or through a company incorporated in Portugal or in another Member State of the European Union and with a permanent establishment in Portugal, and at least one of the quantitative requirements set out in the applicable legislation.

In particular, the relevant quantitative requirements are as follows:

1. Acquire real estate with a value equal to or greater than 500 thousand euros

The most common method of acquiring Golden Visa Portugal is by buying one or more properties in the country, provided that the sum of the properties is at least 500 thousand euros. Acquired real estate can be used as an investment, to be rented, for example.

However, this value can be reduced by 20% (400,000 euros) if the properties are located in low-density territory.

2. Acquire old real estate, to be rehabilitated, in the total amount equal or superior to 350 thousand euros

The value of the investment in the real estate segment is lower if the real estate purchased was built more than 30 years ago, or is located in an urban rehabilitation area, and you promote rehabilitation works on these assets.

This brings the total amount required to obtain Golden Visa to EUR 350 000.

In addition, this value may also be reduced by 20% (280 thousand euros) if the properties are located in low density territories.

3. Transfer capital in the amount of EUR 1 million or more

This modality includes, among other forms, the possibility of transferring capital to a deposit account with a credit institution in Portugal, for the acquisition of public debt instruments of the Portuguese State and for the acquisition of book-entry securities.

Do you want to live in Portugal with your own income or retirement? Then know the rules of the D7 Visa.

4. Create at least 10 jobs

Entrepreneurial investors” may also obtain Golden Visa if they generate at least 10 jobs in Portugal, and this requirement may be reduced by 20% (8 jobs) when it is carried out in low-density territory.

5. Investing in small and medium-sized enterprises

If you don’t want to start your own business, but want to invest in investment funds or venture capital for the capitalization of small and medium enterprises, you are eligible with investments starting at 500 thousand euros.

An alternative to Golden Visa is the D2 Visa for entrepreneurs, learn all about it here.

6. Investing in scientific research

The possibility of granting Golden Visa Portugal to those who invest at least 350 thousand euros in scientific research is more recent in the programme (since 2015). The activities shall be carried out by public or private scientific research institutions, integrated into the national scientific and technological system.

This change aims to bring more diversified investors to the country and focused on strategic sectors for the Government. And the value of this investment can also be reduced by 20% (280 thousand euros) when it is made in low density territory.

7. Invest in artistic production, preservation or conservation of cultural heritage

Also due to the changes that occurred in 2015, now those who apply 250 thousand euros in artistic production and preservation or conservation of national cultural heritage, are also eligible for Golden Visa Portugal.

In this context, the investment must be made through the services of the central and peripheral direct administration, public institutes, entities that integrate the public business sector, public foundations, private foundations with public utility status, intermunicipal entities, entities that integrate the local business sector, municipal associative entities and public cultural associations, that pursue attributions in the area of artistic production, recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage.

The value of this investment can also be reduced by 20% (200 thousand euros) when it is made in low density territory.

Attention: In all cases, the minimum amount to be invested cannot be financed.

Minimum Time Requirement

In addition to the minimum quantitative requirement (investment required), this Scheme also provides for a minimum time requirement to be met:

Stay in Portugal for a period of not less than 7 days in the first year, followed or interpolated, and 14 days, followed or interpolated, in the subsequent periods of 2 years.

Validity and Renewals

Golden Visa is issued for a period of 1 year and then renewed for 2 successive periods of 2 years. Therefore, the investment, in any modality, must be maintained for five (5) years from the date of granting of the Residence Permit.

As previously mentioned, after 5 years of residence permit it is possible to apply for Portuguese citizenship, by naturalization, or a permanent residence permit.

Golden Visa Specialists

As the demand for Golden Visa increased a lot, mainly because of Brazilians, specialized services began to emerge to help people who are interested in this visa request.

In this sense, if you want professional help to help you understand what is the best scenario for your specific case, to invest with more peace of mind and security, as well as to take care of all the legal and bureaucratic procedures to get your Golden Visa and your residence in Portugal, we recommend looking for a consultancy specialized in Golden Visa.

Is there more foreign investment in Portugal?

Since 2012, when Golden Visa was created in Portugal, it has been possible to observe highs and lows in the number of visas granted to investors. But there is a lot of foreign investment in the country, especially in the purchase of real estate.

Who’s investing?

Most of the people who invest in Portugal and apply for Golden Visa are people who have capital and are interested in the possibility of living in Europe alone or with their family and also guarantee a “European passport” at the end of 5 years of investment.

How many Golden Visa Portugal have you issued?

According to official SEF data, from October 2012 until December 2018, Portugal has already issued 6,962 Golden Visas (for investors), and 11,815 Golden Visas for relatives of investors, raising a total investment of 4,249,798,777.66 euros.

What have foreigners invested in to get the Golden Visa?

According to the latest SEF report, more than 6575 Golden Visas were issued to investors who bought real estate, 374 were issued to investors who transferred capital to the country and 13 Golden Visas were issued to investors who created at least 10 jobs.

That is, more than 90% of the investment was directed to the real estate sector, and a good part of this real estate destined to rent for season for tourists as a good source of income to their owners.

Which nationalities apply the most for Golden Visa in Portugal?

The nationalities that are investing the most in Portugal, i.e., those that are applying the most for Golden Visa in Portugal are China (4073 Golden Visas were issued), Brazil (653 Golden Visas were issued), Turkey (295 Golden Visas were issued), South Africa (275 Golden Visas issued), Russia (243 Golden Visas issued).

Brazil is in second place in the ranking of nationalities that get the most Golden Visa, behind only China.

Why do so many people want to invest in Portugal?

There are countless factors: quality of life, security, stability, strategic location, climate, highly qualified professionals, low cost of living, ease in creating a company, support for entrepreneurship and startups, excellent infrastructure, complete tourist offer, much culture and cutting-edge cuisine.

It was no wonder that in 2018 Forbes magazine considered Portugal the new destination to invest, and also said that the country is a reservoir of talent. Here’s the tip!

We hope this article has been enlightening and enriching, if you still have any questions, please contact us.

Article published on the Euro Tips website: https://www.eurodicas.com.br/golden-visa-portugal/

Author: Roberta Fraser
Citizenship & Immigration

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