The Golden Visa Programme launched by the Portuguese Authorities is a fast track for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain a fully valid residency permit in Portugal (“Golden Visa”).
Under the Golden Visa programme, non-EU citizens simply need to carry out one of the investments set out in the law to qualify to obtain a residency permit in Portugal. This residency permit will allow the investor and his family members to enter and/or live in Portugal and to travel freely within the vast majority of European countries (Schengen space).
Aimed at attracting foreign investment to Portugal, the Golden Visa is a very straightforward and flexible programme, with simple and clear legal requirements. With extremely reduced minimum stay requirements, the Golden Visa is clearly one of the most attractive residency programs for investors in the world.
The Golden Visa programme was recently widened to include further types of investment. Thus, the following types of investment now qualify for the Golden Visa programme:
- Acquisition of property above€ 500,000;
- Acquisition of property above €350,000 – for properties more than 30 years old or located in areas of urban renovation.
- Transfer of Funds above€ 1,000,000;
- Transfer of Funds above€ 350,000 for research activities;
- Transfer of Funds above € 250,000 for artistic or cultural activities;
- Transfer of Funds above€ 500,000 for capitalization of small and medium size companies.
Creation of a minimum of 10 jobs;
It should be noted that only investments effectively made after 8th October 2012 are eligible for the Golden Visa programme.
Once issued, the Golden Visa will be valid for an initial period of 1 (one) year and then will be renewed for subsequent periods of 2 (two) years.
The simplicity of the Golden Visa Programme implies an extremely reduced amount of requirements being asked from the investor. The Golden Visa Programme sets out that the investor must comply with general requirements applicable to all types of qualifying investments and also with the specific requirements of each type of qualifying investment.
In general, all investors have to comply with the following requirements
- Keep the investment for a minimum period of 5 years
- Funds for investment should come from abroad
- Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa
- Absence of references in the Portuguese Immigration and the Schengen services
- Absence of conviction of relevant crime
- Minimum stay in Portugal: 7 (seven) days during the first year and 14 (fourteen) days during each subsequent period of two years
Advantages of the GOLDEN VISA Programme:
The Golden Visa Programme will provide investors with the following advantages:
- No need to obtain a visa to enter Portugal
- No need to obtain a visa to travel in Europe (Schengen area)
- Living and working in Portugal, even with residency in a different country
- Residency extended to family members
- Extremely low minimum stay periods
- Low taxes (see questions 22 – 24)
- Permanent Residency after 5 years
- Citizenship after 6 years
The application for the Golden Visa implies that the investor will have to submit the following documentation:
- Proof of Investment
- Passport & Valid Schengen Visa
- Portuguese Fiscal number
- Criminal Record from country of residency
- Portuguese Criminal Record
- Declaration from the Tax Department proving the absence of debts to the Tax Authorities
- Declaration from Social Security proving the absence of debts to Social Security Authorities
- Declaration from the investor confirming compliance with the investment requirements
- Health Insurance valid in Portugal
- 2 passport-type pictures
- Receipt of payment of the application’s examination fee.