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The Golden Visa Programme is a simple, alluring residency scheme aimed at attracting investors from around the world to Portugal. The qualifying conditions for the concession of Residency Permits of Investment Activity have been expanded, creating new opportunities. The recently passed up-dates take effect on 26 November and are part of a transposition of three EU directives, introducing new schemes for a) seasonal workers, b) transfer of migrant workers within a company or group, as well as c) a regime for the entry and stay of students, researchers, volunteers and trainees.
The Golden Visa investment may be any activity performed in person or through a company for a minimum period of five years, provided that it meets the legal requirements, minimum values and purposes of investments. The Programme is only available to non-EU citizens.
Residency Permits for Investment Activity
Two new situations allowing access to a Golden Visa are:
1) The acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds aimed at the capitalising Portuguese companies, with minimum capital transfers of €350,000 (instead of the current €500,000). At the time of the investment, the maturity must be five years or more. At least 60% of the value of the investments must be made in commercial companies based in Portugal.
2) Direct Company investment, also with a minimum capital transfer of €350,000 for:
- Establishment of a commercial company with its head office in Portugal, together with the creation of a least five permanent jobs; or
- Reinforcement of the share capital of an already existing commercial company with its head office in Portugal with the creation or maintenance of a minimum of five permanent jobs for at least three years.
The other qualifying situations already foreseen for accessing a Golden Visa in Portugal continue as follows:
- Transfer of capital amounting to €1,000,000 or more;
- Creation of at least 10 jobs;
- Acquisition of immovable property worth €500,000 or more;
- Acquisition of real estate at least 30 years old or located in an urban renewal area, totalling at least €350,000;
- Capital transfer of €350,000 or more to be applied in research activities carried out by public or private scientific research institutions, integrated into the national scientific and technological system;
- Transfer of €250,000 or more in capitol to be invested in artistic production or the recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage.
What are the benefits of a Golden Visa?
- Residency Visa waiver for entering Portugal;
- Living and working in Portugal, on condition of staying in Portugal for a period of 7 days or more in the first year, and 14 days or more in subsequent years;
- Aimed at attracting foreign investment to Portugal, Visa exemption for travelling within the EU Schengen Area;
- Family reunification;
- Applying for permanent residency;
- Applying for Portuguese citizenship by naturalization.
Golden Visas are renewable after the first year and then for two-year periods.