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Why MENA investors should consider Portugal Golden Visa (Residence) Program

1 March 2018

Why MENA investors should consider Portugal Golden Visa (Residence) Program
Portugal attracts a lot of foreign investors from all over the world through “the Golden Visa” program; it’s a country where you and your family can enjoy the pleasant warm Mediterranean climate, with the lowest living costs and high standard of living.

Large number of investors from Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are queuing up to put their money into real estate through the Portugal Golden visa that comes with assured migration and faster acquisition of the EU Residency. The number of high-net-worth individuals, corporate executives, and business people who have sought the Portugal Golden visa has shot up in the past 63 months or so (08th  of October 2012 to the 31st of January 2018 ) and reached 5717.

The Portugal Golden visa market awareness across MENA has exploded over the last five years. Few years ago, most people were unaware of the existence of the Portugal Golden visa program. However, now the number of applications has increased enormously.

The number of Portugal Golden visa applications from MENA is on the rise. Europe’s most popular Golden Visa program, which has raised some € 3,510,435,683.13 Euros of FDI (€ 3,176,406,315.68 Euros  of which in real estate investment) since its beginning on 08th of October 2012 according to the latest statistics released by SEF Portugal.

Chinese, Brazilian, South African and Russian investors are the leading investors, followed by Turkish and Lebanese in the Portuguese Golden visas, according to the data as of 31 January 2018.
China – 3645
Brazil – 493
South Africa – 228
Russia – 200
Turkey – 131
Lebanon – 104 (Until 31 October 2017)

The report shows only 9 investors received Portugal golden visas created 10 job positions each , and 311 investors by transferring capital. These reports also shows that property investment is the most popular route:
  • 5397 ARI by acquiring real estate (5294 by article 65-A (1) (c) and 103 by article 65-A (1) (d)) Order 15-A/2015 of September
  • 311 ARI by transferring capital
  • 9 ARI by creating, at least,10 job positions
Total 5717 Residence permits for pursuing investment activities (ARI) from 2012
  • 2012 – 2
  • 2013 – 494
  • 2014 -1526
  • 2015 – 766
  • 2016 – 1414
  • 2017 – 1351
  • 2018 – 164
Total 9559 Residence permits to family members (family reunification)
  • 2013 – 576
  • 2014 – 2395
  • 2015 – 1322
  • 2016 – 2344
  • 2017 – 2678
  • 2018 – 244

Investment Requirements

Investment options:

When it comes to investment in Portugal, there are eight ways of getting your Golden visa in Portugal :

i. Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 1 million Euros;

ii. The creation of, at least, 10 job positions; 

iii. The purchase of real estate property with a value equal to or above 500 thousand Euros; 

iv. The purchase of real estate property, with construction dating back more than 30 years or located in urban regeneration areas, for refurbishing, for a total value equal to or above 350 thousand Euros;

v. Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 350 thousand Euros for investing  in research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions involved in the national scientific or technologic system; 

vi. Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 250 thousand Euros for investing  in artistic output or supporting the arts, for reconstruction or refurbishment of the national heritage, through the local and central authorities, public institutions, public corporate sector, public foundations, private foundations of public interest,  networked local authorities, local corporate sector organizations, local associations and public cultural associations, pursuing activities of artistic output, and reconstruction or maintenance of the national heritage; 

vii. Capital transfer of the amount of 350 thousand Euros, or higher, for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital fund of funds dedicated to the capitalisation of companies, capital injected under the Portuguese legislation, whose maturity, at the moment of the investment, is, at least, of five years and, at least, 60% of the investments is realized in commercial companies with head office in national territory; 

viii. Capital transfer of the amount of 350 thousand  Euros, or higher, for constitution of a commercial society with head office in the national territory, combined with the creation of five permanent working jobs, or for the reinforcement of the share capital of a commercial society with head office in national territory, already existing, with the creation or keeping of working jobs, with a minimum of five permanent jobs, and for a minimum period of three years. 
 
Initially, when applying under Portugal Golden Visa, you will be issued a Temporary resident visa (TRV), what’s known as Visa class “D”, after which you get the Residence permit which is valid for one year, this Residence permit can be renewed twice for two years each time, after reserving your permit for 5 years, you will be granted Portugal’s Permanent residence (PR) where you can get full EU citizenship.

Portugal has minimal or no conditions for granting the PR, these conditions are:
  1.  reserving the property (in the real estate option) for a period of 5 years, where it can’t be sold before the initial holding period, after the 5th year you are free to sell your property, or have someone sell it for you, however, you’re not required to rent or sell the property by yourself, as the government of Portugal will take care of that for you.
  2.  Minimum of seven (7) days of physical residence in the first year, and fourteen (14) days, every two years after. 

The advantages of applying under Portugal Golden Visa:
  1.  European Residency for you and your family
  2.  No interviews conducted
  3.  No language tests needed
  4.  No taxes for your income (if you stay in Portugal for less than 180 days in a year)
  5.  Freedom: you get to travel to 26 Schengen countries for 90 days in 180-day period, you can also visit other European countries using the EU residence permit issued by Portugal for stays upto 30 days.
  6.  Portugal Passport: you can get the Portuguese Passport after 6 years, according to the Nationality Act (Act number 37/81 of 3 October). However, According to Portuguese and EU law, a third-country national may apply for Portuguese citizenship one year after obtaining permanent residence, which Golden Visa investors would qualify for after five years. Qualification requirements for citizenship, however, are more exacting than those for residence permits; the applicant must have physically resided in Portugal for five consecutive years and must also demonstrate some mastery of the Portuguese language.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to invest in a property or vacation home, Portugal’s Golden Visa Permit Program is the perfect choice for European residency investment solutions.

Quebec Investment Consultation & Management Services (QICMS) LLC is a multidisciplinary team of experienced and highly qualified professionals that assist worldwide clients with investments and residency or citizenship in Portugal. Contact our office today to discuss Residency by Investment opportunities with one of Europe’s most desirable Golden Visa Programs.

For more information on Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program, please click here.

To view our Citizenship and Residency Programs by Investment in Real Estate comparison table, please click here.

Fill out our Free Assessment to see if you qualify for any of the immigration programs offered.
 

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