A Golden Visa, or a permanent residency visa, is the fastest and easiest technique to build citizenship for investors. This Visa allows you to travel freely, work, and enjoy a lot of other benefits. In order to have a golden visa, the applicant must have a real estate investment in Portugal. Additionally, the value of the property can be between EUR 280,000 to EUR 500,000. There are additional conditions that apply as well, but they will be discussed later.
Large number of investors from Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are queuing up to put their money into real estate through the Portuguese Residence Permit for Investment (commonly referred to as a "ARI" or Golden Visa Program) that comes with assured migration and faster acquisition of the EU Residency.
GOLDEN VISA IN PORTUGAL
Portugal Golden Visa Program (The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program) has been the most admired residency by investment program in Europe, since its introduction in October 2012. This program’s goal is to persuade foreign investors to invest in Portugal. Since the program’s inauguration, the overall investment amount has surpassed several billion Euros, with over a thousand family applications received each year.
The program has been attracting Russian, Chinese, Turkish, and Brazilian citizens since the launch. These days, the program has started to attract Middle Eastern citizens, too, mostly because of current rules about the COVID-19 and firm lockdowns in their native country. This is why many investors from Middle East have started to look for ways of moving out of the country and live in Europe. Thanks to its simple application process and easy citizenship criteria, they’re choosing Portugal over other European countries.
CAN I GET PORTUGUESE CITIZENSHIP WITH PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA?
Yes, you can. Portugal allows dual citizenship and when you get your Portugal Golden Visa, you can be qualified for Portuguese citizenship only after five years. At the first stage, you will have a temporary residency which is valid for two years. To keep your status, you’ll be required to stay in Portugal for fourteen days in total in two years. With your Portugal Golden Visa, you can travel freely within the Schengen Area. After these two years, you’ll be entitled to renew your Golden Visa. With this renewal, your residence permit will be valid for three more years.
When you accumulate this five-year period, you can be qualified to apply for citizenship. To attain citizenship, you’ll be required to enter a basic Portuguese Language exam.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE GOLDEN VISA PROGRAM IN PORTUGAL?
Portugal golden visa program is open to those who are not from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland. The age requirement is that you’re over 18. You’re also going to provide a clean criminal record to meet the criteria.
The first step for a Portugal Golden Visa is to make a qualifying investment in Portugal. Real estate acquisition, fund investment, capital transfer, and some other options are available.
In short, to qualify for the Golden Visa Program, the investor may complete one of the following investments:
- Buy a real estate property (residential or commercial) with a minimum value of EUR 500,000.
If it’s In low-density areas, the minimum investment amount drops to EUR 400,000.
- Buy a real estate property (residential or commercial) with a minimum value of EUR 350,000, which is older than 30 years and with a commitment to be refurbished.
If the property is in a low-density area, the minimum investment amount drops EUR 280,000.
- Subscribe to a qualifying Portugal investment fund. In this case you will need to invest at least EUR 350,000 in a qualifying Investment Fund. The investment options are regulated by the Portuguese CMVM (Securities Market Commission), and usually include venture capital investment in real estate or start-up tech companies.
- Make a capital transfer of at least EUR 1 million in Portuguese bank account.
- Set up a company that creates a minimum of ten jobs for Portuguese nationals.
- Complete an investment of EUR 250,000 in the arts or in the reconstruction of national heritage Projects in Portugal.
- Purchase Company shares worth at least EUR 1 million.
- Invest at least EUR 1 million in a company.
- Invest at least EUR 350,000 for the creation of a commercial company or to reinforce the share capital of a commercial company, through which you create at least five full-time jobs.
- Make a capital transfer of at least EUR 350,000 for research activities in science or technology by either public or private scientific research institutions.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES OF THE PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA PROGRAM IN 2022?
There are going to be some changes as of January 1st, 2022. For example, a residential property bought in Lisbon, Porto, and along the coast won’t qualify investors for a Portugal Golden Visa. Plus, the fund subscription investment amount will increase to EUR 500,000.
The Portuguese parliament passed an official update to the law on February 12, 2021 regarding the Golden Visa program. The changes will take effect on January 1st, 2022.
The most important change is that from 2022, Golden Visa eligibility won’t apply to residential real estate investments made in metropolitan and coastal areas including Lisbon, Porto, and most of the Algarve. In addition to this, the minimum investment for capital transfer will increase from EUR 1 million to EUR 1.5 million, and the fund investment minimum will increase from EUR 350,000 to EUR 500,000. Capital transfer for R&D and company incorporation won’t be affected by the changes.
The full details can be found in our post about what’s changing in 2022.
WHAT IMPACT WOULD IT HAVE FOR SUBMITTED GOLDEN VISA APPLICATIONS?
Nothing. Those changes will be effective starting January 1, 2022, hence all Golden Visa applications submitted before said date will remain subject to the regulatory framework and investment threshold to which they were subject at the time of the filing.
SHOULD I HURRY TO APPLY NOW?
Portugal currently has one of Europe’s most popular residency permits, granting investors the right to live, work, and study in the country and visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. If you are considering taking advantage of the Portuguese Golden Visa application, now is a smart time to get started because changes to the program are being set into motion in January 2022, which means investors will no longer be able to purchase residential properties in high-density areas such as Lisbon and Porto.
The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and with the new proposed rules in 2022, now is the right time to apply!
Are you looking at purchasing a residential property in Lisbon, Porto or the Algarve region? Or, are you considering the investment fund option? If your reply is yes, then you ought to begin the process right away in order to secure your position and submit your completed application before January 1st, 2022.
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.
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