The Golden Visa Program launched by the Portuguese Authorities in October 2012 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 program, 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 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.
What is required?
The rules governing the granting of Residence Permit for Investment (ARI / Golden Visa), in force from 8 October 2012, enable third country nationals to obtain a temporary residence permit to conduct business activities with visa waiver to enter national territory. The beneficiaries of ARI / Golden Visa are entitled to:
• Residence visa waiver for entering Portugal;
• Living and working in Portugal, on condition that they stay in Portugal for a period of 7 or more days, in the first year, and 14 or more days, in the subsequent years;
• Visa exemption for travelling within the Schengen Area;
• Family reunification;
• Applying for permanent residence (pursuant to the Aliens Act – Act number 23/2007 of 4 July with the current wording );
• Applying for Portuguese citizenship, by naturalization, provided all other requirements set out by the Nationality Act are fulfilled (Act number 37/81 of 3 October, with the current wording);
Eligibility – Who may apply?
All third country citizens who conduct an investment activity, as an individual businessperson or through a company set up in Portugal or in another EU Member State and who, in addition, are stably settled in Portugal, provided these citizens fulfil the quantitative requirements and the time requirements set out by the relevant legislation, may apply for a Residence Permit for Investment, by one of the following routes:
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 with a value equal to or above 500 thousand Euros, for purchasing shares in investment funds or in venture capital geared to capitalize small and medium companies that, in turn, must present a feasible capitalization plan.