GOLDEN VISA GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Third state citizens may be granted a temporary residency permit in Portugal without the need to obtain, in the respective countries of origin, a residency visa, if they in-vest in Portugal.
The residency permit is valid for the initial period of one year, and may be renewed for successive periods of two years, as long as the conditions that were fulfilled when the residency permit was granted are maintained, and the investor submits the renewal application.
In order to qualify for the granting of a temporary residency permit, third state citi-zens must be involved in an investment activity, conducting at least one of the fol-lowing operations in Portugal for a minimum period of 5 years:
a. Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 1 miilion Euros;
b. The creation of, at least, 10 job positions;
c. The purchase of real estate property with a value equal to or above 500 Thousand Euros;
d. The purchase of real estate property, with construction dating back more than 30 years or located in urban regeneration areas, for refur-bishing, for a total value equal to or above 350 thousand Euros;
e. 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;
f. 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 au-thorities, local corporate sector organizations, local associations and public cultural associations, pursuing activities of artistic output, and reconstruction or maintenance or the national heritage;
g. Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 350 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.
The type of investment chosen by the foreigner must be made before he submits the application for the residence permit, and must be maintained for the minimum period of 5 years, counting from the date the residency permit is granted.
Once the residency permit is granted, the foreign citizen must stay in Portugal at least 7 days (consecutive or non-consecutive) during the first year, and 14 days (consecutive or non-consecutive) during the subsequent periods of two years.
In order for the residency permit to be granted, foreign investors must submit the application to SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – the competent Portu-guese government department for granting residency permits ) within the period of 90 days counting from their first entry in Portugal.
The most common Golden Visa is the lnvestment in the acquisition of one or multiple properties with a global value equal to or above € 500.000,00.
The property/ies may be acquired in the sole name of the investor or in co-ownership, as long as each co-owner makes an investment of a minimum of €500.000.
It may also be acquired by a single member limited company owned by the investor. There is the possibility of obtaining a bank loan to finance the purchase of the prop-erty with a value above €500.000,00, as long as the minimum value of €500.000,00 is the investor’s capital transferred from abroad into a Portuguese bank account and the loan is only aimed at financing the exceeding value.
The properties acquired can be freely rented and let for commercial, agricultural or tourism purposes.
Promissory contracts of Purchase and Sale are acceptable for the initial investor residency application, provided that a down payment of a minimum of € 500.000,00 is paid. In this case, the actual purchase of the property must be completed until the time of the first renewal of the residency permit.
Specific documents and general requirements
a) Provide evidence of ownership of the property, free from onus, liabilitíes and charges, by submitting certified copy of the deed of purchase and sale and an updated land registry certificate and tax registration (Caderneta Predial);
b) Provide evidence that the minimmum amount invested in the purchase has been transferred into a Portuguese Bank account, by submitting a declaration issued by the respective Portuguese bank;
c) Promissory contract of purchase and sale proving the agreed purchase of property and a declaration from the bank confirming the transfer of the amount of the down payment paid on the signing of the promissory contract.
General requirements to be fulfilled and documents to be submitted for all types of investments:-
a) Valid Passport with Schengen Visa;
b) Proof of legal entry in the country;
c) Health insurance;
d) Criminal record issued by the country of origin evidencing that the foreign citi-zen has not been convicted for a crime punishable with deprivation of liberty for more than one year;
e) “Bona fide” declaration issued and signed by the third state citizen whereby he undertakes to maintain the minimum investment requirements established in theapplicable legislation;
f) Declaration issued by the Portuguese social security and Tax Authority evi-dencing the absence of debts towards such entities;
g) Foreign citizens must not be subject to a refusal to re-enter Portugal, follow-ing a past decision to abandon the country;
h) Foreign citizens must not be subject to alerts in the Schengen information system;
i) Foreign citizens cannot have been convicted for any crime in Portugal (SEF will conduct searches before the competent authorities in respect of items f), g) and h) above
Advantages of “The Golden Visa”
• No need to obtain a residency visa to enter Portugal;
• No need to obtain a visa to travel in Europe- Schengen area;
• Ability to live and work in Portugal;
• Residency extended to family members, by applying for family reunification, under the provisions of the general law;
• Possibility of obtaining permanent residence, after 5 years;
• Possibility of obtaíning citizenship after 5 years. (Qualification to apply for Portuguese citizenship must be studied case by case, and will depend on the particular situation of the applicant and is made is accordance with the citi-zenship legislation.)
Costs of “The Golden Visa”
Expenses paid to SEF for the obtaining of the Golden Residency Permit
– Investor –
• application – € 5.674,00;
• Renewal: 2.600,00;
– Each Family member
• application – € 5.100,00;
• renewal: 2.600,00
Legal fees vary depending on the attorney selected and range around the € 1.500,00 and €3,500 for the initial application.