The uses and benefits of Golden Visa in Portugal
Golden Visa in Portugal - Residency for Investors
The Golden Visa was introduced in Portugal in 2012, and updated in September 2015. It gives non-European investors a Portuguese residence permit for investment activities and free movement in Schengen area.
The investors should comply with the following requirements, terms and conditions:
Attributes of Golden Visa (ARI)
Golden Visa is awarded for a period of one year and is renewable twice (each time for 2 years). At the end of 5 years, the residence permit can be granted permanently. After 6 years, it is possible to apply for a Portuguese citizenship.
In addition, the residence permit can be extended to other family members (as a family reunification).
To obtain Golden Visa in Portugal, the investment must be made and kept for a minimum period of 5 years with an obligation to stay in Portugal for at least 7 days within the first year, and 14 days during each subsequent period of two years. Provided that these periods do not necessarily have to be consecutive.
Funds for investment in Portugal should come from abroad from a person with a valid Schengen visa and no criminal conviction certificates, obtained in Portuguese Immigration or Schengen services.
Investments in Business
The first individuals targeted by the Golden Visa are investors in companies. However, these investors must meet certain investment criteria, having several options to choose from:
Acquisition of company's capital for a value of minimum €1,000,000;
Company creation with at least 10 employees;
Or a minimum investment of €500,000 in real estate.
In the first case (investment into capital) this figure may be revised and set to at least €250,000, if it supports an artistic production or has connection to the national cultural heritage. In the case of a scientific research, in the private or the public area, the minimum amount alternates to €350,000. Finally, €500,000 for the purchase of shares in investment funds or capital risk for the capitalization of SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises).
Investments in Real Estate
Regarding real estate investments, Golden Visa program concerns those made the acquisition of property above € 500.000 (this property must be acquired free from any charges or mortgages), or above € 350,000 in the building, which construction was completed over 30 years ago. The owner will be in charge to restore these homes for a total of at least € 350,000 euros in accordance with the legal requirements, including the reconstruction works if this property is located in areas of urban regeneration.
These amounts may be reduced by 20% (€ 280,000) if the investment is made in the areas with low density of population (less than 100 inhabitants per km² according to the current law) or low standard of living (a regional GDP below 75% of national).
The real estate that falls within this framework are - residential or commercial properties. Property can be acquired in co-ownership with each co-owner making an investment of a minimum of € 500,000. Purchase can be also made by an individual person, by the one-person company, provided that the investor is a shareholder.
Thus, the acquired property can then be mortgaged, leased or used in the agritourism, or for commercial purposes.
Golden Visa Benefits - Summary
The Golden Visa offers investors the following advantages:
No need to obtain a visa to enter Portugal
No need to obtain a visa to travel in Europe (Schengen area)
Living and working in Portugal, even if residing in a different country
Extremely reduced minimum stay periods
Low tax rates:
Payable with the property acquisition: “IMT” (Property Transfer Tax)
Payable on an annual basis: “IMI” (Council Tax)
Rental income and capital income tax is 28% (e.g. interest, dividends, etc...)
Permanent Residency after 5 years
Citizenship after 6 years