The Golden Visa

With the changes in the legal provisions of Portuguese Immigration Act as at January 2013, there is now a legal resident status, called “Golden Residence Permit”, which is granted to the Foreign Nationals for the purpose of conducting investment activities in Portugal.

Under the Golden Visa programme, non-EU citizens simply must carry out one of the investments criteria laid out in the Act to qualify and 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).

Investment Route – The Golden Visa

The government approved investment routes are:

1. Acquisition of real estate with a value of at least €500.000

  • Public deed or promissory share-purchase agreement of the property, with a declaration of an authorized financial institution to exercise its activity in Portugal stating the effective transfer of capital to its acquisition or to execute as a down payment of the promise to purchase in equal or superior value of 500 thousand Euros, and
  • An up-to-date certificate issued by the Real Estate Registry, which must always be, in the case of contract-promise and where legally feasible, the respective register

2. Capital investment of at least €1.000.000

  • minimum period of five years & must be attested by a bona fide declaration signed by the Applicant
  • should provide evidence of having invested the minimum, including stocks or shares of companies
  • Declaration of a financial institution authorized to exercise its activity in Portugal certifying: the effective transfer of capital in the amount of not less than € 1 million, to an account demonstrating the investor is the sole or first holder of capital; or, the acquisition of stocks or shares of companies, and
  • An up-to-date certificate issued by the Commercial Register, certifying that the applicant holds a share in the capital of a company

3. Creation of at least 10 new jobs

Residence permit can be granted to non EU citizen or citizens from States that are not part of the Schengen Convention.

The Golden Residence Permit is valid for a period of one year as from issuance date (being renewable for successive periods of two years) and enables the individual to travel around the Schengen area.

Investments that meet these criteria allow an applicant residency in Portugal for 5 years. Investments must be held for the duration of this period.

Validity Periods: The temporary residence permit is valid for the period of one year from the date of issue and may be renewed for successive periods of two years as long as the conditions necessary for it to be granted remain in place

Conditions: must regularize their stay in Portugal within 90 days of their first entry into the country (obtaining, in cases in which it is necessary, a short term visa – Schengen visa – issued by the Portuguese Consulate in the country of origin) and prove they have met the minimum quantitative requirements for the chosen investment activity.

For the purposes of renewal, applicants must demonstrate that they have stayed in Portugal for at least (i) 7 days in the first year and (ii) 14 days in each subsequent period of two years.

Residence permit shall be renewed for a period of two years pursuant, provided the requirements remain valid.

At the end of this period applicants are eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.