Portugal – The Golden Visa to the EU
Post Brexit EU travel for UK citizens has seen some issues recently. With business travellers being turned away from EU countries, the Portugal Golden Visa is fast becoming known as a viable option for allowing non-EU citizens to obtain residency via investment channels.
Portugal´s rich history, wild beaches, modern resorts, stunning unspoilt Atlantic coastline and spectacular countryside, all provide an irresistible charm. With cosmopolitan cities, varied cuisine and year-round sunshine, it has been historically popular and a much-loved destination for holiday travellers, retirees and those seeking a lifestyle abroad.
With a fast track to EU citizenship and the right to live and operate in Portugal, the Portugal Golden Visa has become increasingly sought after by UK investors deciding to relocate. However, there is no need to take up residency on a permanent basis. The first year of investment requires a 7-day minimum stay. Subsequent years of the investment require a 14 day stay for a 2-year renewal. Even if investors do not wish to call Portugal home, they can still benefit from citizenship as the investment value from funds outside of Portugal´s borders form the main criteria.
The Portugal Golden Visa
The Golden Visa (Residency by Investment programme) was introduced in 2012 to encourage foreign investment into the economy. It allows non-EU citizens the right to residency through investment and provides an opportunity for qualified investors to study, live and work in Portugal. With the ability of free movement within Europe’s Schengen borders, the popularity of the Visa has grown rapidly since the launch of the programme with approximately 27,000 issued.
The Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) figures show that 120 Golden Visas were issued by the authorities in September of 2022, double the figure of September 2021. The 120 Visas were distributed between the UK (16), Brazil (14), China (26), USA (17) and India (7).
The Benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa
A UK national with an EU Golden Visa entitles the holder entry, and travel privileges, of any EU citizen into the Schengen area (26 EU Countries), including the right to live, study or work in Portugal, without the need of a visa.
The Golden Visa also grants the same privilege to the investor’s family and family reunification includes spouses, children, children over 18 who are studying and even the parents of the investor.
If the relevant qualifications are met, permanent residency can be applied for after 5 years.
An investor may apply for citizenship after legally residing in Portugal for 6 years and passing a language proficiency test.
There are specific tax incentives and structures available with the Portugal Golden Visa. However, we highly recommend speaking to a financial adviser for detailed tax information.
Investment Options for the Golden Visa
You can acquire a Portugal Golden Visa by purchasing a residential property that costs a minimum of €500,000.
Low-density areas have a minimum spend of €400,000.
With a total investment value of €350,000, an investment purchase with renovation of real estate over 30 years old, within urban rehabilitation areas.
Lisbon, Porto or coastal towns are exempt for the purchase of residential home, as of January 2022. Only residential properties within interior areas, as well as in Azores and Madeira, are now eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa.
A €500,000 deposit into a “Fundos de Capital de Risco”. These are investment vehicles which support Portuguese businesses.
A capital transfer of €1.5 million from an international account. Perhaps the most expensive option, but, if you have the funds, provides the easiest method.
Option 1 – Create 10 (minimum) full time jobs in a Portuguese company which you own. There are no investment value criteria.
Option 2 – Invest €500,000 into an existing Portuguese business. Create 5 (minimum) full time positions within 3 years.
Option1 – Invest €250,000 into a national heritage preservation vehicle.
Option 2 – Invest €500,000 into a Portuguese research and development activity.
The Portuguese residency obtained through the Golden Visa programme allows you to travel freely throughout the EU Schengen zone and Portuguese Citizenship with a second passport, provides the right to work, live or study anywhere within the European Union.
Contact us to enquire about the Portugal Golden Visa investment opportunity for yourself, your business, and the relative tax benefits available.