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article february 15, 2021

The changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa program were finally approved.The amendments will only enter into force on January 1, 2022, that is, they will only apply to Golden Visa applications requested after this date and it will not affect the rights of Golden Visa holders, including their family members, who obtained a residence permit under the previous condition.

The modifications make the Portuguese regime more demanding, namely because it limited some real estate investments to certain areas of Portugal and since it increased the amounts legally required for certain types of investment

.In short, the most relevant changes are as follows

:a) The Golden Visa investment type based on the acquisition of real estate for residential purposes will only be possible if the properties are in the Azores, Madeira or in certain territories specified in the law (mainly interior of mainland Portugal). However, it will continue to be possible to obtain a Golden Visa through the purchase of properties located in any area of Portugal, including in Lisbon, Porto and on the continental coast, if such properties are not intended for housing, such as, for example, if they are intended for commerce, services, offices, warehouses, hospitality, catering, industry or any other purpose other than housing.

b) The minimum amount to access the Golden Visa through the subscription of investment units in investment funds or venture capital funds has been increased from € 350,000 to € 500,000.

c) Concerning the Golden Visa investment option via transfer of capital to Portugal, which also includes bank deposits in Portuguese banks or the incorporation of a company with the same amount of share capital, the minimum investment amount has been increased from € 1,000,000 to € 1,500,000.

d) In the case of a Golden Visa obtained through the transfer of capital applied in research activities carried out by public or private scientific research institutions, the minimum investment amount has been also increased from € 350,000 to € 500,000.

e) Finally, in the case of a Golden Visa obtained through the transfer of capital destined to invest in a company with headquarters in Portugal, combined with the creation of 5 permanent jobs, the minimum investment amount was changed from € 350,000 to € 500,000.

Accordingly, those who wish to obtain a Golden Visa under the previous conditions, should hurry up and do so in 2021.

Anyway, the program will continue to be attractive. The characteristics and attractiveness of Portugal and the Portuguese people are immutable. The integration of Portugal in the European space combined with its transatlantic vocation are unchangeable. The same varied and flexible investment modalities continue to exist in the regime. The objectivity of the program and the absence of any discretion on the part of the public administration remain a central characteristic of the program. Also important is the fact that the simple standard legal procedures and the beneficiaries of the regime remain the same and, last but not the least, the main legal advantages of the Portuguese program remain unchanged: the possibility of residing outside of Portugal without losing the residence permit, free movement within the Schengen space, large family reunification possibilities and the opportunity of the investor and his/her family to request a permanent residence permit or the Portuguese nationality (considered one of the strongest passports in the world) within 5 years.

For all these reasons, I believe that the Portuguese Golden Visa regime will continue to be a popular and successful program for those looking for a residence permit abroad or a foreign passport to hold.

lawyer APV in Lisbon


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