The Golden Visa Program corresponds to a special legal regime that allows third-country nationals that intend to invest in Portugal to apply for a temporary residence permit ("Temporary Residence Permit for Investment" or "ARI"). In case the investment performed by third-country nationals fulfills the minimum requirements set forth under applicable law and the temporary permit is granted, investors may:
- (i) freely travel within the Schengen Area;
- (ii) apply for family reunification;
- (iii) live and work in Portugal;
- (iv) obtain a permanent residence (after 5 years and in the terms and conditions set out by the legislation in force); and
- (v) acquire Portuguese citizenship (after 5 years and in the terms and conditions set out by the legislation in force).
Any third-country nationals can apply for Golden Visa, provided they are holders of a valid Schengen visa (or being exempt from it) or legalize their permanence in Portugal within 90 days as of their first entry into national territory.
The Golden Visa’s application shall be subject to the analysis and approval of the Regional Directorate and Regional Delegations of the Immigration and Borders Service ("SEF") in Portugal.
The minimum quantitative requirement is deemed fulfilled if one of the following conditions is met:
- (i) capital transfer with a value equal to or above 1 million Euros;
- (ii) the creation of at least 10 jobs;
- (iii) the purchase of real estate property for a value equal or above 500 thousand Euros;
- (iv) the purchase of real estate property regarding buildings older than 30 years or located in urban renovation areas, destined to renovation, for a total value equal to or above 350 thousand euros;
- (v) 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;
- (vi) capital transfer with a value equal to or above 250 thousand Euros for investing in artistic output or supporting the arts, for reconstruction or renovation of the national heritage;
- (vii) capital transfer with a value equal to or above 500 thousand Euros, for purchasing shares in investment funds or in venture capital funds geared to capitalize small and medium companies; or
- (viii) Capital transfer of the amount of 350 thousand Euros, or higher, for a constitution of a commercial company with head office in the national territory, combined with the creation of five permanent working jobs, or for the reinforcement of the share capital of a commercial company with head office in national territory, already existing, with the creation or keeping working jobs, with a minimum of five permanent jobs, and for a minimum period of three years.
The real estate property acquired for Golden Visa purposes can be leased for commercial, agricultural or tourism purposes and can be acquired in co-ownership. The acquisition can be made directly by an individual or by a company based in Portugal or in another EU country with a permanent establishment in Portugal (as long as the investor shows evidence attesting he is the unique shareholder of the company). It is also possible to apply for the golden visa before the acquisition deed, if the applicant has entered into a promissory sale and purchase agreement and delivered to the promissory seller a deposit equal or higher than the minimum quantitative requirement as down payment.
The Golden Visa investor must stay in Portugal for a period of, at least, 7 days during the first year, and 14 or more days, in the subsequent 2-year periods.
The application for the Golden Visa implies the payment of an initial fee of 520.40 Euros and a permit issuance fee of 5,202.60 Euros. Later on, a renewal fee of 2,601.30 Euros will also be due per renewal.
The Golden Visa is valid for 1 year and renewable for 2-year periods.
The Portuguese Parliament authorized the Government to review the Golden Visa program, excluding real estate investments made across the coastline, including Lisbon and Porto. Thus, only the real estate investments made in inland municipalities and in Azores or Madeira would qualify for the purposes of the Golden Visa program.
According to the public information released, these amendments to the Golden Visa program shall not be approved or effective before the beginning of 2021.
In order to apply for a permanent residence permit, applicants must hold a temporary residence permit in Portugal (including Golden Visa) for at least 5 years.
The granting of the permanent residence permit is subject to certain requirements, notably the applicant shall: (i) have not been convicted in Portugal during the last 5 years for a crime punishable with deprivation of liberty exceeding 1 year, (ii) have financial resources to live in Portugal, (iii) have a place to live in Portugal and (iv) show evidence of basic Portuguese language commands (to be proven through a written test).
In order to apply for Portuguese citizenship applicants must legally live in Portugal for at least 5 years.
The granting of Portuguese citizenship is subject to certain requirements, notably the applicant shall (i) be of legal age under the Portuguese law (parents may also apply for the citizenship of their children in certain conditions), (ii) have not been convicted in Portugal for a crime punishable with deprivation of liberty exceeding 3 years (iii) show evidence of sufficient knowledge of Portuguese language (to be proven through a written test) and (iv) a link with Portugal and with the Portuguese culture (to be ascertained by the immigration authorities on a case by case basis).