Portugal – The Oldest Iberian Nation
The Portuguese Republic is a country located in Southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula and also includes the Madeira and Azores archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe. Although Portugal is a small country, it offers very diverse natural scenery and a high standard of living to its residents as well as to all visitors.
It is a developed country with a very high Human Development Index, the world’s 27th highest quality of life as of 2010. It is one of the world’s most globalized, politically stable and peaceful nations.
Portugal a member of the European Union and the United Nations, and a founding member of the Latin Union, the Organization of Ibero-American States, OECD, NATO, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the eurozone and the Schengen Agreement.
Agriculture, forestry, mining and fishing are the most important industries that fuel Portugal’s economy. In recent years, tourism is playing an increasingly important role in Portugal’s economy. Portugal is among the 20 most visited countries in the world, receiving an average of 13 million foreign tourists each year.
Residency by Investment Program of Portugal:Golden Residence Permit
Portugal has recently introduced a new law that offers residence permits called ‘Golden Visa’ to non-EU citizens, providing they invest in the country for at least 5 years. Golden Residence Permit holders have access to free movement across all 26 Schengen countries and stays of 90 days in every 6 month periods (from the date of entry) in these countries, which is a great advantage to foreign citizens, who are usually subject to strict EU immigration regulations and visas when travelling to Europe.extremely reduced minimum stay requirements, the Golden Visa is clearly one of the most attractive residency programs for investors in the world.
Who can apply?
- This Golden residence permit scheme aims to attract wealthy foreign investors, as well as their families, to help re-launch the Portuguese economy and is a great opportunity for non-EU investors to buy luxury holiday homes in renowned resorts, to carry out financial investments or to set up business ventures in Portugal.
- Anyone with a valid Schengen visa or Portuguese visa can apply for a Golden residence permit. Residency applications have to be made within 90 days of entry into Portugal.
- Shareholders of companies already set up in Portugal, or in another EU State, with a stable residence in Portugal and with tax obligations fulfilled are also eligible to apply.
- Applicants must not have been convicted of a crime punishable with deprivation of liberty exceeding one year.
- Applicants must not be subject of an entry ban in national territory following a removal order from the country.
- Applicants must not be subject of alerts in the Schengen Information System.
- Applicants must not be subject of alerts in SEF’s Information Integrated System issued for purposes of non-admission.
There are three main investment options available:
- Capital Investments –
- A financial investment/capital transfer of above €1 million to be invested in any type of business or company before submission of the application
- Transfer of Funds above € 350,000 for research activities
- Transfer of Funds above € 250,000 for artistic or cultural activities
- Transfer of Funds above € 500,000 for capitalization of small and medium size companies.
- Job Creation – Creation of at least 10 permanent jobs (as opposed to 30 jobs initially declared)
- Real estate investment –
- Acquisition of real estate property of any type above €500,000, which must be purchased before the application is submitted
- Acquisition of property above € 350,000 for properties more than 30 years old or located in areas of urban renovation
The last option is the cheapest, fastest and most attractive way to get a residence permit in Portugal. Co-ownership is now allowed and each co-owner has to make an investment of €500,000.
The properties must have been acquired after October 2012 and must be free from any charges or mortgages.
These acquired properties can be freely rented and let for commercial, agricultural and tourism purposes.
The investment must be mandatorily kept in Portugal for a period of at least 5 years after the residence permit has been granted. The Golden residence permit is granted for an initial period of 1 year and then renewed subsequently for 2 additional periods of 2 years, provided all the requirements are duly fulfilled and minimum stay periods are maintained.
Minimum stay periods:
The applicant must stay in Portugal for at least 7 days (instead of 30 as initially declared) during the first year and 14 days (instead of 60 days) during the following successive periods of two years. After those 5 years, the holder of the Golden residence permit can apply for a permanent residence permit, and after 6 years it is even possible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
The decision to grant a Residence Permit is usually taken by the authorities within 60 days after the submission of the application, which must include evidence that the financial or real estate investment has already been completed.
Benefits of the program:
- Investment of €500,000 (or €350,000 reduced option)
- Full family residency
- Very flexible residency requirements and reduced stay requirements
- Permanent Residency after 5 years
- Citizenship after 6 years
- EU Schengen visa free travel