IN515 - The Portuguese Golden Visa and the Application Procedures

Portugal is an increasingly attractive jurisdiction for relocation, due to the lifestyle, cosmopolitan cities, good weather, local hospitality, excellent food and great ambience. With the introduction of Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme and a special tax regime for Non-Habitual Residents, Portugal has become a popular choice for many EU and non-EU nationals.

The Portuguese Golden Visa provides the option to obtain Portuguese nationality and, therefore, an EU Passport, in a timescale of just over 5 years. Since October 2012, more than 15,000 high net worth individuals and their families have moved to Portugal, generating a total investment of more than €3.5 billion through the Golden Visa route.

Since the Golden Visa was introduced, it has been subject to various amendments, all of them intended to enhance the investment criteria possibilities. The most recent amendment, made in July 2017, features new routes specifically designed to promote investment in small and medium-sized Portuguese Companies.

Golden Visa Criteria

The Golden Visa programme is designed for non-European Union citizens undertaking an investment activity, either as individuals or through a company established in Portugal, for a minimum period of 5 years. These individuals and their families can apply for a Residence Permit through investment into Portugal, by fulfilling one of the routes detailed below:

Real Estate

  • The purchase of real estate property with a minimum value of €500,000; OR
  • The purchase of real estate property, built at least 30 years ago or located in an urban regeneration area, for refurbishment purposes, with a minimum value of €350,000.

Capital Transfer

  • Capital transfer to Portugal of a minimum €1 million. This can be achieved by:
    • depositing €1 million in a Portuguese bank account; OR
    • incorporating a Portuguese Holding company or Madeira Company, through a deposit of €1 million share capital.
  • Investment of a minimum €350,000 in research undertaken by public or private scientific research institutions involved in national scientific or technological research; OR
  • Investment of a minimum €250,000 in artistic creation or supporting the arts.

Job Creation

  • The creation of a minimum of 10 jobs; OR
  • €350,000 investment in the incorporation of a new Portuguese company or share capital investment in an existing company, creating a minimum of 5 permanent jobs or maintenance of a minimum of 5 permanent jobs (for a minimum period of 3 years) respectively.

Investment Reduction

Individuals investing in a region with a low population density, or fewer that 100 habitants per km2, or with a GDP of 75% or less in the national average, benefit from a 20% reduction in each of the investment criteria specified above: Real Estate, Capital Transfer and Job Creation.

Financial Investment

Investment of a minimum €350,000 in funds or venture capital funds aimed at capitalization of companies incorporated under Portuguese legislation, which have a maturity of at least five years. At least 60% of the investment must be made in companies located in Portugal. 

Requirements to Meet

The Golden Visa applicants must maintain the investment for a minimum of 5 years and the following stay requirements must be complied with:

  • 7 days in the first year;
  • 14 days in the subsequent two-year periods (i.e. years 2-3 and 4-5).

Implementation of New Procedures

The Portuguese Immigration Authorities (SEF) have implemented new measures to improve and expedite the application process. SEF’s online platform has been greatly enhanced and the application process is now as follows:

  1. A mandatory online pre-registration to be made by the investor.
  2. An online submission of the documents pertaining to the investor, investment compliance and family members.
  3. Payment of Government fees to SEF for processing the Golden Visa application.
  4. Pre-analysis and validation of the documentation by SEF.
  5. Scheduling of biometrics appointments at any location which has a SEF office on the Portuguese mainland and on the islands of Madeira and Azores.
  6. Collection of Biometric data and delivery of original documents.
  7. Final analysis by the Portuguese Immigration Authorities and their decision.
  8. Payment of Government fees to SEF for the concession of the Golden Visa Residence Cards and subsequent collection thereof.

How Can Dixcart Help?

In addition to assisting families and entrepreneurs in selecting the most appropriate legal route for a move to Portugal, Dixcart also provides:

  • A complete range of services relating to company incorporation and day-to-day obligations, from bookkeeping through to tax compliance.
  • Assisting entrepreneurs and their families in relocation to Portugal and obtaining the necessary residence permits.

Additional Information

If you require additional information regarding the Golden Visa, residence and/or the types of company and tax structures available in Portugal, please speak to your usual Dixcart contact, or to Carlos Santos at the Dixcart office in Portugal: carlos.santos@dixcart.com.

Updated August 2018

Categories: Portugal, 2018, Dixcart Domiciles