What is the golden Visa?
it’s a program of temporary residence authorization in Portugal given to foreigners, who are not a part of the European Union, to develop economic activities and Investments Portuguese territory.
- A physical person who wants to invest in Portugal but does not intend on spending more than 90 days in a 180 days time in Portugal does not require a golden visa;
- However even if one does not intend on staying in Portugal, a physical person may always apply to a golden visa;
- Receiving the golden Visa does not determine any fiscal implications to the requestant in Portugal.
Quite the contrary:
- A physical person who has the intent of living in Portugal for fiscal effects and does not possess an European Union nationality, or an appropriate visa to live or eventually work in Portugal, must solicit a golden visa.
What are the main benefits of the golden visa?
The golden Visa gives foreign investors the following benefits:
- Possibility of entree and legal stay in Portugal without needing a residence visa.
- Live and work in Portugal.
- Move freely through the Schengen Zone, without needing a visa.
- Benefits from family regrouping right – the owners of the golden visa may solicit the entry and residence of members of their family.
- Eligible for a permanent residence authorization at the end of the 5-year period.
- Eligible to obtain portuguese citizenship at the end of six years (so long as the owners of the golden visa have been living through this period in Portugal).
What kind of investments are allowed to obtain the golden visa?
Conditions for the golden visa
To be eligible, the interested part must make, through a physical person (or through a sociedade unipessoal portuguesa), a direct investment in Portugal, and maintain it for five years through one of the following options:
- Capital transference of EUR 1.000.000.
- Creating, at least, 10 work positions/jobs
- Acquiring real estate assets in Portugal estimated in EUR 500.000:
- One or more real estate properties, as long as the total value is of EUR 500.000. The properties can be used for commercial, agricultural or touristic purposes;
- The acquired properties must be onerated (like mortgage), but only corresponding to the part that exceeds, if so, the EUR 500.000 total;
- The properties may be acquired in shared ownership, so long as each co-owner invests, at least, EUR 500.000 each.
- Acquiring real estate properties in Portugal with +30 years, or located in an urban rehabilitation area being responsible for additional modernization work estimated at EUR 350.000.
- Transferring EUR 500.000 by acquiring units in FIM or FCR for PME.
- Applying EUR 350.000 in certain investigative activities.
- Applying EUR 250.000 in certain activities which invest in artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural patrimony.
Except for the cases (I) and (V), the minimum amount demanded may be reduced in 20% in certain conditions foreseen by the law.
What are the conditions an investor must meet?
The golden visa presents a very low number of conditions investors must meet. The programme determines that the investor must be in accordance to all the general conditions applied to every kind of qualified investments and also with the specific need of every kind of investment.
Every investor must meet the following conditions:
- Maintain the investment for at least 5 years
- The investment’s must come from abroad
- Enter Portugal with a valid Schengen visa
- Absence of reference in the Portuguese Immigration Service and Schengen Zone services
- Absence of condemnations in relevant crimes
- Minimum stay in Portugal: 7 days in the first year and 14 days for every period after the second year
How long is the golden visa valid for?
Once emitted, the golden visa will be valid for a one-year period, and then will be renewed for following two-year periods.
Is it possible to extend the golden visa to family members?
Yes. The investors’ families may ask for a residence authorization in Portugal, arguing “family reunion”. The golden visa will be extended to close family members: children, spouses and family members who depend on the original owner of the visa.
The family members are equally eligible to obtain permanent residence after 5 years and portuguese nationality after 6 years.
How can the investors’ and their family obtain the permanent residence authorization after the 5-year period?
According to Portuguese Law, any person with a temporary residence title (such as the golden visa), valid for at least five years, has the right to apply for permanent residence in the country.
To do so, the investors’ and their families must meet the following conditions:
- Absence of relevant criminal condemnation in the past five years
- Income/financial independence proof
- Housing proof in Portugal
- Basic knowledge in portuguese language
How can the investors’ and their families obtain portuguese nationality?
The portuguese legislation establishes that any person who has lived legally in Portugal for at least six years (through a temporary residence title or a permanent residence title) is eligible for obtaining portuguese nationality.
For that to happen, the investors’ and their families must meet the following criteria:
- Absence of any relevant crime condemnation
- Be at least 18 years old (or 16, if married or with a legally emancipated)
- Pass at a simple portuguese language test, which serves to show sufficient knowledge in the language
Are there reasons for the emission of golden visa to be refused, or its renewal?
The emission of the golden visa or its renewal will only be refused to the investor (or their family) if:
- They haven’t met the minimum mandatory periods of time they must be in Portugal
- They haven’t maintained the investment for 5 years
- They have been condemned of a crime punishable with jail that exceeds one year
- If, for some reason, the investor or one of their family members is forbidden to enter the country
- For public health reasons (this measure will only be enforced if it concerns diseases defined by the World Health Organisation or other infectious contagious and parasitic diseases which require territory protection)
- For order, safety and public health reasons
After five years, what happens with the investment? Can the investor sell the real estate property/ transfer the money to another country?
Yes, the investor only needs to maintain their investment during the period the golden visa is valid, five years.
In case the investor isn’t interested in the golden visa, can they leave the investment at any time?
Yes, they can. However, without proving that the investment has been somehow maintained, the investor won’t be able to, later, renew the visa.
Does the investor have to use the property they acquired or can it be rented to third parties?
It isn’t necessary for the investor to occupy the property, and they can rent it to third parties.
What are the taxes and costs of buying a real estate property?
In Portugal, there are three taxes related to acquisition of real estate properties:
- To pay when buying the property:
- IMT (Imposto Municipal Sobre as Transmissões Onerosas de Imóveis), which has to do with transferring the property to the new owner
- Imposto do Selo
- To pay annually:
- IMI (Imposto Municipal Sobre Imóveis), municipal tax related to every real estate property. In between 0,3 and 0,5% of the properties price is charged in the form of taxes
Note: The exact amount of taxes to pay depends on the worth of the property.
Once with the golden visa, is the investor obligated to pay taxes in Portugal on their incomes from other parts of the world?
No. If the owner of the golden visa doesn’t spend more than 183 consecutive days in Portugal they won’t be forced to pay taxes on incomes obtained abroad.
What kind of income tax is applied to profit generated in Portugal?
Profits from rents and from personal capital (interest, etc) will be taxed at a 28% rate.