What is the Golden Visa and who is it for?
In 2012, Portugal approved special legislation designed to attract foreign investment, by offering a fast way for property investors (non EU citizens) to receive a residence permit, making it a privileged entry into Europe and allowing such permit holders free circulation in Schengen countries.
On 2 September 2015, new amendments were added to the procedures that allow, through investment, obtaining the residence permit known as the Golden Visa.
- Acquisition of one or more properties with a total value equal to or exceeding 500,000 Euro
- The acquisition of one or more properties over 30 years old or located in urban renewal areas, with rehabilitation works, in accordance with the corresponding legislation, totaling an amount equal to or greater than 350,000 Euros
This type of investment includes:
- Commercial or residential properties;
- Real estate acquired in co-ownership, as long as the investor’s share is at least the minimum indicated value;
- Properties that are acquired individually or through sole proprietorship companies in which the investor is a partner;
- Leased properties;
- Properties encumbered, by the amount that exceeds the minimum amount of the investment.
The government establishes the possibility of reducing the amounts in question by 20% if the properties in question are located in areas of low population density. According to current law, it is considered a territory of low population density if it has less than 100 inhabitants per km2 or if the GDP of that region is below 75% of the national average.
The immediate benefits
• Your property may be rented out immediately after purchasing (investment guaranteed)
• After 5 years, you acquire a permanent residence permit, and as you will then be considered a Portuguese citizen, you are free to sell the property
• 6 years after the purchase, you may apply for Portuguese nationality though naturalization
• This permit extends to cover your immediate family under the family reunification laws
• The visa allows you and your family to move freely within the 27 countries which make up the Schengen area
• You may base your business operations in Portugal, and operate from here throughout Europe and the rest of the world
The residence permit is granted for a period of one year, renewable for two successive periods of two years, and requires the maintenance of the investment for a minimum period of five years and the presence in Portuguese territory for 7 days (consecutive or not) in the first year and 14 days (consecutive or not) in the subsequent periods of two years.
Additional reasons to choose Portugal
• There has been no real estate speculation in the past 15 years. Today’s property prices still represent an excellent opportunity following the economic downturn in the past few years
• No inheritance tax for immediate family members