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 September the 2nd, 2015, new amendments were added to the procedures that allow, through investment, obtaining the residence permit known as the Golden Visa.
* Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.
As of this date, it is possible to apply for this visa through one of the following investment options:
- Capital transfer in the amount equal to or greater than 1.000.000 Euros.
- Create, at least, 10 new jobs.
- Property acquisition in the amount equal to or greater than 500.000 Euros.
- Acquisition of property over 30 years old or property located in urban renewal areas with rehabilitation works totaling the amount equal to or greater than 350.000 Euros.
- Capital transfer in the amount equal to or exceeding 350 000 Euros to public or private national institutions for scientific research.
- Capital transfer in the amount equal to or exceeding 250.000 Euros for investment or support for artistic production, recuperation or maintenance of national cultural heritage.
- Capital transfer in the amount equal to or exceeding 500.000 Euros for the purchase of shares in mutual in investment funds for investment in small and medium enterprises.
Real estate investment covers:
- Acquisition of one or more properties with a total value equal to or exceeding 500.000 Euros.
- 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 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.
The authorization may be extended to the investor's family members and the residence permit may be granted on a permanent basis after the initial period of five years. The Portuguese nationality through naturalization may be requested after six years.