Portugal offers golden visas to rich foreigners

1 - The Golden Visa. What is it?

The Golden Visa Programme launched by the Portuguese Authorities in October 2012 is a fast track for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain a fully valid residency permit in Portugal (“Golden Visa”).

Under the Golden Visa programme, non-EU citizens simply need to carry out one of the investments set out in the law to qualify to obtain a residency permit in Portugal. This residency permit will allow the investor to enter and/or live in Portugal and to travel freely within the vast majority of European countries (Schengen space).

Aimed at attracting foreign investment to Portugal, the Golden Visa is a very straightforward and flexible programme, with simple and clear legal requirements. With extremely reduced minimum stay requirements, the Golden Visa is clearly one of the most attractive residency programs for investors in the world.

2 - What types of investments are allowed under the Golden Visa rules?

The following types of investment qualify for the Golden Visa programme:

a) Acquisition of property in the amount of or greater than € 500,000.

It should be noted that only investments effectively made after 8th October 2012 are eligible for the Golden Visa programme.

3 - For how long is the Golden Visa valid?

Once issued, the Golden Visa will be valid for an initial period of 1 (one) year and then will be renewed for subsequent periods of 2 years.

4 - What are the general requirements that the investor has to comply with?

The simplicity of the Golden Visa Programme implies an extremely reduced amount of requirements being asked from the investor. The Golden Visa Programme sets out that the investor must comply with general requirements applicable to all types of qualifying investments and also with the specific requirements of each type of qualifying investment.

In general, all investors have to comply with the following requirements:

a) Keep the investment for a minimum period of 5 years

b) Funds for investment should come from abroad

c) Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa

d) Absence of references in the Portuguese Immigration and the Schengen services

e) Absence of conviction of relevant crime

f) Minimum stay in Portugal: 7 (seven) days during the first year and 14 (fourteen) days during each subsequent period of two years

5 - What are the specific characteristics for each type of qualifying investment?

Specific characteristics, as follows:

Property Acquisitions

- Minimum investment of € 500,000

- Purchase of one or multiple properties

- All property types qualify

- Possibility of co-ownership;

- Freedom to use, rent or lease