The Golden Visa Residence Programme is a simple, fast-track residence permit program designed to attract foreign investment into Portugal. The governing regulations for the Programme were published on 28 January 2013. As a result of the interest shown by foreign investors in this Programme, the Portuguese government amended the original rules to simplify the terms and conditions to obtain this type of residence permit.
The Programme is only available to non-EU citizens who make qualifying investments in Portugal for at least five years. These investments may be made directly or through a company but must meet one of the following requirements:
- Purchase of any type of real estate costing at least €500.000 (Co-ownership allowed)
- Capital transfer of at least €1,000,000 to be invested in any type of business or company
- Creation of at least 10 permanent jobs
The investment activity must be maintained for a minimum period of five years after the residence permit is granted.
The Permit is first issued for one year and subsequently renewed for successive periods of two years, provided that the requirements of the investment activity as well as the following minimum periods of stay in Portugal are maintained:
- 7 days during the first year;
- 14 days in the following two-year periods.
Like other Portuguese residence permits, a Golden Visa Residence Permit enables its holder to travel freely in the EU Schengen Area. The bearer of the Permit may apply for family reunification, and may gain access to a permanent residence permit as well as to Portuguese citizenship, in accordance with the legal provisions.
Individuals who have been convicted of a crime are not eligible to make application.
The decision to grant a Golden Visa Residence Permit must be taken by the competent authorities within 60 days after the submission of the application, which must include evidence that the financial or real estate investment has already been completed.
Since January until August 2013, SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) approved 145 Golden residence Permits attracting €90,000,000 in new investments to Portugal. Russia, China and Angola are the top three countries of origin that also include Brasil, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, India, Colombia, Tunisia, USA, Ukraine, Turkey and Guinea-Bissau.
For more information, please consult our euroFINESCO publications. brochure S48.