Portugal Golden Visa Program
Golden Visa Program
Portugal is one of Europe's most historically influential countries, with a rich past of global exploration and trade. Today, residents of Portugal enjoy visa-free travel and access to the 26 countries of the European Schengen Area. The program offers an opportunity for you and your family to live, study and work in Portugal, a very safe country with excellent health care and educational opportunities.
The Golden Visa program provides a possible route to Portuguese and European Union citizenship after five years, if a basic knowledge of the Portuguese language and genuine links can be demonstrated. Portugal is an extremely family-friendly nation, and the Golden Visa program extends to dependent’s, providing an excellent option for families seeking a European base. English is widely spoken and the country offers attractive personal tax options via the non-habitual tax regime.
The program requires an applicant to stay in Portugal for at least seven days in the first year and no less than 14 days in each subsequent two-year period.
The Golden Visa program was launched in October of 2012 and has become Europe’s most popular residence-by- investment program and is available to all non-EU nationals. The program requires the main applicant to invest in the country in return for a residence permit. The program offers eight different investment or contribution options that will qualify the applicant for residence.
Portugal has an excellent real estate offering, whether for lifestyle or investment, with a large geographic, environmental and price-point diversity. This option has the advantage of combining the program’s mandatory 7-days per year average stay with the potential for owning property in a highly desirable country.
The investment thresholds under the real estate option are as follows:
- A real estate purchase with a minimum value of EUR 500,000*
- A real estate purchase with a minimum value of EUR 350,0000 in properties older than 30 years or in an area of urban regeneration, including the costs of renovations*
*The amount will be reduced by 20% if the funds are committed to a low population density area, defined as less than 100 inhabitants per km 2 or with a GDP per capita below 75% of the national average
One of the following capital transfer options:
- EUR 250,000 in support of artistic output or maintenance of national heritage*
- EUR 350,000 for investing into research activities conduct ed by public or private scientific research institutions involved in the national scientific or technological system
- EUR 350,000 for transfer of capital, for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds for the capitalization of companies whose maturity at the time of the investment is at least five years, and at least 60% of the value of investments will be realized in commercial companies based in the national territory
- EUR 350,000 constitution of a commercial society with head office in the national territory, combined with the creation of five permanent working jobs, or for the reinforcement of the share capital of a commercial society with head office in national territory, already existing, with the creation or keeping of working jobs, with a minimum of five permanent jobs, and for a minimum period of three years
- EUR 1 million capital transfer to a Portuguese Bank
- Create a minimum of 10 new employment positions
Following an initial contact, we will provide an over-view of the costs and process that the program entails from submission to permanent residency over 5 years. This involves the principal applicant being required to travel to Portugal once before issuance of the first residence visa. The visit can be achieved within 3-4 days and focuses on choosing a qualifying investment, providing biometrics, opening a local bank account, having an independent tax planning session and, if required, an education briefing. The Power of Attorney will also be signed during this visit to enable Latitude to work on the applicant’s behalf with the Immigration and Border Service (SEF) as well as the fiscal and social security authorities.
The Golden Visa is a temporary residence permit valid for a period of one year from the date of issue and may be renewed for successive periods of two years, provided that the necessary requirements for its granting are maintained. After five years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit and shortly there-after you can apply for Portuguese nationality, assuming you meet the requirements.
Portugal allows dual citizenship. Eligibility for Portuguese citizenship is possible after five years of legal residence and compliance with prevailing requirements. This includes some knowledge (level A2) of the Portuguese language and a clean Police Clearance Certificate.
Personal taxation for non-residents on Portuguese-sourced employment and pension income is charged at a preferential rate of 25%, although interest and rental income, dividends and capital gains are taxed at 28%.
For new residents wanting to stay for longer periods and possibly reside in Portugal, there is a Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) regime which may be more beneficial. Once NHR tax status is obtained, income derived from a foreign source and relating to employment income, pension income and business and professional income can be subject to tax exemption, and any income derived from a Portuguese source will be subject to income tax at a flat rate of 20%, though some surcharges may apply.
Portugal does not apply a wealth tax. There is no tax on gifts or inheritances between parents, children and grandchildren.
Summary of Key Advantages
• Visa-free travel access to the Schengen area
• Right to live, work, and study in Portugal
• Residency can be granted within 8-12 months
• Low physical presence requirement (seven days in the first year and no less than 14 days in each subsequent two- year period)
• Attractive taxation system
• Investment options from as little as EUR 250,000
• High quality of life, fantastic local cuisine and wines,
rich culture, mild climate and a high level of security
• Citizenship possible after five years of legal residence