The New Portuguese Golden Visa  - All You Need to Know

Following several months of uncertainty and speculation, we finally have a clear and final picture of the future of the Portuguese Golden Visa programme.

Although we can now confirm that the popular real estate investment routes are being terminated, several other attractive Golden Visa options remain available.

Ultimately, the most apocalyptic views were dismissed in a surprising but welcome twist considering the initial idea of abolishing the regime altogether.

Therefore, as we explain below, investors will be able to continue applying for a Golden Visa in case they undertake certain eligible investments, with the possibility of:

  • Getting a residence permit and applying for family reunification, on the condition that the investors stay in Portugal for a period of 7 or more days in the first year and 14 days in each subsequent two-year period
  • Visa-free travelling in the Schengen area
  • Applying for Portuguese citizenship after 5 years
  • Applying for the non-habitual resident tax status.

For expatriates willing to relocate to Portugal, we remind you that several other residence permits are available, such as the D2, the D7 or the recent D8 (remote work/digital nomad visa).

The main difference between these and the Golden Visa is that there are no minimum investment requirements to apply for them, but you must stay in Portugal for longer periods (6 consecutive months or 8 intercalated months in a 12 month period).

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Do you want a Golden Visa in Portugal? These are your options

The Golden Visa programme is continuing its successful path through the following routes:

  1.  Acquisition of participation units in non-real estate investment funds. Capital transfers in the amount equal to or greater than €500,000, intended for acquiring participation units in non-real estate collective investment undertakings, constituted under the Portuguese legislation, with maturity, at the time of the investment, of at least five years and at least 60% of the value of the investment is made in commercial companies based in national territory;
  2. Investment in commercial companies with headquarters in the national territory. Capital transfers in the amount equal or superior to €500,000, destined to the incorporation of a commercial company with headquarters in the Portuguese territory (i.e. in the Portuguese mainland, Madeira or the Azores), combined with the creation of five permanent jobs, or to increase the share capital of a commercial company with headquarters in the national territory, already existing, with the creation or maintenance of jobs, with a minimum of five permanent jobs, and for a minimum period of three years;
  3. Job creation. Creation of at least 10 jobs (full-time);
  4. Investment in science and technology. A transfer of capital for research activities carried out by public or private scientific institutions that are part of the national scientific and technological system. The minimum amount of the transfer is €500,000. The minimum investment amount is reduced by 20%, for investments in low-density areas;
  5. Artistic production and national cultural heritage. Capital transfers of €250,000 or more can be made to support the investment or artistic production, recovery, and maintenance of national cultural heritage through certain entities that develop projects related to artistic production or the recovery and maintenance of the national cultural heritage. The minimum investment amount is reduced by 20%, for investments in low-density areas.

…And these are the Golden Visa options you no longer have

Further to the new legislation that is set to apply as from late August 2023, it will no longer be possible to submit Golden Visa applications through the following investments:

  • Acquisition of immovable property with a value of at least €500,000;
  • Acquisition of immovable property whose construction was concluded at least 30 years ago or located in an area of urban rehabilitation and execution of rehabilitation works of the acquired real estate, in the total amount of at least €350,000;
  • Capital transfers in the amount of 1.5 million euros or more.

We highlight that foreigners and non-residents of Portugal will still be able to purchase Portuguese real estate. The only change concerns the possibility of using such transactions as a pathway to the Golden Visa

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The Golden Visa changes are expected to shift the eligible investments from real estate to the alternatives that remain in place.

Besides the track record on the residence permit process, NEWCO has extensive knowledge in the incorporation of Portuguese companies, both in Madeira and in Mainland Portugal, and a network of trusted partners in the investment and private equity sector.

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