Golden Visa

Golden Visa: Obtaining a Residence Permit in Portugal for Investment Activity (ARI)

Golden Visa: Obtaining a Residence Permit in Portugal for Investment Activity

With the objective of attracting foreign investors to Portugal, in 2012 the Residence Investment Authorization Program (ARI), also known as “Visa Gold” or “Golden Visa”, was created. Because it is a very simple program, with clear legal requirements and benefits, it has quickly become one of the most attractive programs for investors around the world.

With this program, citizens from outside the EU simply need to make one of the investments provided for by law to qualify for a residence permit in Portugal.

In return, they are entitled to live, work and study in the country and enjoy the benefits of being part of the European Community.

Benefits

Have the right to live, work and study in Portugal;

Circulate in other countries that integrate the Schengenn Area without a visa, enjoying the advantages of being part of the European Community;

Extend these benefits to your direct family members;

Option to reconcile Golden Visa with Non-habitual Resident Status that presents tax benefits;

Permanent residence permit in Portugal at the end of the five years; and

Obtained Portuguese nationality at the end of five years.

What is?

Golden Visa: Obtaining a Residence Permit in Portugal for Investment Activity

With the objective of attracting foreign investors to Portugal, in 2012 the Residence Investment Authorization Program (ARI), also known as “Visa Gold” or “Golden Visa”, was created. Because it is a very simple program, with clear legal requirements and benefits, it has quickly become one of the most attractive programs for investors around the world.

With this program, citizens from outside the EU simply need to make one of the investments provided for by law to qualify for a residence permit in Portugal.

In return, they are entitled to live, work and study in the country and enjoy the benefits of being part of the European Community.

What types of investments fit?

  • Acquisition of real estate worth € 500,000 or more, free of charges and encumbrances;
  • Acquisition of real estate worth € 350,000 or more, free of charges and encumbrances over 30 years old and located in areas of urban regeneration for rehabilitation;
  • Transfer of funds over € 1,000,000 or more to Portugal;

What is the validity of this visa?

Golden Visa is valid for an initial period of 1 year and will then be renewed for subsequent periods of 2 years.

What are the general requirements that the investor must meet?

The Golden Visa program is quite simple. It establishes that the investor must comply with the general requirements applicable to all types of qualified investments and also the specific requirements for each type of qualified investment.

In general, all investors must meet the following requirements:

  • Keep the investment for a minimum period of 5 years;
  • Investment funds must come from abroad;
  • Enter Portugal with a valid visa;
  • Not having records in the Portuguese immigration services and in the Schengen area;
  • Not having records of crimes and convictions;
  • Minimum stay in Portugal: 7 days in the first year and 14 days in each subsequent period;

What are the specific characteristics for each type of investment?

Each type of investment has its specific characteristics, as follows:

Property acquisitions

  • Minimum investment of € 500,000 or;
  • Minimum investment of € 350,000 in urban rehabilitation areas for remodeling;
  • Purchase of one or more properties with a total value equal to at least € 500,000 in any area;
  • All types of property qualify;
  • The properties are free to use, can be rented or leased normally;

What are the main advantages of the GOLDEN VISA program?

The Golden Visa Program will provide investors with the following benefits:

  • It is not necessary to obtain a visa to enter Portugal;
  • It is not necessary to obtain a visa to travel in the Schengen area;
  • Living and working in Portugal, even if you live in a different country;
  • Residence extended to family members (Subject to Terms and Conditions)
  • Extremely low minimum stay periods;
  • Permanent residence after 5 years;
  • Citizenship after 6 years;

What is the Schengen area and which countries are included?

The Schengen area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. With a residence permit from Portugal, the investor has the right to freely enter and travel through all the countries of the Schengen Region.

The Schengen region includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Is it possible to extend Golden Visa to family members?

Yes. Under the Golden Visa Program, members of the investor's family can also apply for and obtain a residence permit from Portugal, requesting the "Agregado familiar". The visa will be extended to family members, such as children, spouse and dependent family members.

Family members will also be eligible for Permanent Residence after 5 years and for Portuguese Citizenship after 6 years.

How can the investor and his family obtain permanent residence after 5 years?

According to Portuguese law, anyone who holds a valid temporary residence permit in Portuguese (for example, Golden Visa) for a period of at least 5 years, will be entitled to obtain permanent residence in Portugal.

Investors and their families must meet the following criteria in order to apply for Permanent Residence in Portugal:

  • Having no records of crime and conviction for the last 5 (five years)
  • Proof of income / financial independence;
  • Proof of address in Portugal
  • Basic knowledge of Portuguese;

How can the investor and his family obtain Portuguese citizenship?

Portuguese law also establishes that anyone who has been validly resident in Portugal for at least 6 years (under a temporary or permanent residence permit) is eligible to obtain Portuguese citizenship.

In order to obtain Portuguese citizenship, the investor and family members must also comply with legal requirements;

What documents does the investor need to provide to apply for a Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa request implies that the investor must send the following documentation:

  • Proof of investment;
  • Passport and valid visa;
  • Portuguese tax number;
  • Criminal record of the country of residence;
  • Portuguese Criminal Record;
  • Declaration by the Tax Department proving the absence of debts to the tax authorities;
  • Declaration of Social Security that proves the absence of debts to the Social Security authorities;
  • Investor statement confirming compliance with investment requirements;
  • Health insurance valid in Portugal;
  • 2 passport-type photos;

When documents are not in the Portuguese language. What does the investor need to do?

Any document that is not in Portuguese or English must be translated into Portuguese. The translation needs to be certified.

Are there specific requirements for documents issued by foreign authorities?

Documents issued by foreign authorities must be legalized before being sent to Portugal. This legalization means obtaining the Apostilameto according to the Hague Convention (when applicable) or legalizing by Portuguese consular services.

What is a tax number? Why does an investor need one and how does he get one?

The tax number is an identification number before the Portuguese tax authorities, also known as TIN. This number is necessary to make investments, open accounts, among other reasons.

Where can an investor apply for a Golden Visa?

Any investor interested in applying for a Golden Visa, can proceed directly or through a designated legal representative, we at Golden Zenith can indicate one and assist in the process.

What are the costs involved in obtaining a Golden Visa?

Golden Visa involves the payment of the following fees (payable to Foreigners and Borders Services (“SEF”):

  • A processing fee is paid of € 527.60 for the first applicant and € 82.30 for each additional family member
  • Attorney fees, approximately 4,000.00 and 5,000.00 €
  • Initial Visa - € 5,137.50
  • Initial visa for each family member - € 5,137.50
  • Golden Visa renewal - € 2,568.75

How long does the order take to process? does the investor need to personally withdraw the Golden Visa?

After the application is submitted to the Foreigners and Borders Services (SEF), it will take approximately 3-6 weeks for the application to be processed (note that this is only an estimate based on our recent experience).

After the order is processed, the Foreigners and Borders Services (SEF) will contact the investor's legal representatives in Portugal and make an appointment with the investor (and family members) to collect signatures and fingerprints.

Are there reasons to refuse to issue a Golden Visa or renew it?

The investor (or any member of the family) can only be denied a visa in the following cases:

  • Do not maintain the investment for a minimum period of 5 years;
  • Did not meet the minimum periods of stay in Portugal;
  • You are convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;
  • The investor is in a period when entry into Portuguese territory was prohibited following a measure to remove the country;
  • Based on public health (this can only be based on diseases defined by the World Health Organization or other infectious or parasitic infectious diseases that are subject to protection measures in Portuguese territory);
  • A visa may also be refused for reasons of public policy, public security or public health;

What happens to the investment after 5 years - can the investor sell the property / transfer the money to another country / extinguish the positions?

Yes, the investor only needs to retain the investment for the duration of the Golden Visa - 5 years

Can the investor sell the investment at any time if he no longer needs Golden Visa?

Yes, you can sell at any time.

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