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Citizenship by Investment: Guide to Portugal’s Golden Visa 2021

Imagine waking up to some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes. Breathing salt-rich air as you stand right by the beach. Eating the freshest meats, seafood, and vegetables bursting with signature Portuguese flavours. This can be a reality for those immigrating to Portugal.

In addition to the relaxed and picture-perfect lifestyle that Portugal is known for, its stable political environment, expansive social welfare system, first-class infrastructure, affordable living costs, and low tax burdens make it an especially attractive destination to live, work, and study. One option to make it happen is through Portugal’s Golden Visa program. In this article, you can find updated information and everything you need to know about Portugal’s Golden Visa as a viable option to obtain residency in Portugal.

 

What is the Portugal Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa, also known as the residence permit for investment, is a five-year residency-by-investment scheme designed for non-EU citizens. It aims to attract international capital into the country by granting qualifying investors and their family members the right to live, work, and study in Portugal. 

Since its inception in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa has become one of the most popular residency-through-investment programs globally. Thousands of families have successfully relocated to Portugal and began their exciting new journey. In 2020, around a quarter of total visas issued were granted to China and Hong Kong citizens alone! 

 

Why Portugal?

In addition to the superb climate, fascinating history, and convenient access to the Schengen countries, the country also offers favourable tax regimes to those who want to relocate. For example, the Non-Habitual Tax Regime allows foreigners to gain certain exemptions from income tax for the first ten years of residency in Portugal. (This does not include foreign pensioners on their pension income.) With so many benefits, flexible investment options, and minimal residency requirements, Portugal remains a top choice for Hong Kongers looking for citizenship by investment

 

Golden Visa Residency Requirements

Although Portugal Golden Visa applicants are granted the right to live and work in Portugal, there is no requirement to do so. In fact, candidates are just required to spend a minimum of seven days in the country for the first year and 14 days during each subsequent two years. This means that the total stay requirement during the Golden Visa validity period is just 35 days within five years. After which, applicants are eligible for Portuguese citizenship. 

 

Application Requirements

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Non-EU/EEA/Swiss National
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Portugal bank account: To open a bank account, the applicant must obtain a NIF, a tax identification number, and open a bank account in Portugal. 
  • Clean criminal record
  • Minimum investment: Funds must be from outside Portugal. Categories for investment include real estate, venture capital funds, transfer of capital, company formation, and donation.

If applications are submitted before December 31st, 2021, the minimum investment required is: 

  • Real estate acquisition: 500,000. 400,000 if in a low-density area in Portugal. 350,000 if the property is at least 30 years old and will be refurbished, or 280,000 if the property is also located in a low-density area. 
  • Capital transfer: 1 million 
  • Investment funds or venture capital funds: 350,000 
  • Job and company creation: 350,000 which must proceed to create 5 new job positions sustained for a consecutive 3 years, or create a minimum of 10 new jobs
  • Research and development activities: 350,000
  • Preserving national heritage: 250,000 

After the December deadline, the Portugal Golden Visa program will be undergoing some changes in terms of the geographical limitations and investment requirements, as per a recent announcement by the Portuguese government to encourage investment in less popular areas. Real estate acquisition in Lisbon, Porto, and Algarve will be disqualified and the minimum investment for capital transfer, investment funds, venture capital funds, company creation, and research and development activities will be increased. After which, starting in January 2022, the minimum investment required is as follows. 

  • Real estate acquisition (except Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve region): 500,000. 400,000 if in a low-density area in Portugal. 350,000 if the property is at least 30 years old and will be refurbished, or 280,000 if the property is also located in a low-density area. Keep in mind that as long as the minimum amount is met in total, the transaction may include the purchase of multiple properties. 
  • Capital transfer: 1.5 million Euros
  • Investment funds or venture capital funds: 500,000 
  • Job and company creation: 500,000 which must proceed to create 5 new job positions sustained for a consecutive 3 years, or create a minimum of 10 new jobs
  • Research and development activities: 500,000 
  • Preserving national heritage: 250,000 

 

Looking to gain Portugal citizenship by investment? Look no further. Portugal Golden Visa allows relatively quick residency in Portugal. Learn about what is needed to get the application going or if you are interested in what other options are for you with Simard & Associates. As a professional immigration consulting service, we are dedicated to helping our clients in Hong Kong and other Asia Pacific regions who are interested in immigrating to other countries. Get in touch today with our dynamic team of immigration lawyers, consultants and global immigration experts today for an easy and seamless immigration process from start to finish. Achieve your immigration dream today!