The Portuguese Golden Visa programme, or the residence permit for investment activity (ARI), is one of the most popular residency by investment schemes in Europe and across the world. The Golden Visa programme is designed for non-EU citizens and offers full residency with a minimal physical presence requirement.
The programme was launched in October 2012, primarily to help attract international capital and boost the Portuguese economy following the 2008 economic crisis. Since then, over ten thousand families have received Golden Visas and €5.5 billion has been raised for the Portuguese economy.
Benefits of the Golden Visa
Investment Options (Until January 2022)
This investment must be maintained for at least five years, or the length of time you and any family members that you applied for hold Golden Visa residency status.
Can Money From a Loan be Used to Qualify for the Golden Visa?
The money used for the investment cannot come from inside Portugal and therefore to qualify for the Portuguese golden visa, the minimum investment requirement must be met using funds obtained from outside Portugal.
Money borrowed from a non-Portuguese financial institution can therefore be used to meet the investment required for the Golden Visa. If your investment exceeds the minimum amount required, any money above the minimum investment can be taken out as a loan from a Portuguese bank.
Documents required for the Golden Visa
Along with the application, you will be required to present:
Evidence of the investment must be presented as well, by one of the following:
You will need to show commitment to maintaining this investment for at least five years.
Upcoming Changes to the Golden Visa in 2022
There are some big changes coming to the Golden Visa in January 2022, mostly surrounding the areas where real estate investment will qualify for the Golden Visa and the amount required for capital transfer and for investment into businesses and research.
Property purchased in Lisbon, Porto, and the majority of the coast will no longer qualify for the Golden Visa
This change is likely to be felt the most as these areas are particularly popular with tourists, investors and those looking to purchase residential property. Properties in low-density areas, the interior of mainland Portugal, the islands of the Açores and Madeira, and in certain areas in the Algarve that are further away from the coast will still qualify. You can see which areas will qualify on pages 2-4 of this document.
Since this change only applies to residential properties, investments in commercial real estate such as hotels and other touristic projects should still be eligible in these higher density regions after 2022.
The minimum amount to invest in funds will increase from €350,000 to €500,000
Investing in a fund, such as a venture capital fund, has been another popular option with those looking to qualify for the Golden Visa. The hope being that the investment should grow and it comes with less hassle than the real estate investment. As of January 2022, the €350,000 minimum investment will increase to €500,000.
The minimum investment into research and development will increase to €500,000
The option to invest in scientific or technological companies will increase from €350,000 to €500,000.
The minimum amount that must be invested into a Portuguese business will increase to €500,000
Currently, the required amount that needs to be invested into a Portuguese company to be eligible for the Golden Visa is €350,000 alongside the creation of five full-time jobs that must be maintained for three years. The investment requirement will increase to €500,000 but the number of jobs to be created will remain at five.
The Minimum Amount for Capital Transfer Will Increase to €1.5 Million
As of January 2022, the minimum amount that will need to be transferred to a Portuguese bank account will increase from €1 million to €1.5 million.
Nothing will change until January 2022, if you are thinking about the Golden Visa and will be affected by the upcoming changes then you need to act fast but there is still time. If you have any further questions about the Golden Visa then please don't hesitate to get in touch.