The Golden Visa - Residence permit for investment activity (ARI)
The Golden Visa programme is a residential scheme that was established in 2012 to attract foreign investment in Portugal. It has done just that, bringing in over 6 billion euros in the decade since its inception - of which over 5 billion went directly into the Portuguese real estate market.
The Golden Visa scheme offers some fantastic benefits for investors, including visa-free access to the Schengen area and the opportunity to extend the Golden Visa to immediate family members. The qualifying investment threshold is one of the lowest in Europe and investors can qualify for the NHR tax residence regime. Once granted, the Golden Visa is valid for an initial 1 year period and renewed every subsequent 2 years by providing proof of time spent in the Portuguese territory.
Spending just 7 days in the country within the first year and 14 in the second is sufficient (consecutive or non-sequential) so you needn’t relocate to Portugal to benefit from its Golden Visa programme. For those interested in a more permanent move, you are eligible for Portuguese citizenship after 5 years of residency - giving you permanent visa free access to 26 European countries.
The applicant need not be in Portugal to begin the Golden Visa application, but they will be required to present original documentation and biometric data to the Portuguese Foreign Services, during the application process. An analysis fee at the beginning of the process and an insurance card fee at the end, bring current application costs to less than EUR 6000. Processing time is typically 1 year.
Conditions To Qualify For Golden Visa 2022
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS
A residential property purchase will only qualify for a visa application if located within certain areas. Residential acquisitions in Lisbon, Porto and on the coast of Portugal do not qualify for the Golden Visa scheme unless they are classed as touristic properties (alojamento turístico). These are, generally, properties that are managed and rented out. Examples include Wyndham Grand Algarve, W Residences Algarve and White Shell. This is a new rule that came into force in January 2022.
CREATION OF JOBS
The creation of, at least, ten permanent job positions in Portugal.
Options For Non EU Citizens
If you are looking to spend more time in Portugal before investing, there are other visa options available that do not require purchasing real estate or a capital investment. D7 and D2 visas are part of the long-stay visa programme and are issued to enable foreigners to apply for a residence permit in Portugal. Applicants will therefore be expected to spend more time in the country than with the Golden Visa, not leaving for more than 6 consecutive, or 8 interpolate, months of the year. D7 and D2 visa holders are entitled to family reunification options, as well as the opportunity to enrol in the NHR scheme if eligible. They are also granted visa-free access to the Schengen zone.
The D7 visa is ideal for those with a stable income from outside of Portugal, be it through remote work, a pension or rental income from a property. It is otherwise known as the 'passive income visa' and those with a monthly income above Portuguese minimum wage (EUR 700 a month) are eligible.
The D2 visa is more suited to entrepreneurial types who intend on starting a business in Portugal or expanding their current business into the country. No upfront investment is required, but the applicant will be expected to present a business plan and proof of funds above the Portuguese minimum wage.