This article aims to present a brief summary of some of the changes recently implemented in relation to the Golden Visa programme in Portugal. These changes were approved on 22nd December 2020 and released by Decree Law 14/2021, of 12 February.
The Golden Visa is a residency programme for investors, who qualify to obtain residency for themselves and for their family members, for a period of 5 years by undertaking one of the qualifying investments. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Golden Visa programme and this is not the first time the programme has suffered alterations since it was created in October 2012.
There are 3 main categories of investment: Property, Capital and Employment, all of which have been affected by the recent changes that came into force on 1st January this year. In the majority of the cases, the changes were basically an increase of the minimum threshold of investment.
On the property investment, which has historically been the most attractive investment for the applicants, there are still 2 thresholds of investment: € 500,000 or € 350,000. In the level of €500,000 the investor can select any type of property in any location and without any limitation. The € 350,000 category implies the purchase and effective refurbishment of a property, which needs to be more than 30 years old or located in a special legally designated urban rehabilitation zone. For this category, the recent changes are not related to the minimum investment amounts.
What changes in this investment option is the fact that the acquisition of residential property is now limited to certain pre-approved areas of Portugal and which are considered more interior areas of the country. These areas are legally defined in the law.
In practical terms, this means that any property investment which is not residential, such as commercial, land, office buildings and touristic property (such as hotels or serviced apartments) is still possible in all of Portugal, including the major cities like Lisbon, Porto, Algarve and others.
As mentioned above, there is no change in the investment amount for this category. It is also to be stressed that the reduction of 20% in the minimum amounts of investment is still foreseen in the law for this category, if the property is located in a low-density population area.
Another option which has been getting a lot of the investor’s attention lately is the subscription of participation units in Portuguese Investment or Venture Capital Funds. In this category, the minimum subscription amount was increased from € 350,000 to € 500,000. No other changes were made which means that it is still possible to invest in multiple Funds and the requirements for the eligibility of the Venture Capital Funds are still the same as before, i.e., a maturity of at least 5 years at the time of the subscription and that at least 60% of the companies in which the Fund will invest need to be located in Portugal.
Also, on the capital investment there was an increase of the minimum amount. Whereas until this year the capital investment was for a minimum of € 1,000,000, it will now be necessary to invest € 1,500,000 in order to qualify for the programme under this category. The freedom to invest the total or part of these funds, namely into government bonds or in the purchase of shares in Portuguese companies is still foreseen in the law.
Very briefly, there was also an increase of the minimum amount of investment from € 350,000 to € 500,000 in both the:
1. Job creation option, with this amount being put in for incorporation / increase of share capital of a company which then needs to create 5 new jobs and maintain them permanently for at least 3 years; and also
2. on the Investment in Science and Research Activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions involved in the national scientific or technologic system.
We would also like to refer that there are still other very interesting options that are eligible for the Golden Visa and that have not been affected by these changes to the law, for example the Investment or support to Arts and Culture which is still possible by donating an amount of € 250,000. EDGE is very proud to have assisted the first few clients that have invested in this option.
Edge International Lawyers
Changes introduced by Law 56/2023, of 6th October .
After a long legislative process and after a series of backwards and forwards, the changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa programme finally became effective.
A equipa envolvida na operação foi coordenada pelos sócios Geoffrey Graham e Gonçalo Figueira e na parte laboral pela sócia Cláudia Vaz Póvoa.
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