RESIDENCY & CITIZENSHIP THROUGH THE GOLDEN VISA
The Portugal Residence Programme or Golden Visa (ARI) is attractive for investors who would like to enjoy the quality of life, great weather and safety that Portugal has to offer but also take advantage of being part of the European Union without being obligated to reside permanently in Portugal. The Portugal Golden Visa has been in effect since August 2012 as the Portuguese government looks to generate capital and real estate investment, as well as opening the European door to potential investors.
Portugal is a very attractive option for businessmen and executives who wish to work within the EU easily and conveniently, while also providing families with a wonderful opportunity in education and lifestyle.
The GOLDEN VISA is available to all foreign national investors who are not citizens of the European Union. This means that investors from all corners of the globe regardless of which country they originate may qualify for this programme. To qualify the investor will need to make an investment in Portugal either privately or through a company conducting at least one of the following investment operations in Portugal.
- Capital investment with a minimum value of €1,000,000 in a Portuguese company.
- Establishing a Portuguese company that employs more than ten people.
- Acquisition of Real Estate with a minimum value of €500,000. This value is discounted by 20% to €400,000 should the investment be in a qualifying low density area.
- Acquisition of Real Estate with a minimum value of €350,000 in an area designated for redevelopment; the building is older than 30 years old; and the investment of €350,000 includes renovation work done on the property. This value is discounted by 20% to €280,000 should the investment be in a qualifying low density area.
The criteria, is simple and transparent, the Portuguese state is committed to support capital investment in Portugal to attract capital, promote job creation and increase investment in Real Estate.
The holders of the Golden Visa have all benefits of the Schengen Visa, entitling the holder freedom of movement in the 26 member states. The Schengen Treaty was signed on 14 June 1985 together with subsequent conventions the treaty created Europe’s borderless Schengen Area, which operates like a single state for international travel, with external border controls for travellers visiting the area but with no internal border controls. The borderless zone created by the Schengen agreements currently consists of 26 European countries, namely: 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.
FAMILY GROUPING & PORTUGUESE CITIZENSHIP
The holders of the Golden Visa for Investment Activity have the right to family regrouping, and may gain access to permanent residence permit, as well as to Portuguese citizenship in accordance with current legal provisions (www.sef.pt).
Family regrouping – in simple terms this means that the family and dependents of the holder of the Golden Visa qualify for residence as well, including:
- The spouse
- Minor children
- Adult children who are dependents
- Minor siblings in the custody of permit holder
In terms of the general law visa holders qualify for Portuguese citizenship after the holder has successively renewed the residence permit for a total of five years. The Golden Visa has just been amended and is now renewed three times:
- Two years (initial permit)
- Further two years (after first renewal)
- Further two years (after second renewal)
After the fifth year the permit holder may apply for Portuguese citizenship and a passport, which will bestow on the holder all the rights of a EU national including free movement in all the EU member states, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.