Golden Visa

 

Golden Visa Portugal – Golden Residence Permit Program   

 
Questions and Answers – Guide for Foreign Investors  

 

INDEX 

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT GOLDEN VISA 

 

1 – The Golden Visa. What is it? 

2 – What types of investments are allowed under the Golden Visa rules? 

3 – For how long is the Golden Visa valid? 

4 – What are the general requirements that the investor has to comply with?    

5 – What are the specific characteristics for each type of qualifying investment? 

6 – What are the main advantages of the GOLDEN VISA Programme? 

7 – What is the Schengen Area and what are the countries included? 

8 – Is it possible to extend the Golden Visa to family members? 

9 – How can the investor and family obtain Permanent Residency after 5 years? 

10 – How can the investor and family obtain Portuguese Citizenship? 

11 – Which documents does the investor need to provide to apply for the Golden Visa?  

12 – The documents are not in the Portuguese Language. What does the investor need to do? 

13 – Are there any specific requirements for documents issued by foreign authorities? 

14 – What is a Fiscal Number? Why does the investor need one and how does he get one?   

15 – Where may the investor apply for a Golden Visa? 

16 – What are the costs involved in obtaining a Golden Visa? 

17 – How long will the application take to be processed and does the investor have to pick up the Golden Visa in person? 

18 – Are there any grounds for refusing the issuing of a Golden Visa or its renewal? 

19 – What happens to the investment after 5 years – can the investor sell the property / transfer the money to another country/extinguish the job positions? 

20 – Can the investor sell the investment at any time if he no longer needs the Golden Visa? 

21 – Does the investor need to live in/use the property he is purchasing or can it be rented out? 

22 – What are the taxes and costs for property acquisitions and ownership? 

23 – With the Golden Visa does the investor need to pay taxes in Portugal on his worldwide income? 

24 – What income taxes apply to income generated in Portugal? 

 

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS 

 

25 – Why choose Portugal?   

26 – Why choose Porto?    

27 – Why choose Engel & Völkers? 

 
QUESTIONS  ABOUT GOLDEN VISA 

 

1 – The Golden Visa. What is it?  

 

The Golden Visa Program launched by the Portuguese Authorities in October 2012 is a fast track for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain a fully valid residency permit in Portugal (“Golden Visa”). Under the Golden Visa program, non-EU citizens simply need to carry out one of the investments set out in the law to qualify to obtain a residency permit in Portugal. This residency permit will allow the investor to enter and/or live in Portugal and to travel freely within the vast majority of European countries (Schengen space). Aimed at attracting foreign investment to Portugal, the Golden Visa is a very straightforward and flexible program, with simple and clear legal requirements.  With extremely reduced minimum stay requirements, the Golden Visa is clearly one of the most attractive residency programs for investors in the world.  

 

2 – What types of investments are allowed under the Golden Visa rules?

 

The following types of investment qualify for the Golden Visa program:  
a)  Acquisition of property in the amount of or greater than € 500,000* 
b) Transfer of funds above € 1,000,000 or more 
c) Creation of at least 10 (ten) jobs in Portugal    It should be noted that only investments effectively made after 8th October 2012 are eligible for the Golden Visa program. 
* In order to prove compliance with the minimum requirements associated with this type of investment activity, the Golden Visa applicant must present: 
-Document that proves the purchase or promise to purchase the real estate – this document must also include a declaration from a financial institution operating in Portugal confirming the actual transfer of the capital for the purpose (definitive purchase or payment of deposit, of at least 500.000€); -An up to date land registry certificate including registration of the purchase and, if possible, of the promissory sale and purchase contract in favor of the IRP applicant. 

 

 3 – For how long is the Golden Visa valid?

 

 Once issued, the Golden Visa will be valid for an initial period of 1 (one) year and then will be renewed for subsequent periods of 2 years. 

 

 4 – What are the general requirements that the investor has to comply with?  

 

The simplicity of the Golden Visa Program implies an extremely reduced amount of requirements being asked from the investor. The Golden Visa Program sets out that the investor must comply with general requirements applicable to all types of qualifying investments and also with the specific requirements of each type of qualifying investment.   In general, all investors have to comply with the following requirements:   a)  Keep the investment for a minimum period of 5 years b)  Funds for investment should come from abroad c)  Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa d)  Absence of references in the Portuguese Immigration and the Schengen services e)  Absence of conviction of relevant crime f)  Minimum stay in Portugal: 7 (seven) days during the first year and 14 (fourteen) days during each subsequent period of two years  
 

5 – What are the specific characteristics for each type of qualifying investment?  

 

Each type of qualifying investment has specific characteristics, as follows:   (a)  Property Acquisitions - Minimum investment of € 500,000 - Purchase of one or multiple properties -     All property types qualify – Possibility of co-ownership; – Freedom to use, rent or lease b)  Transfer of Funds - Minimum investment of € 1 million – Funds transferred from abroad to a bank in Portugal – Total freedom to invest the funds – Possibility of using the funds to invest in shares of companies   (c)  Job Creation  - Creation of a minimum of 10 jobs - No minimum investment value - No limitation on areas/activities -     Compliance with Social Security obligations - Possibility of grants/incentives/benefits   

 

6 – What are the main advantages of the GOLDEN VISA Program? 

 

The Golden Visa Program will provide investors with the following advantages: 
-     No need to obtain a visa to enter Portugal - No need to obtain a visa to travel in Europe (Schengen area) - Living and working in Portugal, even with residency in a different country – Residency extended to family members - Extremely low minimum stay periods    – Permanent Residency after 5 years - Citizenship after 6 years   

 

7 – What is the Schengen Area and what are the countries included?  

 

The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. With a resident permit from Portugal, the investor is entitled to enter and travel freely throughout all the countries of the Schengen area.    The Schengen Area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.   

 

8 – Is it possible to extend the Golden Visa to family members?  

 

Yes.  Under the Golden Visa Program, the investor’s family members may also apply and obtain a resident permit from Portugal by applying for “family reunion”.  The Golden visa will be extended to family members, namely children, spouse and dependent family members.  The family members will also be eligible for Permanent Residency after 5 years Portuguese Citizenship after 6 years.   

 

9 – How can the investor and family obtain Permanent Residency after 5 years? 

 
Under Portuguese Law any person that has held a valid Portuguese temporary residency title (e.g. the Golden Visa) for a period of at least 5 years, he will be entitled to obtain Permanent Residency in Portugal. The investor and family members will have to meet the following criteria in order to be able to apply for Permanent Residency in Portugal:  
- Absence of conviction of relevant crime during the last 5 (five years) -     Proof of income / financial independence -     Proof of accommodation in Portugal - Basic knowledge of Portuguese   

 
10 – How can the investor and family obtain Portuguese Citizenship? 

 

The Portuguese legislation also sets out that any person who has been validly resident in Portugal for at least 6 (years (either under a temporary or permanent residency title), is eligible for obtaining Portuguese Citizenship.  In order to be able to obtain Portuguese Citizenship, the investor and family members will also have to comply with the following requirements: 
- Be at least 18 years old (or at least 16 but married or legally responsible) – Absence of conviction of any relevant crime – Pass a simple Portuguese language test, which will serve to show sufficient knowledge of the language 

 

11 – Which documents does the investor need to provide to apply for the Golden Visa? 

 

The application for the Golden Visa implies that the investor will have to submit the following documentation:  
-    Proof of Investment -    Passport & Valid Schengen Visa – Portuguese Fiscal number - Criminal Record from country of residency -    Portuguese Criminal Record -    Declaration from the Tax Department proving the absence of debts  to the Tax Authorities -    Declaration from Social Security proving the absence of debts to Social Security Authorities -    Declaration from the investor confirming compliance with the investment requirements - Health Insurance valid in Portugal – 2 passport-type pictures
  
12 – The documents are not in the Portuguese Language. What does the investor need to do?

 

Any document that is not in the Portuguese or English languages needs to be translated to Portuguese.  The translation needs to be certified.  

 

13 – Are there any specific requirements for documents issued by foreign authorities?

 

Document issued by foreign authorities need to be legalized before being submitted in Portugal.  This Golden Visa Portugal – legalization means obtaining the Appostille of the Hague Convention (when applicable) or legalization by the Portuguese Consular services.   

 

14 – What is a Fiscal Number? why does the investor need one and how does he get one?

 

A fiscal number is an identification number before the Portuguese Tax Authorities also known as the tax number).  This number is required to carry out the investments.  

 

15 – Where may the investor apply for a Golden Visa?

 

Any investor interested in applying for a Golden Visa, can submit the application, either personally or via a legal representative appointed by him, in one of the following manners: 
 a)   Online Registration    By registering online at the Services of Foreigners and Borders’ (“SEF”) website. After the registration is complete the investor will receive a password and will be able to access online in order to submit the necessary forms and documents. 
b)  In Person   In person, at the Services of Foreigners and Borders in Portugal. It should be noted that the investor and family members will always have to be present at the Service of Foreigners and Boarders of Portugal for fingerprinting, signature and other formalities. 
We strongly recommend obtaining legal advice from an experienced law firm before taking any of the steps of the Golden Visa, namely before making any kind of investment or submitting any applications or documents.  Engel & Völkers Porto works with specialized law firms, which can provide the best support throughout the legal process.    

 

16 – What are the costs involved in obtaining a Golden Visa? 

 

The Golden Visa involves payment of the following fees (payable directly to the Services of Foreigners and Borders (“SEF”)): 
a)    Processing fee (application and renewal) – € 513,75 (plus € 80.04 per family member) 
b)    Initial Golden Visa – € 5,137.50  c)    Initial Golden Visa for Family members – € 5,137.50         d)    Renewal of Golden Visa – € 2,568.75  

 

17 – How long will the application take to be processed and does the investor have to pick up the Golden Visa in person?

 

Once the application is submitted at the Services of Foreigners and Borders (SEF), it will take around 1-2 weeks for the application to be processed (please note that this is just an estimate based on our recent experience).   Once the application is processed, the Services of Foreigners and Borders (SEF) will contact the investor or the investor’s legal representatives in Portugal and set up an appointment with the investor (and family members) to collect signature and fingerprints.   It should be noted that in some cases, it is possible for the investor to go to the immigration services to leave the fingerprints and signature shortly before the investment and/or submission of the required documents. 

 

18 – Are there any grounds for refusing the issuing of a Golden Visa or its renewal?

 

The investor (or any family member) will only be refused the Golden Visa (or its renewal) if:  a) He/she has not maintained the investment for the minimum period of 5 (years) b) He/she has not complied with the minimum periods of stay in Portugal c) He/she has been convicted of a crime punishable with a prison sentence of more than one year d) The investor is in a period where he/she has been banned entry into Portuguese territory following a removal measure of the country e) On the grounds of public health (this may only be based on diseases that have been defined by the World Health Organization or other infectious or parasitic contagious diseases which are the object of protection measures in Portuguese territory) f)  A Golden Visa may be refused on the grounds of public order, public security or public health

 

19 – What happens to the investment after 5 years – can the investor sell the property / transfer the money to another country/extinguish the job positions? 

 

Yes, the investor only needs to hold the investment during the Golden Visa’s validity period – 5 years  

 

20 – Can the investor sell the investment at any time if he no longer needs the Golden Visa? 

 

Yes, but without proof that the investment has been kept, the investor will not be able to renew the Golden Visa Permit.  

 

21 – Does the investor need to live in/use the property he is purchasing or can it be rented out?  

 

No. The investor does not need to occupy the property and it can be rented out to obtain income.   

 

22 – What are the taxes and costs for property acquisitions and ownership? 

 

 There are three taxes in Portugal related to property:  a)    Payable with the property’s acquisition: – “IMT” or Property Transfer Tax”, which is the tax on transfer of ownership of property -  Stamp Duty   Note: The exact amount of taxes to be paid varies according to the actual value of the acquisition.  b)   Payable on an annual basis: 
- “IMI” or Council Tax, which is the annual municipal property tax; it is levied between 0.3% and 0.5% on the property’s tax value. 

 

23 – With the Golden Visa does the investor need to pay taxes in Portugal on his worldwide income? 

 

No.  If the holder of the golden visa does not stay in Portugal form more than 183 consecutive days, he/she will not be required to pay taxes for income generated outside of Portugal.  

 

24 – What income taxes apply to income generated in Portugal? 

 

Rental income and income arising from capital (e.g. interest, dividends, etc) will be taxed at a rate of 28%.  

 
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS 

 

25 – Why choose Portugal?  

Being one of the oldest nations in Europe, Portugal is blessed with unique competitive advantages such as its Strategic Location and its Global Language.  But most of all, Portugal is a resilient country that has developed and modernized over time while still creating the best conditions for companies that wish to take advantage of these assets. Portugal touches millions of people every day with new and innovative products like molds, sophisticated software, biometric solutions, health products, communication systems but also traditional products such as wine, olive oil and shoes. Member of the European Union since 1986, Portugal is a developed and sophisticated country with modern infrastructures. A country that has experienced extensive and dynamic changes to make its economy more competitive. It’s now much easier to do business in Portugal, and the European Union has recognized it as one of the countries that most reduced bureaucracy. It’s possible to set up a company in less than one hour, and according to the 2010 Global Benchmark Report, Portugal is the 7th country in the OECD with the lowest level of costs and taxes.  It is also a welcoming country, full of sun, with breathtaking landscapes and a unique cuisine. However, our most valuable asset is our people that mobilize the country for the future, with their talent, resources, and qualifications.  
Official Statistics about Portugal: 
Area: 92,212.0 sq km (2010) Population (thousands): 10,514 (2014) Working population (thousands): 5,182 (2014) Population density (inhabit./sq km): 115.4 (2010) Official designation: Republic of Portugal Capital: Lisbon (2.8 million inhabit. – metropolitan area) Language: Portuguese Currency: EUR (in units of 100 cents) 
 

26 – Why choose Porto? 

 

1. WEATHER With close to 280 days of sunshine throughout the year, no snow, and temperatures that never reach the freezing point, Porto is a truly blessed city. It’s great living in a place where you can have beach days in October or March, where you can sit comfortably outside at a café terrace in February, and where you don’t have to worry about the dangers of snow on the ground. It is possible to enjoy the riverside and seaside views, facilities, restaurants, museums and monuments all over the year. 
2. SAFETY Porto has a lower homicide rate than Lisbon, the official lowest homicide rate of any European capital and the lowest number of residents who have been victims of any crime in the previous five years, making it Europe’s safest capital. 
3. QUALITY OF LIFE Safety and agreeable weather are just two factors that contribute to a high quality of life in Porto. Freedom,
Golden Visa Portugal – Golden Residence Permit Program    
human rights, a stable democracy, recreation facilities and leisure time also make this Portuguese city one of the best places to live in Europe. Residents can be at the beach just minutes from downtown, or enjoy nature in several green spaces such in the North,. Golf, surfing and other outdoor activities are also more accessible here that in other European capitals. The Douro River which passes through the city was also awarded as the “World Best Fluvial Destination in 2013”. 
4.  HUMAN RESOURCES Unlike in the rest of southern Europe, in Porto there’s a sizable multilingual population, with around 40% speaking two languages (especially English) and 20% speaking at least three. Improvements in education levels also means that there’s never been a better-prepared young generation in the country entering the job market.  
5. TOURISM GROWTH While it’s recently been given several high-profile awards (Europe’s Best Tourist Destination, World Best Fluvial Destination, World Travel Awards), and while it’s a very important city for corporate events, it’s still overlooked as one of Europe’s must-see cities. Porto is also the city of Oporto Wine, famous around the world from centuries, there is also a lot of tourism associated to the wine and Douro vine regions. 
6. REAL ESTATE OPPORTUNITIES There has been a massive effort to renovate the historic part of the city and new investors renovated homes and buildings, discovering the charm and the privilege of living in the center of Porto. Despite the renovation boom, prices haven’t gone up and are still very competitive. The formerly rigid tenancy rules have also finally been loosened up, opening up a new market for long-term rentals.  
OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT PORTO – INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS 
There are a lot of high standard international schools in Porto, such as French, English, German and Spanish international High Schools. The State University of Porto is the second biggest in the Country, the third oldest in the World and the most prestigious University in Portugal. 
  
OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT PORTO – HOSPITALS 
The City offers a large range of both Private and Public high standard Hospitals, the 2 most prestigious Large Public Hospitals are located in Porto, and all the major Private Medical Groups have Hospitals in the city.   

 

27 – Why choose ENGEL & VÖLKERS? 

 

Since its beginning in 1977 as a specialty boutique providing exclusive, high-end real estate services in Hamburg, Germany, Engel & Völkers has become one of the world’s leading companies specializing in the sale and lease of premium residential and commercial property and yachts. Engel & Völkers currently operates a global network of over 4,900 real estate advisers in 550 residential brokerages and 43 commercial offices spanning 38 countries across six continents,
Golden Visa Portugal – Golden Residence Permit Program    
offering both private and institutional clients a professionally tailored range of luxury services.  Committed to exceptional service, Engel & Völkers Porto supports its clients with a premium quality service, based on our experience, knowledge and transparency It is also set apart from other companies because of its attention to detail at every level, bringing the highest standards of real estate service to Portugal.  

    

Invest in Portugal, Live in Porto!

Publicado na Residential.


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