The Portuguese Golden Visa Regime In 2012 a new special residence

November 2014
The Portuguese
Golden Visa Regime
Julho 2014
The Portuguese
Golden Visa Regime
1
In 2012 a new
special residence
permit for investors
A. The Golden Visa Regime
at non-EU nationals intending to
invest in Portugal and significantly
1. The legal basics of residence
territory and to the Schengen Area.
recently softened, with the aim of
approved. This
European Union (EU) States a fast-
at non-EU nationals
intending to invest
in Portugal and
eases their access to the Portuguese
Portuguese visa regulations were
(Golden Visa) was
measure is directed
approved. This measure is directed
providing investors from nontrack entry into Portugal.
2. Non-EU nationals
Non-EU nationals intending to
enter Portugal in order to pursue
dependent or independent work,
We set our below a summary of the
research, study or volunteering
general Portuguese legal regime in
activities are required to obtain
force on this issue, taking into
either a temporary stay visa or a
account such changes.
visa for the attainment of a
residence permit.
The rules for temporary stay or
between
These visas should be requested in
non-EU and EU nationals. The
the Portuguese consulate in the
rules
nationals
home State of the applicant before
intending to enter Portugal are
entering Portugal. In order to apply
Portuguese territory
generally more complex than the
for them several documents will be
ones applicable to EU nationals.
required, namely a passport or
and to the Schengen
However, in 2012 a new special
other valid travel document, two
residence permit for investors
identical
Area.
(better known as Golden Visa) was
complete identification, the visa
significantly eases
their access to the
residence
for
differentiate
non-EU
colour
photographs,
The Portuguese
Golden Visa Regime
Julho 2014
2
application,
criminal
records,
or a contract or a written proposal
allow two entries into Portugal and
health
insurance,
documents
for
The
is valid for four months. As far as
proving
means
sustenance
temporary stay visa is valid for
dependent workers are concerned
(which are annually updated, the
four
the Relatório de Oportunidades de
reference being the Portuguese
multiple entries into Portugal (for
Trabalho
minimum wage), the necessary
dependent workers the visa is valid
Report) must also be taken into
documents required for the specific
for the duration of the employment
account, given that it establishes
type of work intended, and a valid
agreement).
quotas
of
return ticket.
The
Serviço
rendering
months
services).
and
allows
for
The visa for the attainment of a
de
e
residence permit will allow its
and
holder to apply for a residence
a
permit and is meant for dependent
mandatory statement before these
and independent workers (they
types of visa are issued. The
must possess a contract or written
temporary stay visa is meant for
proposal for rendering services
dependent as well as independent
within the scope of a liberal
workers whose activity will not in
profession),
principle exceed six months’ time,
want to invest in Portugal under
or
researchers,
the special residence permit regime
postsecondary teachers (at colleges
for investors – the said Golden Visa
and universities) and highly skilled
-
workers whose work activities will
postsecondary teachers (colleges
not exceed one year (they must all
and universities), students and
possess an employment agreement
volunteers. The residence visa will
Fronteiras
–
Borders
Service)
for
SEF
scientific
Estrangeiros
(Aliens
issues
entrepreneurs
scientific
that
researchers,
(Labour
for
regarding
Opportunities
non-EU
workers
dependent
work
activities as defined by the Código
de Actividade Económica (Economic
Activity
Code).
(which
must
The
be
employer
located
in
Portugal) is forced to present an
employment offer to the Work
Centre of its head office or in the
area where the work will be
rendered, presenting the demands
for the work as well as the
contractual clauses. This is used to
allow
preferential
candidates
(Portuguese, EU nationals or nonEU nationals which are already
legally residing in Portugal) to fill
the vacancy. If there are no local
The Portuguese
Golden Visa Regime
Julho 2014
3
candidates,
the
Work
Centre
made in writing and in triplicate,
communicates this to the Regional
and deposited at the Authority for
Delegation of the Instituto do
Working Conditions before the
Emprego e Formação Profissional
work itself begins.
(Institute for Employment and
Professional Development), which
notifies its EU counterparts so that
the employment offer is advertised
therein. If no EU nationals or nonEU nationals which are legally
residing in Portugal apply within
30 days, the Delegation notifies the
employer,
who
should
then
request the Autoridade para as
Condições de Trabalho (Authority for
Working
opinion
Conditions),
on
the
for
an
employment
agreement. After all these steps are
fulfilled successfully, the work visa
is
issued.
Extensions
can
be
obtained. The Portuguese labour
law further requires that the
Those who want to live, but not
pursue dependent or independent
work,
research,
study
or
volunteering activities in Portugal
should first request a visa for the
attainment of a residence permit in
the Portuguese consulate which
will enable them to enter twice in
Portugal and stay four months so
as to apply for the permit. The
latter is granted by the SEF for a
period of one year, renewable for
consecutive periods of two years.
These should be easier to obtain
than work visas, provided that
means
of
sustenance
are
evidenced.
employment agreement between
Law nr. 29/2012, of August 9, has
the foreign individual and the
made changes to the Portuguese
Portuguese
regulations, creating, on the one
company
must
be
As far as dependent
workers are
concerned, the
Labour
Opportunities
Report establishes
quotas for non-EU
workers regarding
dependent work
activities.
The Portuguese
Golden Visa Regime
Julho 2014
4
hand, a new special residence
National
are

Lithuania;
permit regime for investors – the
registered before the Portuguese

Luxembourg;
mentioned Golden Visa - but, on
Social Security and are legally

Malta;
the other, stricter conditions for
qualified to exercise their activities,

Netherlands;
residence permits issued to highly
in the case of regulated professions.

Norway;

Poland;

Portugal;

Slovakia;

Slovenia;

Spain;

Sweden;

Switzerland.
skilled workers.
Residence
Health
System,
Visas and residence permits issued
permits
for
highly
by the Portuguese authorities grant
skilled workers are now issued
their holders access to the entire
under a program called “EU Blue
Schengen Area, which currently
Card”. These permits are issued for
includes the following 26 States:
one year, subsequently renewable

Austria;

Belgium;
However, they may only be issued

Czech Republic;
to those who exercise an highly

Denmark;
skilled activity, have adequate

Estonia;
professional
academic

Finland;
training, earn 1,5 times the average

France;
yearly gross salary (or 1,2 times

Germany;
that amount for activities where

Greece;
non-EU workers are particularly

Hungary;
necessary, as defined by Resolution

Iceland;
A
of the Council of Ministers), are

Italy;
nationality may be filed after six
covered by an health insurance or

Latvia;
years of legal residence in Portugal.
establish proof of coverage by the

Liechtenstein;
For this purpose, it is necessary to
for two-year periods.
and
Permanent
residence
permits
(which have no expiration date but
must, in any case, be renewed
every five years) may be requested
after five years of holding a
standard residence permit. For this
purpose, it is necessary to show a
basic knowledge of Portuguese.
request
for
Portuguese
The Portuguese
Golden Visa Regime
Julho 2014
5
have a standard knowledge of
mortgage is of at least that amount,
Portuguese, attested by an official
and may also be leased or exploited
entity.
in
3. The new special residence
permit for non-EU investors
the
scope
of
commercial,
agricultural or touristic activities.
These investments may also be
made via a company, in which case
This new special residence permit
the applicant is considered to own
for investors allows those who: (i)
the assets held by the company in
transfer
into
the same proportion in which he
Portugal; (ii) create 10 work posts
holds the capital of the company.
herein; or (iii) acquire real estate in
Moreover, the said requirements
Portugal worth at least Euro
must be kept for five years and the
500.000 to obtain a residence
permit is initially granted for a one-
permit.
year
Euro
1
million
period,
subsequently
renewable for two year periods,
The transfer of capital may be
under advantageous conditions –
made by depositing Euros in a
holders of a special residence
Portuguese bank account or by the
permit for investors applying for
acquisition of shares or quotas in
renewal are only required to
Portuguese companies. The real
remain in Portugal during a total of
estate may be acquired in joint
7 days it the first year and for a total
ownership, provided that each co-
of 14 days in the subsequent 2 year
owner invests at least Euro 500.000,
periods.
may be mortgaged as security in
however, that those applying for
other contracts provided that the
special residence permits for
It
should
be
noted,
This new special
residence permit for
investors allows
those who: (i)
transfer Euro 1
million into
Portugal; (ii) create
10 work posts
herein; or (iii)
acquire real estate in
Portugal worth at
least Euro 500.000
to obtain a residence
permit.
The Portuguese
Golden Visa Regime
Julho 2014
6
investors are not waived from the
only short stays in Portugal where
Further information on the Golden
general conditions for residence
possible under them, following
Visa regime may be found at
permits,
concerns
which such investor would have to
http://secomunidades.pt/ari/.
adequate means of sustenance and
obtain a residence permit under the
registry before the Portuguese
general rules.
namely
as
Social Security, if applicable.
As with all visas and residence
The relevance of this measure is
permits issued by Portugal, this
that it creates a new kind of
new special residence permit for
residence permit, allowing those
non-EU investors grants holders
that wish to invest in Portugal to
access to the entire Schengen Area.
reside herein without having to
Moreover, the residence permit
pursue dependent or independent
also grants holders the right to
work,
pursue
research,
study
or
activities,
a
independent work in Portugal,
possibility which was previously
access to the Portuguese public
inexistent – there were special
education and health systems and
conditions to grant investors visas
the right to request the entrance in
for the attainment of residence
Portugal
permits previously to this regime,
(spouses, minor and incapacitated
and which remain in force, but
children under the custody of the
these were very scarcely defined
couple or of one of its members, life
and did not give access to a special
partners
residence
partnership, etc.) under general
volunteering
permit
regime,
as
happens now, which means that
dependent
of
family
with
and
members
registered
family reunification rules.
The Portuguese
Golden Visa Regime
Julho 2014
7
As with all visas and
residence permits
4. EU nationals
and are renewable. Having means
EU nationals and their families
may enter Portugal simply by
passports
or
of their existence while living in
Portugal may be required.
issued by Portugal,
presenting
identification cards. They may
B. Endnotes on the current status
this new special
reside in Portugal, seek and accept
of the regime and on its
employment or set themselves up
predictable developments
residence permit for
as self-employed persons without
non-EU investors
Portugal for more than three
grants holders access
their
of sustenance and providing proof
restriction. EU individuals staying
months, either working or for any
other purposes, must request a
to the entire
residence
card,
although
Schengen Area.
be executed immediately while the
employment agreements may still
card procedures are pending. It
provides the expatriate with an
instant form of identification - in
It is expected that the Golden Visa
regime will be effective in the
attraction to Portugal of high net
worth
individuals,
increasing
demand in the domestic market,
and
fostering
increased
fiscal
revenue, namely in regard of real
estate and consumption taxes, from
individuals that otherwise would
not be taxpayers in Portugal.
Portuguese - which can be time-
In fact, there seems to be a political
saving when, for example, opening
will to boost the attractiveness of
a bank account or buying a car.
Portugal
Residence cards are issued for the
northern European retirees as the
period of work (temporary) or an
new Government, in office since
initial period of five years (normal),
June 2011, has announced the
as a destination for
The Portuguese
Golden Visa Regime
Julho 2014
8
intention to implement a specific
program to this effect - the
Retirement in the Sun (“Reforma ao
Sol”) Program.
***
Proper
legal
It is expected that the
advice
is
recommended before any decision
is taken to apply to a Golden Visa.
The intention to attract investors
RPBA has an in-depth knowledge
and
of these regimes.
qualified
workers
and
researchers into Portugal has also
been
mentioned
in
the
Government Programme. The new
residence
permit/Golden
Visa
regime for investors is a significant
step in this direction.
regime
targets
non-UE
please
check
http://rpba.pt/index.php/eng/medi
a/presentations/.
To book a consultation or to obtain
In addition, the Golden Visa
third
country nationals like Brazilians,
Angolans, Russians, Indians and
will be effective in the
attraction to Portugal
For a concise presentation on this
subject
Golden Visa regime
our professional fees on this subject
please e-mail us (Bruno Botelho
Antunes): [email protected]
November 5, 2014
Chinese (who will also have access
via this Visa to Macao), among
others. The Golden Visa is an
Ricardo da Palma Borges
excellent gateway into the EU for
Bruno Botelho Antunes
such third country nationals.
Pedro Ribeiro de Sousa
of high net worth
individuals.
`