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.
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