Amendments to the ARI “Golden Visa” Program approved

Under the legislative authorization granted by the State Budget Law of 2020, whose validity expired now on December 31, 2020, the Portuguese Government decided to proceed with the modification of the residence permits program by investment, commonly known as “Golden Visa”.
The decision was taken today at the Council of Ministers, through the approval of a decree-law that will change the legal regime of residence permits by investment, with the objective of promoting the investment of foreigners in low density regions, specially through urban rehabilitation, cultural heritage, activities of high environmental or social value, productive investment and job creation.

According to the statements made at the end of the Council of Ministers, the new regime will come into force on July 1st, 2021, with a transitional period foreseen until 2022. The renewals of processes approved under the current regime, as well as, the subsequent requests for family reunification will not be affected.
Thus, the granting of “gold visas” will cease to be eligible through real estate investments located in coastal regions and in metropolitan areas, and real estate acquisitions carried out in inter-municipal communities (CIM) in the interior and in the autonomous regions will be qualified. It should be noted that, although the final diploma has not yet been released, it is expected that these changes will reinforce the growing trend of investors in search for alternative investment options, namely, by investing € 350,000.00 in the acquisition of participation units in Portuguese investment funds or venture capital funds dedicated to the capitalization of companies, or, in research activities developed by institutions integrated in the national scientific and technological system or even € 250,000.00 in investment or support for artistic production, recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage.

The Portuguese Golden Visa program currently has 8 different types of eligible investments, thus responding to the different needs of foreign investors. Since its introduction, it has been subject to some revisions, which always brought new arguments that have maintained its competitiveness in relation to other European programs, preserving the preferences of foreign investors with regards to investment immigration and to the choice of a second residence, due to the security and quality of life provided by the country, as well as the possibility of accumulating this immigration program with the non-habitual residents tax regime (RNH), thus benefiting from greater tax efficiency rearding personal income.

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