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Portuguese Golden Visa changes but does not end!

After one year of rumors, the changes of the outlines of the Golden Visa investment immigration program have now been published. This being the eighth amendments to Law No. 23/2007 of July 4. This puts an end to the rumors about the end of the Portuguese “Golden Visa”.

The Golden Visa legal framework is essentially the same. There were rumors about transitional periods but nothing has changed, contrary to what had been anticipated by the Government itself a few weeks ago.

 

Golden Visa changes – What and when?

When?

All the changes now published will only come into force on January 1st of next year, 2022. This date was planned so there was enough time to make the Golden Visa regime changes known and public, allowing investors and providers to reorganize their projects and timings.

What?

The changes to the Golden Visa regime are very surgical and aim to redirect investment to inland areas. Focused on two points the investment framework encourages urban renewal and cultural heritage, as well as job creation. The Golden Visa regime aims to give advantages to the applicants while creating opportunities to the nationals

Golden Visa new outlines sin for not bringing with them the long-awaited new investment options associated with green and/or blue projects. The new changes to Golden Visa regime maintain the 8 investment options, with an occasional update of the minimum investment amounts:

Transfer of capital is a Golden Visa investment option?
  • For a Golden Visa application you may chose the simple transfer of capital whose minimum value is updated to €1,500,00.00, as of 2022; This considers: bank deposit, acquisition of public debt instruments of the Portuguese State, acquisition of securities or other equity investments),
  • The transfer of capital applied in research activities developed by institutions integrated in the national scientific and technological system, increases from a minimum investment to €500,000.00 as of 2022;
  • The transfer of capital in the amount equal to or greater than €250,000.00, which is applied in investment or support of artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage is also an investment that will be considered.
Funds and corporate investments for Golden Visa
  • The acquisition of participation units in investment funds or venture capital funds focused on the capitalization of companies. For a Golden Visa application it will only be consider a minimum investment of €500,000.00, as of 2022; and
  • As a corporate investment there are to options for a Golden Visa application:
  • Transfer of capital for the incorporation of a national commercial company, with the creation of 5 permanent
  • Increase the share capital of an already existing national commercial company, with the creation or maintenance of 5 jobs

Both require a minimum investment of €500,000.00 from January 2022.

Real Estate, the star of Golden Visa
  • The acquisition of any type of real estate for €500,000.00; For Golden Visa, it does not have to be a place to live. It can be a house, a shop, storage. The only requisite of real estate is the value.
  • The acquisition of real estate may also be an investment in a construction that has been concluded at least 30 years Or a house located in an area of urban rehabilitation. The requisite for a Golden Visa application is in the execution value of rehabilitation in an overall amount equal to or greater than €350,000.00;

 

Golden visa and the real estate restrictions

The new diploma regarding the legal framework determines the certain locations when the purchase is for housing purposes. Please see the list and know in advance which areas in Azores and Madeira are eligible but also in certain mainland areas.

The location issue, according to the article 6.1 and 6.2 of the Municipal Property Tax Code, only properties for housing purposes. Therefore you may still apply for a Golden Visa by an investment whose tax certificate mentions as purpose “Commerce”, “Services”, “Warehouses and industrial activity”, “Parking”, or for example, “Storeroom and storage” and still you will have access to residence permits.

When the investment concerns stores, restaurants, offices, but also, in accommodation units in tourist developments or apart-hotels the Government left an open window regarding the location restrictions. If applying for a Golden Visa, the investment is still valid with these ends in Lisboa, Porto or Faro. The Government wants to make sure these sectors may use this program to recover from Covid-19 effects.

Golden Visa what will continue in 2022

All these restrictions are only going to start on the 1st of January. Therefore all the applications made until December 31st, 2021 will benefit from the inexistent geographical limits. So if you are planning on applying for a Golden Visa anytime soon this is an important information to take into consideration.

All renewal processes or requests for family reunification within the Golden Visa made before 2022, even if requested after January 1st, 2022, will also be safeguarded. Therefore this new regime is only applicable to new applications. Golden Visas that are already granted are not foreseen in this changes.

It is anticipated that 2021 will be “the year” of Golden Visas in Portugal, maintaining the growing trend that began in 2020. A significant increase in applications from nationals of the United States of America, South Africa, India, Vietnam, and now also the United Kingdom. Although most investors, in global terms, not only applying for a Golden Visa continue to come from Asia, Brazil, Turkey and Russia.

The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.

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