Golden Visa: The Conditions and Requirements to Obtain and Renew an Investment Residence Permit in Portugal 

July, 2020 - Francisco Lino Dias

The regulations of the legal framework for foreigners in Portugal and the procedure and rules to be followed by applicants for Investment Residence Permits (normally referred to as “Golden Visas” or “ARIs”), provide for a large number of investment models within the eight types of investment activity with the following specifics.

Investment activities

a) Transfer of capital of at least EUR 1,000,000.00

  • Bank deposits: the applicant must have a declaration from a credit institution authorised or registered in Portugal by the Bank of Portugal. This declaration must prove the ownership, free of any burdens or charges, of bank deposits with a balance of at least EUR 1,000,000.00, resulting from an international transfer, or of a share in the balance of the same amount in the case of joint accounts. To renew a Golden Visa, the applicant must demonstrate that the average quarterly balance of the bank deposit has been at least EUR 1,000,000.00;
  • Public debt securities of the Portuguese State: it possible to obtain a Golden Visa by first acquiring public debt of the Portuguese State, including treasury bonds, savings certificates or treasury bills. In this case, the Treasury and Public Debt Management Agency (Agência de Gestão de Tesouraria e Dívida Pública – IGCP, E.P.E.), must attest to the ownership, free of any burdens or charges, of one of those instruments with a value of at least EUR 1,000,000,00. Inthe case of renewal, the applicant must obtain a declaration from that Agency attesting to the ownership, free of any burdens or charges, of debt instruments with an average quarterly balance of at least EUR 1,000,000.00;
  • Acquisition of securities and acquisition of shares in commercial companies: it is also possible to obtain a Golden Visa by acquiring book entry securities or bearer or registered securities (whether or not in a centralised system) for an amount of at least EUR 1,000,000.00. In any of these cases, it will always be mandatory to have a certificate proving ownership, free of any burdens or charges, issued by the registering or custodial entity, by their issuer or by the financial intermediary, respectively, for both granting and renewal of the Golden Visa. In the case of acquisition of shares in commercial companies, the applicant must have an up-to-date commercial registration certificate and the acquisition contract, with an indication of the value.

b) Creation of at least 10 jobs: the applicant must prove that he or she has actually hired the employees and registered them with the Social Security – by presenting an up-to-date certificate issued by that entity. In the case of renewal, the applicant must present an up-to-date social security certificate proving that he or she has maintained the minimum number of jobs.

c) Acquisition of real estate with a value of at least EUR 500,000.00: in relation to what has been the predominant investment activity to obtain Golden Visas, the applicant must acquire or promise to acquire real estate with a value of at least EUR 500,000.00. The applicant may acquire the real estate as a co-owner as long as each of the co-owners invests at least EUR 500,000.00. TheGolden Visa applicant may also be a promissory purchaser as long as the deposit he or she has paid is at least EUR 500,000.00. The money used to pay the purchase price or deposit must come from an international transfer to a bank account in Portugal held by the applicant.

To prove compliance with the minimum requirements for this investment activity, when he or she makes the Golden Visa application, the applicant must file: (i) the document that proves the acquisition or promissory purchase of the property, (ii) a declaration issued by a financial institution attesting to the transfer of the capital, and (iii) an up-todate land registry certificate that includes registration of the acquisition or, whenever possible, of the promissory sale and purchase in favour of the GoldenVisaapplicant).

It should be noted that if the second renewal occurs 36 months after the Golden Visa is granted, the visa holder must present the definitive sale and purchase contract and an up-to-date land registry certificate of his or her acquisition.

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