September 21, 2015 - Portugal

Golden Visa: The New conditions and Requirements to Obtain and Renew an Investment Residence Permit in Portugal
  by PLMJ

The long-awaited Implementing Decree no. 15-A/2015 of 5 November was published in the official gazette Diário da República on 2 September 2015 and is already in force1. This new Implementing Decree makes the third amendment to Implementing Decree no. 84/2007 of 5 November – which sets out 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”).

Importantly, the Implementing Decree now expressly provides for a much larger number of investment models under each of the seven types of investment activity. It fills in gaps in the legislation and reduces the margin of discretion of the Foreigners and Borders Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – SEF), imposing greater transparency, rigour and control in the Golden Visa approval process.

Time of making the investment and mandatory duration: The investment activity chosen by the applicant must have been made at the time the application for a residence permit is presented and the investment must be maintained for a minimum period of five years. This five-year period runs from the date the Golden Visa is granted.

Shareholding and investment through companies: If the chosen investment is made through a commercial company, it must be made through a single shareholder limited company (sociedade unipessoal por quotas) with its registered office in Portugal, or in another Member State of the European Union with a permanent establishment in Portugal.

Validity periods and obligation to stay in Portugal: The Golden Visa is a temporary residence permit valid for one year from the date it is issued. It can be renewed for successive periods of two years as long as the requirements necessary for it to be granted are maintained. For residence permits to be granted and renewed, the applicants must regularise their presence in Portugal within 90 days of their first entry into Portuguese territory. Whenever necessary, they must obtain a short-term visa from the Portuguese Consulate in their country of origin. They must also prove they have met the minimum quantitative requirements in relation to the chosen investment activity.

To renew a Golden Visa, applicants must demonstrate that they have stayed in Portugal for at least (i) 7 days, whether consecutive or not, in the first year and (ii) 14 days, whether consecutive or not, in each of the subsequent 2-year periods.


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