The Portuguese Golden Visa: a Win-Win Investment

Jessica Ramos and Sara C. Oliveira, Portuguese Junior Lawyers from MATLAW wrote for Magazine Abode2, about the Portuguese Golden Visa and the reasons why this programme is attractive for British citizens after December 31st.

Portugal is well-known for being one of the best tourist destinations in Europe, as well as a safe country offering great food and sun throughout most of the year.

Therefore, it is very common for people from around the world to settle in Portugal or find the holiday property that they’ve always dreamed of and enjoy what the country has to offer.

For those coming from outside of the EU, Portugal introduced a Residence Permit for Investment Purposes, commonly known as Golden Visa, in 2012. This is a residential permit that provides third-country investors the opportunity to access a unique set of advantages in exchange for their investment in the country.

With the United Kingdom leaving the European Union from the 31st December 2020, British citizens will have to follow different procedures to enter and reside in Portugal. If no other arrangements are made between the UK and the EU countries, the Golden Visa programme may be an interesting option open to them.

The legal framework of the Golden Visa is comprehensive, giving applicants the possibility to choose from a wide range of investments, according to the sort of business they wish to do in the Portuguese territories.

The most popular type of investment qualifying for a Golden Visa is the acquisition of real estate, for a minimum of EUR 500k divided between one or more properties. There is also the acquisition of properties that are at least 30 years old or located in urban rehabilitation areas together with rehabilitation works, all for a total amount of investment equal to or higher than EUR 350k.

In any case, the owners and applicants of the Golden Visa can use their properties for personal or family use and capitalize on them to gain rental income.

Anyone buying a property under the above-mentioned conditions and applying for a Golden Visa is entitled to exclusive benefits, such as freedom to enter and stay in the Portuguese territory and Visa free movement within the Schengen area.

In addition, the minimum required period of stay for a Golden Visa is considerably lower than the periods foreseen in other standard residence permits: a minimum 7 days’ period in the first year and 14 days in the following years.

Such a visa is valid for one year and renewable for subsequent periods of two years. This opens a potential route to obtain Portuguese citizenship, with slight residency requirements.

Also, a Golden Visa applicant has the right to apply for family reunification with a sole qualifying investment, thus having all the benefits extended to the entire household.

In a nutshell, Portugal offers you a win-win situation: the opportunity to combine the dream of having a property to enjoy with friends and family or capitalise on during the whole or part of the year, and a swift way for obtaining a residence permit in a beautiful southern EU country.

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The information hereby provided is general. It shall not to be deemed as legal advice and does not prevent the reader from seeking professional advice.