Agent: Cliff Jacobs - Operations Director - South Africa & Africa - EC Mobility
Agent Cellphone: +2783 270 3090
Agent Office Number: +2783 270 3090
Agent Email Address: Cliff.firstname.lastname@example.org
Type: Investment Opportunity
Advantages and benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa
Country Profile and History
Portugal, officially known as the Portuguese Republic, is located on the Iberian Peninsula. It has a semi-presidential republic with a democratically elected government system that has been in place since 1976 and Lisbon is the capital city.
Mainland Portugal occupies an area of 88,889 km² and the country has a population of around 10,000,000 people. The main religion is Roman Catholic and the national language is Portuguese although English is widely spoken.
Situated between the continents of Europe, Africa and America, Portugal’s prime location makes it a popular hub for global travel. International airports in Lisbon, Faro and Porto offer a number of regular connecting flights to many different countries.
Acknowledged as being a peaceful and stable destination, the capital city Lisbon is also recognised as one of the best cities in the world for quality of life and has a relatively low cost of living.
Portugal is a member of the European Union and part of the European Monetary System. According to the World Bank, Portugal is the 43rd largest economy in the world, with one of the highest GDP growth rates over the last 40 years among the OECD countries. The currency is the euro (€).
Q & A
1. The Golden Visa Program (“GVP”) - what is it?
The GVP was launched by the Portuguese authorities in October 2012. It is a fast track for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain a fully valid residency permit in Portugal.
Under the GVP, non-EU citizens simply need to carry out one of the investments set out in the law to qualify to obtain a residency permit in Portugal. This residency permit will allow the investor to enter and/or live in Portugal and to travel freely within the vast majority of European countries (Schengen space).
Aimed at attracting foreign investment to Portugal, the GVP is a very straight forward and flexible program, with simple and clear legal requirements. With extremely reduced minimum stay requirements, the GVP is clearly one of the most attractive residency programs for investors in the world today.
2. What types of investments are allowed under the GVP rules?
The following types of investment qualify for the GVP:
a) Acquisition of property in the amount of or greater than €350,000.
b) Transfer of funds above €1,000,000 or more.
c) Creation of at least ten (10) jobs in Portugal.
3. For how long is the Golden Visa valid?
Once issued, the Golden Visa will be valid for an initial period of one (1) year and then will be renewed for 2 subsequent periods of 2years.
4. What are the general requirements the investor has to comply with?
The simplicity of the GVP implies an extremely reduced amount of requirements being asked from the investor. The GVP sets out that the investor must comply with general requirements applicable to all types of qualifying investments and also with the specific requirements of each type of qualifying investment. In general, all investors have to comply with the following requirements:
a) Keep the investment for a minimum period of 5 years.
b) Funds for investment should come from abroad.
c) Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa.
d) Absence of references in the Portuguese Immigration and the Schengen services.
e) Absence of conviction of relevant crime.
f) Minimum stay in Portugal: seven (7) days during the first year and fourteen (14) days during each of the two (2) subsequent periods of two (2) years (i.e. five (5) weeks within five (5) years in total).
5. What are the specific characteristics for each type of qualifying investment?
Each type of qualifying investment has specific characteristics, as follows:
(a) Property Acquisitions:
(b) Transfer of Funds:
(c) Job Creation:
6. What are the main advantages of the Golden Visa Program?
7. What is the Schengen Area and what countries are included?
The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. With a resident permit from Portugal, the investor is entitled to enter and travel freely throughout all the countries of the Schengen area.
The Schengen Area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
8. Is it possible to extend the Golden Visa to family members?
Yes. Under the GVP, the investor’s family members may also apply and obtain a resident permit from Portugal by applying for “family reunion”. The Golden visa will be extended to family members, namely children, spouse and dependent family members.The family members will also be eligible for Permanent Residency after 5 years and Portuguese Citizenship after 6 years.
9. How can the investor & family obtain Permanent Residency after 5 years?
Under Portuguese Law any person that has held a valid Portuguese temporary residency title (e.g.the Golden Visa) for a period of at least 5 years, he will be entitled to obtain Permanent Residency in Portugal.The investor and family members will have to meet the following criteria in order to be able to apply for Permanent Residency in Portugal:
10. How can the investor and family obtain Portuguese Citizenship?
The Portuguese legislation also sets out that any person who has been validly resident in Portugal for at least 6 years (either under a temporary or permanent residency title), is eligible for obtaining Portuguese Citizenship.
In order to be able to obtain Portuguese Citizenship, the investor and family members will also have to comply with the following requirements:
11. Which documents does the investor need to provide to apply for the Golden Visa Program?
The application for the Golden Visa implies that the investor will have to submit the following documentation:
12. The documents are not in the Portuguese Language. What does the investor need to do?
Any document that is not in the Portuguese or English languages needs to be translated to Portuguese.The translation needs to be certified.
13. Are there any specific requirements for documents issued by foreign authorities?
Documents issued by foreign authorities need to be legalized before being submitted in Portugal. This legalization means obtaining the Apostille of the Hague Convention (when applicable) or legalization by the Portuguese Consular services.
14. What is a Fiscal Number? Why does the investor need one and how does he get one?
A fiscal number is an identification number issued by the Portuguese Tax Authorities also known as the tax number. This number is required to carry out the investments.
15. What are the costs involved in obtaining a Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa involves payment of the following fees (payable directly to the Services of Foreigners and Borders (“SEF”)):
a) Processing fee (application and renewal) - €513,75 (plus €80.04 per family member).
b) Initial Golden Visa - €5,137.50.
c) Initial Golden Visa for Family members - €5,137.50.
d) Renewal of Golden Visa - €2,568.75.
16. How long will the Golden Visa application take to be processed?
Once the application is submitted at the SEF, it will take approximately 12 weeks to be processed (please note that this is just an estimate based on recent experience).
17. Are there any grounds for refusing the issuing of a Golden Visa or its renewal?
The investor (or any family member) will only be refused the Golden Visa (or its renewal) if:
a) He/she has not maintained the investment for the minimum period of 5 (years).
b) He/she has not complied with the minimum periods of stay in Portugal.
c) He/she has been convicted of a crime punishable with a prison sentence of more than one year.
d) The investor is in a period where he/she has been banned entry into Portuguese territory following a removal measure of the country.
e) On the grounds of public health (this may only be based on diseases that have been defined by the World Health Organization or other infectious or parasitic contagious diseases which are the object of protection measures in Portuguese territory).
f) A Golden Visa may be refused on the grounds of public order, public security or public health.
18. What happens to the investment after 5 years – can the investor sell the property / transfer the money to another country?
Yes, the investor only needs to hold the investment during the Golden Visa’s validity period – 5years.
19. Does the investor need to live in/use the property he is purchasing or can it be rented out?
No. The investor does not need to occupy the property and it can be rented out to obtain income.
20. What are the taxes and costs for property acquisitions and ownership?
There are three taxes in Portugal related to property:
a) Payable with the property’s acquisition:
Note:The exact amount of taxes to be paid varies according to the type of transaction and actual value of the acquisition.
b) Payable on an annual basis:“IMI” or Council Tax, which is the annual municipal property tax; it is levied between 0.3% and 0.5% on the property’s tax value.
21.With the Golden Visa does the investor need to pay taxes in Portugal on his worldwide income?
No. If the holder of the golden visa does not stay in Portugal for more than 183 consecutive days, he/she will not be required to pay taxes for income generated outside of Portugal.
22. What income taxes apply to income generated in Portugal?
An individual is considered non-resident in Portugal, if she/he does not spend 183 days or more in any tax year(calendar year) in Portugal or does not have their primary residence there.
As a non-resident you are only obliged to pay Portuguese income tax if you rent out your property.
Non-residents generating income from property pay a 16.5% flat rate income tax and you must declare it in your annual income tax declaration (IRS form), which must be submitted by 30 April annually.
GOLDEN RESIDENCE VISA PROGRAM KEY STATISTICS - November 2012 –31 December 2017
TOTAL INVESTMENTS -3.411.265.842€.
Property Acquisitions - 3.086.367.682€.
Capital Transfer - 324.898.160€.
3.South Africa –218.
Kindly contact Cliff Jacobs for further details:
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