Amendments and Changes to the Legislation on the Golden Visa Program

Amendments and Changes to the Legislation on the Golden Visa Program
Gustavo Machado Dias

The main goal, according to said alterations, is to make this regime more and more directed preferentially to the investment in the interior territories, to investment in job creation and to the urban and cultural heritage requalification.

With that in mind, the first essential and most relevant decision that was made was that these changes will only come into force/into effect on 1st January 2022, meaning that foreign investors have until 31st December 2021 to invest in the exact same terms and conditions, all over the country, towards their Golden Visa Applications.

As of 1st January 2022, the following changes, which will represent an increase in the minimum investment amounts, as well as affect the geographical area of application in the real estate investment for habitation purposes, will apply:

 

A) Real Estate Investment:

a. In the amount of € 500.000,00, for habitation Purposes, will only be allowed in the interior of Portugal, Azores, and Madeira.

b. In the amount of € 350.000,00, with rehabilitation investment, for habitation Purposes, will only be allowed in the interior of Portugal, Azores, and Madeira.

 

B) Capital Transfers:

a. The amount of investment for the Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 1 million Euros, changes to a minimum of 1.5 million euros.

b. The amount of investment for the Capital transfer for investing in research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions involved in the national scientific or technologic system changes from € 350.000,00 to a minimum value of € 500.000,00.

c. The minimum amount on the Private Equity Funds investments, changes from € 350.000,00 to a minimum value of € 500.000,00.

d. The minimum amount on the capital transfer for incorporation of a Company in Portugal, combined with the creation of five (5) permanent

working jobs, OR for the reinforcement of the share capital of an existing company in Portugal, with the creation or maintenance of said jobs, changes from € 350.000,00 to a minimum value of € 500.000,00.

 

In view of the above, and according to the remaining legal diploma that was published, it is essential to highlight that:

· Foreign Investors will have until 31st December 2021 – almost a whole year - to submit their Golden Visa application, taking advantage of the current Law as it is and was from the past years (with the same minimum amounts, on the same locations, and with the same requirements).

· As long as these applications, by the Investors, are submitted before the 1st January 2022, client(s) can benefit for the same rules and have their residence permits granted, even if the actual approval of the process happens after that date.

· The geographical limitations that will happen on the real estate investments, by “pushing” the investment for habitation purposes to the interior and the Islands, will still give a lot of interesting and potential possibilities in terms places to invest in Portugal.

· On the real estate investments, only the ones for habitation purposes will be affected, meaning that for commercial/services or other purposes foreign investors will still be able to invest in the whole country, namely in Lisbon and Porto, just like before, after the 1st January 2022.

· Family members can still benefit from the Family Reunification applications and benefits, even after 1st January 2022, as long as their Main Applicant/Investor has submitted his/her application before that (under the same law).

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