Portugal is a popular destination for British citizens aiming to retire or relocate to Europe. The Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) Portugal's Immigration and Borders Service latest report suggests that there are 46,238 British migrants living in Portugal. https://www.sef.pt/en/Pages/homepage.aspx  

Portugal's Golden Visa offers one of the most accommodating investment visas across Europe with an exceptional tax structure available.  Whilst Portugal's Golden Visa will always be an excellent choice for any investor there are changes that will come about in January 2022 as the Portuguese government attempts to revive areas with low-density populations and drive investment into wider areas.

In order to be able to apply for a Golden Visa, there is a requirement for one of the three types of investment, two of which will alter in January 2022 and an increased level of investment will be in place.  In order to take advantage of the existing requirements, an application must be commenced and the full minimum investment paid before 1 January 2022. 

Investment in Real Estate

The required value of the investment in heritage property remains the same, a minimum of €350,000 for a property that was built at least 30 years ago on the understanding that it will be refurbished. €500,000 will become the standard minimum investment, however, if the property is in a low-density area the investment lowers to €400,000. It will no longer be possible to buy in high-density areas such as the Algarve, or in and around Lisbon (including Sintra) and Oporto. 

There are many other highly attractive unspoiled areas such as Madeira, the Douro valley and Peneda-Geres.  In directing investment property purchases to these areas they will thrive and will offer an extremely good return on investment in the years to come.

Capital Investment

The alternative investment routes will increase as follows:

  • Capital transfer increases from €1 million to €1.5 million
  • Capital transfer for investment in research projects will increase from €350,000 to €500,000
  • Capital transfer by means of venture capital funds, units of investment funds, or capitalisation of companies will increase from €350,000 to €500,000
  • Capital transfer an existing commercial entity headquartered in Portugal which enables the creation of at least five permanent jobs will increase from €350,000 to €500,000

Diana  Ribeiro, our partner heading the Porto office, commented "now is the time to act if you are considering applying for a Golden Visa in Portugal before the limitations and increases are enacted.  The Golden Visa provides many benefits for individuals relocating to Portugal or for those considering Portugal as an investment objective. Unlike some other countries, you do not have to move to Portugal to retain your residence permit, a requirement of seven days' residence in Portugal per year will suffice." She further commented, "the lawyers in Giambrone's immigration team in our  Porto office have extensive experience in assisting with Golden Visa applications and can ensure that your application has no errors or omissions that will delay the process." 

There are significant additional benefits that accompany a Golden Visa in Portugal.  A Golden Visa extends to your family under family reunification, enabling your spouse, minor children, dependent children over the age of 18 and your parents to move to Portugal.  It also restores the ability to travel visa-free across the Schengen area that was lost to British citizens when the UK left the EU.

There are also significant tax advantages, under the Non-Habitual Tax Regime (NHR) for individuals wishing to reside in Portugal, including:

  • Worldwide income is exempt from tax 
  • Portuguese source income (employment and self-employment) is liable to a flat 20% tax rate.
  • No inheritance tax or gift tax

After five years of residence in Portugal under a Golden Visa you have the option of applying for permanent residence in Portugal, applying for citizenship or simply continuing your Golden Visa temporary residence. 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.