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Changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa Program Extended to January 2022

Earlier Portugal announced that it was going to set restrictions on the most popular investment option under its Golden Visa Program, real estate purchase option, by excluding Lisbon, Porto, and coastal regions from the list of possible property investment destinations. The new regulation was planned to come into effect on 1 July 2021, making it impossible for investors buying real estate in the designated areas to apply for the Golden Visa of Portugal from then on. Last week, however, the Portuguese government finally revealed details of the program’s renewed terms, having introduced further amendments.

A number of changes have been made to the Golden Visa Program, which will come into force on 1 January 2022. The major ones pertain to increase minimum investment amounts for some options; determination of regions available for property purchase under the program; extension of the period for application submission by the preceding rules.

To qualify for the Golden Visa of Portugal, an investor is required to either purchase government-approved property at a stated price, or transfer a certain capital amount for the purpose of the chosen option (bank deposit, venture or investment fund, enterprise, cultural or scientific institutions), or create employment opportunities for locals. Due to the new regulations, the investment thresholds in some of the options will be raised by one and a half times. Thus, the minimum amount to invest in science and research activities as well as into a venture / investment fund will increase from the previous €350,000 to €500,000. The same alteration will apply to the enterprise option: incorporation of a new company or increasing the share capital of an already existing one will demand from an applicant to invest at least €500,000 instead of prior €350,000 (the creation of five permanent jobs sustained for a period of three years is still a necessary condition). As for bank deposit, the minimum investment amount will rise from €1 million to €1.5 million.

There were talks previously that prices for real estate under the Golden Visa Program would skyrocket from 1 July 2021. However, the minimum investment amounts for real estate investment have not undergone any amendments, remaining the same as before: €280,000 for a property in a low-density area, €350,000 for a property constructed over 30 years ago or located in an area of urban renovation, and €500,000 for a property at the discretion of an investor. It is worth mentioning though that since the beginning of next year Lisbon and Porto along with coastal areas will no longer be available for residential property purchase for the purpose of the Golden Visa acquisition. To become eligible for the Golden Visa, investors willing to buy residential property will have to purchase real estate across the interior of Portugal and its two autonomous regions: the Azores and Madeira. The commercial properties will remain eligible for purchase in all the parts of Portugal even after 1 January 2022.

The remaining months until 1 January 2022 are a perfect opportunity to take advantage of purchasing upscale properties in bustling metropolitan cities of Lisbon and Porto or charming seaside towns and resort areas. Moreover, there is a good chance to save from €150,000 to €500,000 if investing in other options offered by the Golden Visa Program.

The Golden Visa of Portugal is one of the most desirous destinations for investment immigration in the EU. Some of the main advantages of the Golden Visa are:

  • No need to reside in Portugal. There is a requirement to stay in Portugal only for 7 days in the first year, 14 days in the consecutive 2 years;
  • After 5 years, there is a possibility to become a citizen of Portugal and the EU with minimum requirements;
  • Travel within the Schengen zone is allowed with the Golden Visa. After citizenship acquisition over 180 countries become visa-free with Portuguese citizenship;
  • Portuguese Golden Visa allows all the family members to live, work and study in Portugal;
  • Portugal offers an attractive personal tax via non-habitual tax regime.

If you would like to get the Golden Visa of Portugal while the old rules are still applicable, contact GLS Private Office. We will be glad to provide you with all the necessary information, answer your questions, and assist you with your application.

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