The average Golden Residence Permit holder is a wealthy individual who is worried about the political and economic stability of his or her home country, and who thus aims to acquire an insurance policy in case something goes wrong at home. Around 90% of the demand for the residence permit derives from China, but there is also significant demand from South Africa, Brazil, Angola and the Middle East.
Pursuant to the existing provisions, the following are considered ‘investment activities’:
the purchase of real estate with a value of at least €500,000;
The investor cannot:
have been convicted of a crime punishable by a prison term exceeding one year;
Immovable property may be:
acquired on a joint ownership basis (notwithstanding maintenance of the minimum €500,000 investment required for each co-owner);
Once the residence permit has been issued, the investor is free to move through any of the 30 European countries comprising the Schengen Area. The investor is required to spend only seven days (continuously or intermittently) in Portugal in the first year and 14 days for each of the following two-year periods (continuously or intermittently).
With the benefit of the family regrouping regime, the investor’s close relatives (ie, spouse, children and parents) may be granted residence permits similar to the Golden Residence Permit, but without being required to undertake any additional investment themselves.
A minimum investment period is required for the Golden Residence Permit, although the investor is free to renew the permit for two-year periods indefinitely, as long as investment activity is undertaken. The residence permit also entitles the investor to apply for Portuguese (and thus EU) citizenship after he or she has held the permit for at least six years and passes a basic Portuguese language test.
Once the investor acquires Portuguese nationality, he or she may request an EU passport (which guarantees free movement throughout the European Union).
The Golden Residence Permit is granted as a temporary permit and requires periodic renewals (after an initial period of one year and subsequently for two-year periods).
The application fee for the permit is approximately €500, while the permit issuance fee is around €5,000. A fee of approximately €2,600 will be payable for each renewal period.
Visas for relatives attract a fee of around €5,000, with a fee of approximately €2,600 also payable for each renewal period. These fees are halved for children under the legal age.
Tax expatriate regime
Portugal has further increased its attractiveness to investors by introducing a special tax scheme for non-habitual residents, which provides a favourable tax regime for individuals transferring their tax residence to Portugal.
The regime is one of the most competitive in Europe, particularly due to the following key features:
no deemed/lump-sum taxation;
spend more than 183 days a year in the Portuguese territory; or
Sooner or later, all expatriates have questions about the tax implications of their expatriate status. For the answers, Joseph Oliver can provide referrals to our preferred tax advisers, who can advise you on all aspects of personal and corporate taxation including: