Golden residence permit programme

By Dennis Swing Greene

The Golden Residence Permit Programme is a simple, fast-track residence permit programme designed to attract foreign investment into Portugal. The governing regulations for the programme were published on January 28 2013. As a result of the interest shown by foreign investors in this programme, the Portuguese government has since amended the original rules to simplify the terms and conditions to obtain this residence permit.

Requirements

The programme is only available to non-EU citizens who make qualifying five-year investments in Portugal. These investments may be completed directly or through a company, meeting one of the following requirements:

• Purchase of real estate costing at least €500,000;

• Capital of at least €1,000,000 to be invested in any type of business or company;

• Creation of at least 10 permanent jobs (instead of 30)

The investment activity must be maintained for a minimum period of five years after granting of the residence permit.

Other conditions

The permit is first issued for one year and then subsequently renewed for successive periods of two years, provided that the requirements of the investment activity continue as well as the following minimum periods of stay in Portugal are maintained:

• 7 days during the first year (previously was 30 days);

• 14 days in the following two-year periods (previously 60 days).

Like other Portuguese residence visas, a Golden Residence Permit enables its holder to travel freely in the EU Schengen Area.

The bearer of the permit may apply for family reunification. Applicants convicted of a crime will be excluded from consideration.

Authorities have 60 days to decide to grant the Golden Residence Permit once the application has been presented as long as proof has been submitted that the financial or real estate investment has been completed.

Citizenship

After the five year period, applicants become eligible to apply for Portuguese (EU) citizenship for themselves and other reunified family members.

Documents

To get you started, we will need:

• Valid passport and proof of legal entry

• Criminal record certificate

• Proof of health insurance

• Signed application and service contract

• Absence of debts declaration

Costs

Government fees, charged by SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras), are aimed at a high net worth target market:

Application fee (per person): €513.75

Approval (per person): €5,135.00

Renewals (per person): €2,568.75

Local charges vary among service providers but, as a rule, tend to mirror official costs.

||[email protected]

Dennis Swing Greene is Chairman of the Board and International Fiscal Consultant for euroFINESCO s.a. | www.eurofinesco.com