The legal regime for the entry, stay, exit and removal of foreigners from the national territory, approved by Law 23/2007, of 4th July, was subject to changes by the Decree Law 14/2021, of 12th February, in order to incorporate the so-called Golden Visas in the priorities outlined for territorial cohesion, for the most vulnerable territories and for housing policy.
Thus, and according to what is established on Decree Law 14/2021, of 12th February, from 2022 onwards, the residence permit for investment regime will be focused preferentially on the interior territories, on the investment in job creation and on the urban and cultural heritage requalification, tackling regional differences, particularly in the interior of the country, promoting quality of life and sustainable development.
What changes are introduced with Decree Law 14/2021, of 12th February?
There is an increase in the values that involve «investment activity».
An investment activity is considered to be any activity carried out in person or through a company that leads to the achievement of capital transfer and for a minimum period of five years. This investment must be made through one of the following ways:
Capital transfer in the amount of €1.5 million or more (currently the value is €1 million);
Capital transfer in an amount equal to or greater than €500,000 (currently the value is €350,000), which is applied to research activities carried out by public or private scientific research institutions, integrated into the national scientific and technological system;
Capital transfer in an amount equal to or greater than €500,000 (currently the value is €350,000), intended for the acquisition of participation units in investment funds;
Capital transfer in an amount equal to or greater than €500,000, intended for the constitution of a commercial company with headquarters in national territory, combined with the creation of five permanent jobs; or for the capital increase of a commercial company already established in national territory, with the creation or maintenance of at least five permanent jobs, for a minimum period of three years.
The acquisition of residential real estate with a value equal to or greater than €500,000 is only allowed if the properties are located in the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira or in the interior territories.
It should be noted that the new rules will apply to all applications for a residence permit for investment made after January 1, 2022.
The possibility of renewing residence permits or granting/renewing residence permits for family reunification is not affected, even if the investment residence permit has been granted under the regime that is applicable until January 2022.
By Dr Eduardo Serra Jorge
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Dr Eduardo Serra Jorge is founding member, senior partner and CEO of lawyers firm Eduardo Serra Jorge & Maria José Garcia – Sociedade de Advogados, R.L., created in 1987.
In his column, he addresses legal issues affecting foreign residents in Portugal.
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