Next year a new set of rules will take place which will restrict real estate investment to low density rural areas. In effect, this will rule out the possibility of investing in more densely populated areas such as Lisbon and Porto in order to obtain a legal residency.
Investing in Real Estate within Portugal is a popular choice for many applicants looking for Golden Visa opportunities, especially in the Algarve. This unique family-friendly destination provides many benefits including a warm and sunny Mediterranean climate that is ideal for an indoor-outdoor lifestyle, a rich cultural history, and a diverse landscape presenting both countryside and sea views. The region is complemented with good access in terms of road networks and excellent flight connectivity. The Algarve allows for easy movement worldwide with daily international flights from Faro airport, whilst Lisbon (less than a 3-hour drive away) provides long haul connections.
What is the Golden Visa?
In 2012 the Golden Visa Program was initiated with the purpose of inviting foreign investors to Portugal, by granting residency and thus creating unrestricted travel without the need for a visa within the Schengen area. The unrestricted travel is limited to 90 days within a 6-month period of travel and can be extended to immediate family members.
Initially valid for 1 year, the Golden Visa can then be renewed every subsequent 2 years, and ultimately provide a gateway to Portuguese citizenship.
How to obtain a Golden Visa
For citizens outside of the Schengen area, the Golden Visa Program provides a relatively simple and fast way to enjoy living and working in Portugal. To qualify and then apply, an applicant must conduct an investment activity through one of the following ways:
Tax position under Golden Visa
There are no tax consequences in applying for the Golden Visa scheme – it does not itelf mean that you become tax resident in Portugal and have to pay local taxes, but it does allow you the right to residency here. The minimum stay requirement under the Golden Visa program means that it is not necessary to become a Portuguese tax resident (as is required under the D7 Visa for example).
However, for many clients, it may actually be beneficial to obtain Portuguese tax residence, especially in light of the Non Habitual Residence scheme which offers 10 years of tax efficient living in Portugal. We have written a separate guide on this subject.
If you are interested in obtaining a Golden Visa, we would recommend that you do so by the end of 2021 to make the most of the advantages. You will need to be present in Portugal for your application appointment.