PORTUGUESE FOREIGN MINISTER SPEAKS OF BENEFIT AND INTEGRITY, BUT ALSO IMPROVEMENT, WITH PORTUGAL’S RESIDENCY BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM
Would you like to live in a European Union country, with high standards of education and healthcare, a rich and diverse culture, and a Mediterranean culture? If so, you should consider Portugal’s residency by investment program. On April 16, Portuguese Foreign Minister August Santos Silva spoke of benefit and integrity, but also improvement, with Portugal’s residency by investment program.
In comments to the Portuguese news agency, Lusa, Foreign Minister Silva stated, “Since its launch in 2012, the program has enabled the country to achieve around 4.5 billion [euros] of investment or capital, and therefore has this usefulness and should be preserved, improving what needs to be improved, so that the country does not abdicate this instrument. . . . Last year we received a recommendation from the OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] to facilitate access by our tax administration and the sharing of tax information on beneficiaries of gold visas with other tax administrations, and in the State Budget for 2019. . . . Nor do we glorify too much the program, which is a small incentive scheme along with many others that the country is fortunate enough to attract capital and investment, nor do we impute to the program of gold visas fraudulent, illicit, or even criminal misconduct practices that until now no authority have demonstrated that they exist”.
Portugal’s residency by investment program has several real estate investment options. The applicant may (a) purchase any real estate valued at 500,000 euros or more, (b) purchase real estate more than 30 years old or located in urban regeneration areas designated for refurbishing valued at 350,000 euros or more, or (c) purchase real estate under (a) or (b) at a 20% discount (400,000 euros or 280,000 euros, respectively), if purchased in a low density population area. Portugal’s residency by investment program also offers various capital investment options, and a “creation of at least 10 jobs” investment option. Earlier this year, a new “green visa” investment option (requiring the investment of at least 500,000 euros in environmental projects) for residency in Portugal was created. These various investments in Portugal generally each must be maintained for at least 5 years.
A residency permit visa under Portugal’s residency by investment program generally is initially issued for 1 year, renewable for a period of 2 years provided the applicant spent 7 days in Portugal during the initial 1-year period, and then renewable for additional 2-year periods provided the applicant spent 2 weeks in Portugal during the prior 2-year period. The residency permit visa holder generally may apply for permanent residence in Portugal after 5 years and for citizenship in Portugal after 6 years.
In year 2019, foreigners are definitely interested in Portugal’s residency by investment program. During the first 3 months of year 2019, Portugal’s residency by investment program received 196.8 million euros of investment. In March, 2019 alone, 83 residency permit visas were granted in Portugal’s residency by investment program (75 based on real estate investment).
Portugal was recently selected by the publication, “International Living”, as the best place in Europe to retire in year 2019.