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Portugal: Immigration rules and Golden Visa and EU Blue Card

Monday, March 18th, 2019
Portugal: Immigration rules and Golden Visa and EU Blue Card - Concerto Member

On July 4, 2007, was published Law nr 23/2007, which foresees the conditions and entry procedures stay periods and removal of foreign citizens from the Portuguese territory. Since Law nr 23/2007 has entered into force the same has been amended three times, the first amendment has occurred on August 9, 2012, through Law nr 29/2012, the second occurred in  May 8, 2015, and the third in June 30, 2015 through Law nr 63/2015.

 

1. Residence permit for investors from outside the EU – Golden Visa

1.1      Investment Requirements

With Law nr 23/2007, of July 4, the granting of residence permits to nationals from outside the EU is possible without the need for the applicant to obtain a visa beforehand, in case the same perform one of the following investments in Portugal:

 

a) Capital investment of an amount equal or higher than € 1.000.000,00:

Investment may be executed through a bank deposit, acquisition of a securities portfolio, public subscription or subscription of equity in private companies.

The investment must be evidenced through:

i) A statement from a Portuguese financial institution evidencing that the investor has transferred at least € 1.000.000,00 for the public subscription, for the subscription of equity or for a bank deposit into an account of which he is the sole or first holder; or

ii) In case of subscription of equity, through an updated certificate of registration evidencing the subscription of a shareholding in a company in Portugal in at least such amount.

 

b) Creation of at least 10 jobs:

To evidence the jobs creation the investor must provide an updated certificate of the Social Security registration of the employees.

c) Purchase of real estate in the value of at least € 500.000,00:

The acquisition of real estate free of liens and encumbrances must be evidenced through an updated certificate of registration of the property issued by the Public Land Registry, or through a promissory contract of purchase and sale with a down payment of at least € 500.000,00 (for the renewal of the permit being necessary to file the acquisition title of the property).

Purchase in co-ownership is possible provided each investor spends at least € 500.000,00. Purchased real estate may be encumbered for an amount in excess of the minimum residual value of € 500.000,00.

Purchase through a company where the applicant is the sole shareholder is also possible.

Purchased real estate may be leased to third parties for residential and/or commercial, agricultural or touristic use.

The investment must be executed before the application for the residence permit is filed and the investment must be kept for a minimum period of five years as of the date the permit is obtained.

 

d) Purchase of Real Estate which construction has been concluded at least 30 years ago or located in an area of urban rehabilitation, in the global amount of at least €350.000,00;

Besides the acquisition of the property, the purchaser will also have to carry rehabilitation works all in the aggregate amount of at least € 350.000,00 providing, inter alia, evidence of the works contract and payment of the respective price.

Purchase in co-ownership is possible provided each investor spends at least € 350.000,00. Purchased real estate may be encumbered for an amount in excess of the minimum residual value of € 350.000,00.

Purchase through a company where the applicant is the sole shareholder is also possible.

Purchased real estate may be leased to third parties for residential and/or commercial, agricultural or touristic use.

 

e) Capital investment of at least € 350.000,00 for the development of scientific research activities:

The amount must be invested in research activities carried by public or private scientific research entities, integrated in the national scientific and technological system.

 

f) Capital transfer in an amount of at least € 250.000,00 for supporting or investment in the artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural patrimony:

The investment must be carried through the peripheral or central public administration services, public institutes, entities within the public entrepreneurial sector, public foundations, private foundations with public utility statute, inter municipal entities, entities within the local entrepreneurial sector, municipal association entities and cultural public associations, that pursue its activity within the artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural patrimony area.

 

g) Capital transfer in an amount of at least € 500.000,00 for the acquisition of participation units:

This type of investment is to be carried through the acquisition of participation units in investment funds or venture capital funds pursuing the capitalization of small and medium size companies, which for such purpose present a viable capitalisation plan.

Save for the capital transfers of at least € 1.000.000,00, as well as the capital transfers of at least € 500.000,00, for the acquisition of participation units, in all other cases, the amount of the required investment may be reduced in 20%, when the activities are developed in territories of low density. Low density territories are the ones classified as NUT III with less than 100 inhabitants per Km2 or a gross domestic product per capita of less than 75% of the national average.

Investments mentioned in e, f) and g) above may be made by the individual applicant or by a company where the applicant is the sole shareholder.

All type of investment must be executed before the application for the residence permit is filed and the investment must be kept for a minimum period of five years as of the date the permit is obtained

1.2 Renewal

The residence permit is valid for a period of one year and renewable for two year periods provided the requisites for its granting are still fully respected.

The residence permit may also be obtained by the family members under the regime of family grouping.

For the renewals of the residency permit, the applicants must file evidence of having remained in the Portuguese territory for at least (i) 7 (consecutive or not) days during the first year, and (ii) 14 (consecutive or not) days for the following two renewals of two years each.

The residence permit holders may also obtain a long term residence permit under certain conditions, or even, after a six year period of permanence in Portugal, obtain the Portuguese nationality.

The applications for the renewal of the residence permits must be decided within a period of 60 days.

 

1.3      How to apply for the residence permit

The applicants should file the request at the Portuguese diplomatic or consular offices, or at any delegation of the Immigration and Borders Services (“Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – SEF”), and should present the following documents in addition to the investment proof:

(i) Passport or other valid travel document;

(ii) Evidence of legal entry and permanence in the Portuguese territory;

(iii) Health insurance document;

(iv) Certificate of criminal registry issued in the origin country or in the country where the applicant resides for more than one year;

(v) Portuguese tax payer number;

(vi) Certificate of non-debt of taxes and social charges in Portugal.

 The application for the residence permit must be decided within 90 days.

 

2.The EU Blue card

Highly qualified individuals from third countries intending to live and be employed in Portugal may obtain an EU Blue Card.

2.1      Legal requirements to obtain the EU Blue Card

The applicant must fulfil the following requirements:

i) hold a work contract or a binding job offer with a minimum duration of one year, with an annual salary of at least 1,5 times the national average gross annual salary (€ 10.185,00) or, in certain cases, 1,2 (€ 8.148,00);

ii) hold a proof of health insurance or evidence that the same is covered by the National Health Regime;

iii)  be registered with the social security;

iv) for regulated professions (e.g. lawyers, auditors), file a document evidencing the applicant’s professional qualification, and in case of unregulated professions, file a document evidencing the professional qualifications.

 

The EU Blue Card is valid for a year and may be renewed for successive periods of two years.

 

2.2            Rights of the EU Blue Card holders

Holders of the EU Blue Card and their families may enter, re-enter, or stay in Portugal and travel to other member States.

Additionally, the same may also benefit from equal treatment as nationals including, for example, regarding working conditions, freedom of association, education and professional training, recognition of diplomas, social security and pension legal provisions.

After 18 months of legal residence in Portugal, the EU Blue Card holders may move to another EU member State to perform highly qualified activities subject to the limits (“quotas”) set by each EU member State.

Holders of the EU Blue Card may obtain the status of long term residents, upon the fulfilment of the following two conditions:

a) Legal and uninterruptedly residence in the EU as holder of the EU Blue Card for a five year period;

b) Legal and uninterruptedly residence in the Portuguese territory as holder of the EU Blue Card within the two years period immediately prior to the application being filed in Portugal.

The absence from the EU for less than 12 consecutive months and not exceeding a total of 18 months does not interrupt the period referred in a) above.

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