Portugal will raise the price of the golden visa, but you can still get a residence permit at the old price

January 15, 2021
Residence permit in Portugal for investment: cost of participation may rise from 1 July 2021
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The minimum investment amount will increase under the five options of the golden visa programme. Sharing insider information: what amounts will be needed to obtain a residence permit in Portugal from 1 July 2021 and how to apply in time under the old rules.

The new conditions will help Portugal address two issues: the redistribution of investment received and the development of the property market in sparsely populated regions of the country. The government also expects foreigners to be more likely to choose alternative investment options. For example, buying units in venture capital funds, investing in business and science.

Until 31 June inclusive, investors can apply under the old rules. The changes will not affect residents who renew their residence permit cards or join family members in the programme.

It is not yet known whether the participation procedure, the timeframe for applying for a residence permit and the requirements for the investor’s relatives will change. The Porugese government expects to adopt amendments to the programme in the near future.

Where and for how much to buy property under the new rules

Buying a property in the most popular option for a residence permit in Portugal. It allows you to sell a property after 5 years and recover your investment. In 2020, 91% of investors took advantage of the option. We told you about it in the article «Statistics of the residence permit programme in Portugal in 2020: how much and in what invested the most».

Portugal will retain both options for buying property. Under the new conditions, foreigners will also be able to buy:

  • any property – residential or commercial, primary or secondary market;
  • a building over 30 years old under renovation.

The minimum transaction amount for buying a property will increase. It will depend on the region on Portugal where the property is located.

Amount of property purchases under the programme from 1 July 2021

Region of Portugal The cost of objects for restoration Cost of other objects
Lisbon, Porto and coastal resort regions 500 000 € 1 million euro
Regions outside Lisbon and Porto 500 000 € 750 000 €
Inland regions, including Madeira and the Azores 350 000 € 500 000 €

The government will increase the minimum investment amount in order to stabilise price increases in major cities and resort areas. But such a decision may reduce the competitiveness of the Portuguese programme compared to offers from other European countries. For example, a residence permit in Greece is granted for the purchase of real estate from €250,000.

Investments in venture capital funds, business, science and culture

Portugal offers investors six more investment options in addition to buying real estate. The updated version of the programme will also include capital transfers, buying units in venture capital funds, registering a business with job creation, investing in existing Portuguese companies and contributing to scientific and cultural projects.

In 2020, not a single programme participant invested in science and culture. The government expects to change the situation, so according to preliminary data, the minimum investment amount for these options will not increase. The cost of participation will increase only for the more sought-after options: deposits, venture capital funds and investments in local businesses.

The minimum investment amount for programme options

Option Until 31 June 2021 From 1 July 2021
Capital transfer, such as opening a deposit in a bank €1 million €1.5 million
Buying units in a venture capital fund 350 000 € 500 000 €
Investment in an existing business 350 000 € 500 000 €
Investment in scientific research 350 000 € 350 000 €
Investing in cultural projects 250 000 € 250 000 €

If an investor wants to start a new business in Portugal, it can also become a participant in the programme. This requires registering a company in the country and creating 10 new jobs. Whether the government intends to change the conditions of this option has not yet been specified.

How to obtain a residence permit in Portugal under the old conditions

The programme department continues to accept applications under the old rules until 31 June 2021. Under their terms, the investor buys any property in Lisbon, Porto and resort towns such as Cascais and Faro. The participant in the programme owns the property for 5 years.

The minimum transaction amount also depends on the type of property and the region. But it is significantly lower under the current rules.

Transaction amount for the programme until 31 June 2021

Region of Portugal The cost of objects for restoration Cost of other objects
Lisbon, Porto and coastal regions 350 000 € 500 000 €
Areas with low population densities 280 000 € 400 000 €

A low population density area is defined as a region with less than 100 people per km². Geographically, they may not coincide with the inland regions that the government will allocate to the new conditions of the programme.

Residence permit in Portugal for the purchase of real estate: an example of a villa in Funchal

Two-storey villa with swimming pool and ocean views in Funchal.
Price - 995 000 €

Residence permit in Portugal for the purchase of real estate: an example of a flat in Porto

Duplex in the historic district of Porto.
Price from 400 000 €

Residence permit in Portugal for the purchase of real estate: an example of a residential complex in Funchal

Apartment in a modern apartment complex near the beach in Funchal.
Price - from 320 000 €

Residence permit in Portugal for the purchase of real estate: an example of a villa in Funchal
Residence permit in Portugal for the purchase of real estate: an example of a flat in Porto
Residence permit in Portugal for the purchase of real estate: an example of a residential complex in Funchal

Opening a deposit, investing in Portuguese companies or buying units in venture capital funds are also more profitable under current rules.

The programme department reviews the documents in two to six months from the submission of the application. A resident with residence permit status can move to Portugal, work and conduct business in the country without restrictions and travel visa-free to Schengen countries.

A participant in the programme can become a Portuguese citizen 5 years after obtaining a residence permit for investment. To obtain a Portuguese passport, the investor takes a language test and proves spent at least 7 days a year in the country.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the residence permit programme in Portugal. If you want to become a resident of an EU member state in time for the current rules, seek consultation from the experts of the investment programmes.

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