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23 December, 2020

Lisbon and Porto real estate will be excluded from the residence permit programme in Portugal. But there is still time to apply under the old rules

Portugal's Council of Ministers has adopted amendments to the residence permit for investment programme. From July 2021, investors will only be able to buy property in certain regions of the country. We tell you about the future changes.

Residence permit in Portugal for an investment in real estate in 2021
Photo: Adobe Stock

The new conditions of the programme limit investors' choices: you can' t buy property in major cities and resort areas, such as Lisbon, Porto and Cascais. In order to qualify for the so-called golden visa, you need to buy a property in an arearnwith a low population density, in the Azores or Madeira.

The changes will come into force on 1 July 2021. However, the government will set a transition period until 2022 to gradually introduce the new measures. How long the transition period will last is not yet specified.

The new rules will not affect investors who extend their residence card or join family members after they have received residence status.

The measures will help redirect the flow of foreign investment into less developed regions of the country, change the real estate market and stabilise price rises. The government also expects more investors to opt for other investment options. For example, buying shares in venture capital funds and funding scientific research.

The Portuguese government has not yet published the draft law with amendments to the programme. It is not known whether they will affect other options and the cost of participation. We, therefore, recommend that you apply now while the current investment conditions apply.

How to obtain a residence permit in Portugal under 2020 conditions

The current conditions of the residence permit programme in Portugal allow investors to buy property in Lisbon, Porto and popular resorts, primarily in Cascais. The minimum transaction amount is €500,000 and the property must be owned for 5 years.

The option with the purchase of real estate is the most popular. Around 11,000 foreigners have chosen it to obtain a residence permit in Portugal for an investment. This represents 86% of all participants in the programme since 2012.

Three-bedroom duplex in the historic centre of Lisbon. Price €1.3 million

Designer villa in a holiday complex in Palmela. Price - 550 000 €

Apartment with private garden and terrace in the centre of Porto. Price from €328,000 to €547,000

Portugal offers investors seven more investment options to choose from. Among them is another option with the purchase of real estate. Under this option, the investor buys a historic building for €350,000 or more and restores it. But only 8% of investors have taken advantage of this option in the lifetime of the programme.

A foreigner can also obtain a residence permit in Portugal if:

  • transfers capital in the country for an amount from 1 million euros;
  • buys shares in a venture capital or investment fund from €350,000;
  • opens a company or invests in an existing business from €350,000 and creates or retains 5 jobs;
  • register a new business in Portugal and create 10 jobs;
  • will finance scientific research for an amount from € 350,000
    invest from €250,000 in national, cultural or natural heritage sites.

It takes from 8 to 10 months to participate in a residence permit investment programme. Residence permit status allows you to move to Portugal, work and do business in the country without restrictions. It is also possible to travel visa-free in Schengen countries with a residence permit.

A foreigner can become a Portuguese citizen 5 years after has obtained a residence permit for investment. To obtain a Portuguese passport, the investor takes a language test and proves that has 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, contact the investment programme experts for advice.

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Lisbon and Porto real estate will be excluded from the residence permit programme in Portugal. But there is still time to apply under the old rules