Foreign investors (non-EU citizens) are able to apply, without a residence visa, to a Portuguese Golden Residence Permit that allows them and their family not only to come and stay in Portugal but also to visit other European Countries and benefit from tax advantages. Golden Residence Permit is issued within 60 days counting from the application day and is valid for 1 year, renewed for periods of 2 years each.

  1.  Tax advantages

Investors who apply for a golden residence permit may benefit from the special tax framework for non-habitual residents.

In order to acquire the non-habitual tax resident status the applicants must have not been taxed as a resident in Portugal in the previous 5 years.

During 10 years those who acquire the non-habitual resident status can benefit from the following tax advantages:

  1. Income acquired in Portugal

20% flat tax rate, instead of progressive tax rates that can reach 48%, on income from employment and self-employment earned within the listed high added value activities or as senior company employees with binding powers regardless of the activities of such companies.

 

  1. Foreign sourced income exemption provided that the following requirements applicable to each type of income are met:

 

  1. Employment income is taxed in the source country under the terms of the Double Tax Convention signed with Portugal or in its absence such income is not considered to be acquired in Portugal;

 

  1. Self-employment income earned within the listed high added value activities as well as capital income, real estate income and increase in wealth, are entitled to be taxed in the source country under the terms of the Double Tax Convention signed with Portugal or, in its absence, under the OECD Model Tax Convention as long as the source country is not included in the Portuguese tax havens list and such income is not considered to be acquired in Portugal;

 

  1. Retirement pension income is taxed in the source country under the terms of the Double Tax Convention signed with Portugal or such income is not considered to be acquired in Portugal.
  1. Golden Residence Permit

In order to apply to a Golden Residence Permit, non-EU investors must bear in mind the following:

  1. Eligible Investments

The investment may be pursued individually or through a company and may take one of the following forms for a minimum period of five years:

  1. Transfer of capital in an amount equal or greater than 1M €;
  2. Creation of at least 10 jobs;
  3. Acquisition of property of value equal or greater than 500k €.
  1. Transfer of capital in amount equal or greater than 1M €

The applicant must demonstrate having wired a minimum value investment in the country, including the acquisition of company shares.

As proof, the applicant must provide a statement from a financial institution operating in Portugal, acknowledging that the investor is the sole or first capital holder. In case the investment is through a company, the applicant must submit an updated certificate issued by the Commercial Register Department, stating the investor’s capacity as owner of the share capital.

To renew the Golden Residence Permit, the applicant must provide with a statement from a financial institution operating in Portugal, claiming the existence of an annual average balance equal or greater than 1M €.

In case the investment is through a company, the applicant must submit one of the following documents, as applicable, stating the maintenance of the investor’s capacity as holder of the share capital of at least 1M €:

  1. An updated certificate issued by the Commercial Register Department;
  2. A statement issued by the Portuguese Securities Market Commission or a financial institution in case of company shares listed in the stock market; or
  3. A statement issued by the Company’s Board of Directors and a certified annual accounts report.
  1. Creation of at least 10 jobs

The investor must demonstrate having created at least 10 jobs and duly enrolled the employees with the Portuguese Social Security Department.

As proof, the applicant must provide with an updated certificate from the Portuguese Social Security, mentioning that 10 employees and their jobs have been created and their enrollment is in perfect order.

To renew the Golden Residence Permit, the applicant must provide with an updated certificate from the Portuguese Social Security, mentioning that the initial 10 jobs are still in force and their contributions are up to date.

  1. Acquisition of real estate(s) in the total amount equal or greater than 500k €

The applicant must demonstrate having acquired real estate(s) worth of at least 500k €. Such acquisition can be made by one of the following means:

  1. Purchase in full ownership, for a minimum price of 500k €;
  2. Purchase in co-ownership, whereas the minimum investment value requirement of 500k € has to be fulfilled by each of the co-owners;
  3. Purchase through a promissory agreement, as long as the deposit is equal or greater than 500k €;
  4. Encumbrance of real estate(s) over 500k €; or
  5. Possibility of lease or commercial, agricultural or tourism exploration of the purchased real estates.

As proof, the investor must provide the following documents:

  • Public deed or the promissory agreement to purchase the real estate(s) as well as a statement from a financial institution operating in Portugal, acknowledging the existence of the amount equal or greater than 500k €; and
  • An updated certificate from the Land Register Department, stating either the full or co-ownership, or the promissory agreement.

To renew the Golden Residence Permit, the applicant must provide an updated certificate from the Land Register Department, stating either the full or co-ownership of the real estate(s).

  1. Timing requirements

The investment must be kept for a minimum period of five years from the date the first Golden Residence Permit is issued.

Additionally, in order to renew the Golden Residence Permit, apart from the specific requirements applicable to each investment, applicants must provide evidence of stay in Portugal, for at least:

  1. 7 days (continuously or intermittently) during the first year; and
  2. 14 days (continuously or intermittently) during the following two-year periods.

The timing requirements for renewals do not collide with the possibility of the applicant to request for the issue of a permanent residence permit or the Portuguese nationality, under the provisions of the general framework.

  1. Administrative fees

Golden Residence Permit is subject to the following administrative fees:

  1. Application                                      € 500
  2. Issue                                               € 5.000
  3. Renewal                                          € 2.500