The country of Antigua and Barbuda has temporarily waived the 5-day visit requirement for passport renewal under the Citizenship-By-Investment Program (CIP) in consideration of investors unable to come to Antigua and Barbuda due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. The suspension will be extended until August 31, 2022.

Interested investors who want to attain the citizenship that gives them visa-free entrance to more than 150 countries around the world may do so without having to travel to Antigua and Barbuda, and they can now do it with the assurance that they won’t have to travel until the Coronavirus outbreak is over.

This makes the investor citizenship program in Antigua and Barbuda easier, more appealing, and more accessible to international investors. So far, the CIP has been the cheapest option for families in the Caribbean. The government has announced significant changes to CIP laws, including broadening the scope of the citizenship scheme and establishing the University of West Indies Fund.

All passports issued under the CIP can now be renewed at any Antigua and Barbuda consulate throughout the world. Passport services, apostille/legalization, and birth and marriage certificates will all be available for a charge at the consulates.

Why choose Antigua and Barbuda as your new home

The English-speaking, two-island state of Antigua and Barbuda is a popular tourist destination located in the Leeward Islands of the Eastern Caribbean. The country has a nice year-round climate, with breathtakingly gorgeous and lush tropical islands.

The government created the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship-by-Investment Program in 2012. The Citizenship-by-Investment Program in Antigua and Barbuda requires an applicant to make a large financial investment in the country in exchange for citizenship for the applicant and his or her family.

The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program provides a rapid method to obtain a strong second passport in only three months, as well as visa-free travel to 151 countries worldwide including the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In addition, there are leniencies on taxes such as no personal income, capital gains, inheritance tax, or tax on foreign income. Applicants can include a spouse, dependent children under the age of 31 (along with their spouse and children), parents and grandparents over the age of 55, and unmarried siblings of the main applicant and/or their spouse of any age, as well as add dependents after they have been granted citizenship.

Antigua and Barbuda is a Commonwealth member, giving its residents access to certain benefits in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries. It is also a member of the Caribbean community (CARICOM), which also entitles its citizens to some privileges.

Requirements to obtain Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

To be eligible for citizenship, the primary candidate must be at least 18 years old, satisfy the due diligence criteria, commit to at least five days of visitation within the first five years of citizenship, and choose one of the following options:

  • The acquisition of real estate from an approved real estate project with a minimum value of USD 200,000. To qualify, two candidates can make a joint investment of at least USD 200,000, with each applicant contributing a minimum of USD 200,000. The property cannot be sold within the five-year time frame.
  • Individual acquisition of an eligible business for a minimum of USD 1.5 million. Alternatively, a combined purchase in which each individual pays at least USD 400,000, for a total of USD 5 million.
  • A non-refundable donation of at least USD 100,000 to the National Development Fund. The National Development Support (NDF) is a non-profit organization created under the Finance Administration Act of 2006 to fund government-sponsored initiatives such as public-private partnerships and approved philanthropic investments. The NDF contribution is USD 100,000 for a single applicant or a family of up to four individuals, plus a USD 30,000 processing charge.
  • A minimum non-refundable donation of USD 150,000 to the University of the West Indies. The University Fund, which starts at USD 150,000 for families with six or more people, is a more cost-effective alternative than the NDF for families with six or more members (inclusive of Government processing fee). A cost of USD 15,000 will be charged for each dependent above the age of six.

Furthermore, the primary candidates and their dependents must have a clean personal history. The Citizenship-by-Investment Unit (CIU) is the government agency in charge of processing and reviewing all applications, as well as conducting thorough due diligence inspections. If an applicant has been denied a visa to a country with which Antigua and Barbuda has a visa-free travel agreement, is regarded as a possible national security risk, a reputational risk, or is the subject of a criminal investigation, citizenship will be rejected.

Those interested in learning more about the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship-By-Investment program can contact Orience, and our legal professionals will provide you with all the information you want.

On July 6, the Preliminary Draft Law to promote the startup ecosystem, known as the Preliminary Draft Law on Startups, was published. This new legislative proposal aims to provide a favorable framework for the creation and growth of technology-based startups and also seeks to attract foreign talent with the creation of a new visa and residency authorization category: the international telecommuting visa or digital nomad visa.

What is a digital nomad?

We agree with the explanatory memorandum in stating that the “expansion of teleworking has led to the emergence of a new lifestyle called digital nomadism. Digital nomads are people whose jobs allow them to work remotely and change residence regularly, combining highly skilled work with immersive tourism in the country of reference”.

New law for the creation of a visa for digital nomads

The current legislation on foreigners does not foresee or solve the problem of foreigners who wish to live in Spain and work in their country of origin or in any other country in this globalized world. It is true that there is a non lucrative residence authorization to which this profile of foreign worker currently applies, but unfortunately it is not designed for the digital nomad and does not solve the existing loopholes.

This new visa, introduced by amendment of Law 14/2013, of September 27, to support entrepreneurs and their internationalization, will be provided for in Article 61 of the aforementioned Law and will be called visa for teleworkers of international character.

This visa will be regulated in Chapter V Bis of the previous Law and will be granted to the workers and professionals who carry out their work for companies located outside the Spanish territory by means of the exclusive use of computer, telematic and telecommunication means and systems. Employees may not work in Spain but professionals may work in Spain as long as the percentage of such work does not exceed 20% of their total professional activity.

This visa is valid for 1 year. In case you want to stay longer in Spain, after this year you can apply for a residence authorization for a maximum period of 2 years.

Requirements for applying for this visa

In order to apply for this visa, a series of requirements must be fulfilled:

  • The existence of a real and continuous activity for at least one year of the company or group of companies with which the worker has an employment or professional relationship.
  • Documentation accrediting that the labor or professional relationship can be carried out remotely.
  • In the supposition of the existence of an employment relationship, the labor relationship between the worker and the company not located in Spain with which the worker maintains such relationship, at least, the last three months, as well as documentation that accredits that such company allows the worker to carry out the labor activity remotely, must be accredited.
  • In the case of the existence of a professional relationship, it must be accredited that the worker has a commercial relationship with one or several companies not located in Spain during, at least, the last three months, as well as documentation that accredits the terms and conditions in which he/she is going to carry out the professional activity at a distance.

Finally we must point out that the Draft Bill does not foresee how long the teleworker must remain in Spain to be able to request the authorization of residence of the 2 years, nor what happens once these years are completed and he/she continues to reside in Spain.

The ordinary passport is a valid travel document that allows travelers from other countries who are not members of the EU to cross an external border. A visa might be required, depending on the country of origin and the length of stay. An ordinary passport is the most common type issued to individual citizens.

European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS)

By the end of 2022, travelers from visa-exempt countries will need to apply for European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) to enter the Schengen area. The purpose of this system is to gather information from international travelers. The data gathered will be used by immigration services to stop potential threats to the EU countries. It will give the traveler a better and secure travel experience in the Schengen area.

Types of passports and travel documents that can be used to enter Europe

Diplomatic Passport

A diplomatic passport is a special passport issued to diplomats of a country and their immediate family for official international travel that allows them certain privileges and to travel to Europe for official purposes only. There is no singular EU policy on diplomatic passports so it is always best to check with the embassy or consulate of the country one wishes to enter.

Diplomatic passport holders who are not required to obtain a visa for Europe will not need to apply for ETIAS when entering the Schengen area to conduct official duties. However, diplomats visiting Europe for tourism and non-official purposes should apply for ETIAS using an ordinary passport.

Seafarer’s Identity Document

The Seafarer’s Identity Document also known as a Seaman’s Book or Seaman’s card is a special document issued to sea crew members. Sea crew on vessels out at sea for many months rely on shore leave to access port facilities and receive medical treatment. Seafarers may also need to go ashore to leave and join ships.

The seaman’s book allows sea crew to enter many countries without a visa when on duty.  However, there is no uniform policy for the Schengen visa requirement and sea crew must confirm with EU country they will be calling at.

International law requires that sea crew are subject to limited entry requirements. Nations must facilitate maritime traffic, which includes the fast transfer of personnel. Therefore, it is likely that sea crew will be exempt from ETIAS.

Emergency passports

An emergency passport is issued to individuals whose passport has been lost, stolen, or damaged while abroad and do not have enough time to apply for a new passport before their flight home. It is a temporary passport and usually valid for less than three months as it is intended only for the holder to be able to return to his home country. It is therefore not valid for travel or tourism to the EU that requires at least three months from the date of departure from EU or for visa-free travel in Europe.

Emergency passports do not have the electronic chip and therefore does not qualify as a biometric passport which is required to apply for ETIAS.

Other accepted documents to travel to Europe that allow the holder to cross an external EU border and be issued a visa.

  1. Special Administrative Region (SAR) Passports

A special administrative region (SAR) is a territory that falls under the jurisdiction of one country but with separate judicial, legal, administrative systems from the rest of the country. Hongkong and Macau fall under this category.

  1. Travel documents for stateless persons

  2. Travel documents for refugees and asylum seekers

  3. Laissez-passer

Laissez-passer is a permit and valid travel document.  These are usually issued to officials of the United Nations or related entity or of a Specialized Agency.

  1. Crew member passports

  2. Military passports

  3. Collective passports

A collective or group passport is a way for an organized group of young people to make a trip to certain European countries.

There is no singular EU policy regarding these documents so it is always best to check with the embassy or consulate of the country one wishes to enter.

Travel documents that are not accepted by the European Union

Expired passports cannot be used to travel to Europe. A passport valid for at least six months is required by most countries.

Fantasy passports are documents issued by minorities, sects, and population groups, or ID provided by private organizations. Some examples of fantasy passports are:

  • ‘Cornish passport’
  • ‘Dukedom of New Sealand’
  • ‘Free State of California’
  • ‘Parliamentary passport’
  • ‘World Passport/World Service Authority Passport’

Camouflage passports are passports of old states that no longer exist. Some examples of camouflage passports are:

  • Burma/Birma (now Myanmar)
  • Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
  • Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia)
  • Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
  • Spanish Guiana (now Equatorial Guinea)

There are three territories that are not recognized internationally and therefore travel documents will not be accepted to cross the EU border:

  • Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
  • Saharwei, Arab Democratic Republic
  • Temporary Government of Serbia at Kosovo

The European Commission provides a full list of all the kinds of travel documents that are not accepted by the EU that travelers can consult.

There are three ways by which an investor can avail of the Golden Visa Portugal:

  • An investor can make an outright purchase of real estate property whether for private or commercial purposes.
  • An investor can invest capital into the Portuguese economy.
  • An investor can start a company that will employ Portuguese nationals for at least three years

Changes to the Golden Visa Portugal will be effective starting January 1. 2022. The Portuguese parliament has approved Decree Law 14/2021 of Feb. 12 that modifies the conditions for access to the Golden Visa Portugal Program.

These changes will apply only to new applicants and not to those who have existing Golden Visas Portugal.

Golden Visa Portugal investment in real estate

The Portuguese government would like to transfer the focus of real estate investments from the high-density areas like Lisbon, Porto, the Algrave, and the high-density coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver coast to low-density areas like the Azores, Madeira and the cities and towns in the interior of Portugal.

Fortunately, the investment amounts have not changed.  Commercial properties and properties with a tourism license are exempt from the Golden Visa changes.

  • €280,000 for existing properties older than 35 years old and requiring renovation in low-density areas
  • €350,000 for existing properties located in urban re-generation areas
  • €500,00 for all other properties in Portugal

Golden Visa Portugal capital investment

Investing in private equity funds or Golden Visa Portugal venture capital funds is a good option for acquiring residency in Portugal. The funds are managed by fund managers who are accredited by Portugal’s regulatory body, the CMVM. Your dedicated fund manager ensures that the Golden Visa Portugal fund investments are appropriately managed in start-ups or medium-sized projects with optimal growth potential.

  • The present capital transfer of at least € 1million has been increased to €1.5 million.
  • The present €350,000 business investment in the form of either the purchase of shares in a Portuguese company or setting up a company in sectors like energy, industry, technology, and real estate has been increased to €500,000 and must generate at least five permanent jobs for at least three years.
  • The present €350,000 investment in companies that are scientific or technological in nature in public or private institutions has been increased to €500,000.

Advantges of the Golden Visa Portugal

Portugal lies on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe and hugs 832 kilometers stretch of the Atlantic coastline.  It enjoys sunny weather for most of the year and boasts of excellent fresh produce and a delectable cuisine of mostly seafood like sardines and cod fish. It is an excellent option for expat families as they can avail of quality education, easy access to healthcare and an overall high quality of life.

This is ideal country for those looking to invest in a second passport without giving up your citizenship or for businesses looking to set up European Union operations, a Portuguese passport is now easily available through the Golden Visa Portugal or Portugal Passport by Investment Program that is the most successful residency program in Europe and is the most popular investment immigration program in the world.  This is because of the following reasons:

  1. There are many diverse and cheaper real estate properties available in comparison to the other countries in Western Europe.
  2. Portuguese investments promise a high return on investments. This is due to a stable and dynamic economy that is fueled by a continuous growth in the tourism sector that has led to a rise in the profitability of short and long term rentals.
  3. Portugal offers very generous tax incentives that include tax reductions or total exemptions over a ten-year period.

A Golden Visa Portugal allows the holder free movement meaning that one can live, work, and study in Portugal and anywhere else within the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

For a minimum investment of €500,000 the Golden Visa Portugal has the following benefits:

  • Travel visa-free to 186 countries
  • Includes family members
  • Renewable every two years with no residency requirements
  • Citizenship is possible in 5 years.

Golden Visa Portugal tax benefits

  • Golden Visa Portugal’s income tax benefits are a big draw for foreign investors looking to get the most out of their financial contribution. Visa holders don’t need to pay extra taxes on income produced outside of Portugal.
  • There’s also an option to register as a fiscal resident for tax purposes in Portugal. This is a fantastic option as it’ll allow you to then directly benefit from Portugal’s Non-Habitual Tax (NHR) Regime. NHR is a generous tax program with numerous benefits pertaining to your global income. It offers tax-free incentives on certain categories for a period of up to ten years.
  • Additionally, any Portuguese-sourced income would be taxed at a flat rate of 20% during the first ten years and there is also the ability to pass on your wealth to a spouse or dependent without incurring inheritance or gift taxes.

In general, the terms for an investor visa for couples who are not legally married or in a same-sex relationship are the most liberal and flexible in Europe. In European Union countries that recognize de facto unions, one has the same rights concerning property, inheritance and maintenance payments following a separation.

Unmarried, co-habiting couples

Couples who are not legally married but are co-habiting with a long-term partner sometimes referred to as “common-law partner” may apply for any of the European Golden Visa programs under one joint application.

Portugal

In Portugal, unmarried couples or life partners who have been residing together for a minimum of two years are eligible to apply together, providing they can show proof of their relationship.  These can be official documents that show they share the same address, have joint accounts or assets, or that they have children or adopted children together should be sufficient enough to support their case.

The Golden Visa Portugal

A Golden Visa Portugal or an investor visa allows the holder free movement meaning that one can live, work, and study in Portugal and anywhere else within the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

For a minimum investment of €500,000 the Golden Visa Portugal has the following benefits:

  • Travel visa-free to 186 countries
  • Includes family members
  • Renewable every two years with no residency requirements
  • Citizenship is possible in 5 years.

Greece

Unmarried couples need to show proof of a stable and lasting relationship and must sign a Co-habitation Agreement in order to make their relationship official in Greece. It is assumed that one partner is a Greek or EU citizen. This is a simple notarial process that can be completed with the help of a Greek lawyer.

They must show documents that they own a common home or the existence of a common or adopted child. They must show proof of joint, long-term, legal, social or financial commitments. They may also enter into a civil partnership which is also possible for same sex couples.

Investor Visa Grecce

  • minimum investment of €250,000,
  • The entire family is eligible
  • Visa-free travel to Schengen zone
  • Good quality of life
  • High standards of education
  • Free and equal access to the Greek Healthcare System

Spain

In Spain, unmarried couples must have a legal partnership in order to apple for the investor visa.  If they do not have such a document, they can register their partnership through a notary that can be arranged by a Spanish lawyer.

They must show documents from the Spanish government that they have entered into a contract of marriage in Spain or have registered in the census or any other similar legal document.

They must show joint rental contracts, joint invoices, joint ownership of assets, invitations to family events such as weddings, etc.

Golden Visa Spain

  • Minimum investment of €500,000
  • The right to live in Spain, a member of the European Union
  • Visa-free travel throughout the European Union
  • Visa-free travel to 185 countries
  • Available for you and your family
  • No minimum stay requirements

Civil partnerships and same-sex couples

Civil partnerships and same-sex marriages are recognized in Portugal, Spain and Greece. All they need to do is submit a legal marriage certificate or civil partnership document.

Greece still requires applicants to sign a Co-habitation Agreement in order to legalize the relationship in Greece.

In Spain and Portugal, a legal marriage certificate or civil partnership document is acceptable.  Should the same-sex couple not be legally married, they can register their partnership through a notary that can be arranged by a Spanish lawyer.

If you would like more information on how to obtain an Investor Visa, please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of our consultants.   

From January 2022, the changes the Portuguese government has made to the Golden Visa Portugal will become effective.

There are three ways by which an investor can avail of the Portugal Golden Visa:

  • An investor can make an outright purchase of real estate property whether for private or commercial purposes.
  • An investor can invest capital into the Portuguese economy.
  • An investor can start a company that will employ Portuguese nationals for at least three years

How will these changes affect the Golden Visa Portugal program from January 22?

Investment in Real Estate

The Portuguese government would like to transfer the focus of real estate investments from the high-density areas like Lisbon, Porto, the Algrave, and the high density coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver coast to low-density areas like the Azores, Madeira and the cities and towns in the interior of Portugal.

Fortunately, there are no changes in the amount required for property investments.

  • €280,000 for existing properties requiring renovation in low density areas
  • €350,000 for existing properties located in urban re-generation areas
  • €500,00 for all other properties in Portugal

Capital Investment

  • The present capital transfer of at least € 1million has been increased to €1.5 million.
  • The present amount of €350,000 into private equity or venture capital funds providing capital to specified companies has been increased to €500,000.
  • The present €350,000 investment in companies that are scientific or technological in nature has been increased to €500,000
  • The present €350,000 business investment in the form of either the purchase of shares in a Portuguese company or setting up a company has been increased to €500,000 and must generate at least five permanent jobs for at least three years.

What you should do now about investments and the Golden Visa Portugal

As highly experienced professionals in this field, Orience International would like to help you choose the investment that is best for you and recommend the following points to consider before the changes take effect.

Here are four essential things that need to be considered when making a decision on investing in real estate for obtain the Golden Visa Portugal:

  1. Location

Choose a property in a city or area that has an outstanding appreciation rate or that has the potential to increase in value.

  1. Project

Choose a real estate project that is located in an excellent area and that is masterfully designed.

  1. Return on Investment

Aside the Golden Visa Portugal, you would like a respectable return on investment. Porto, for example experienced a 6.77% increase in value higher than the country’s average and 0.75% higher than the increase in Lisbon.

  1. The Right Partner

To achieve a respectable return on investment by choosing the right property, the right partner is necessary to not only help you make the right decisions for your personal situation but also give you peace of mind.

At Orience International, we put our client first and will put ten years of experience in this business to make sure that your investment is managed properly and in the best manner possible by well-educated and trained professionals. We will be with you from the beginning when choosing the property that is right for you, help you with all the necessary forms and documentation, to managing your property for you if you so wish, up to eventually selling the property if you so desire.

We will also help you apply for the Golden Visa Portugal in the fastest and most convenient way possible. Our success rate is one hundred percent as proven by clients who have assured us that they would choose us again or recommend our services to their relatives and friends.

 

The negative effect of the COVID-19 on the economies of European countries has led the European Commission to look for a solution that will benefit the tourism industry. The EU wants to resume travel in Europe through the implementation of vaccine passports, which are certificates granted to travellers that have received full vaccination against COVID-19. This set of certificates will include the vaccination certificates (vaccine used, data and place of inoculation and number of doses administered), negative test certificates, and/or medical certificates for people that have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days. The EU vaccine passport was presented by the president of the European Commision, Ursula von der Leyen, as the Digital Green Certificate, which will enable people to travel to Europe without the need of a 14-day quarantine upon arrival to the country, and have unrestricted access to public places; only possible if you have the golden visa.

Moreover, as the number of vaccine doses are rising while the summer of 2021 is approaching, European countries that were unable to open their gates last year are preparing for a new wave of tourists that will possess a vaccination passport.

What is the Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa Europe is the best option for foreign entrepreneurs that want to acquire a residency permit, and are looking for a location of their new business, or their new home. The release of the Digital Green Certificate will be advantageous for these international investors that will need to travel to a European country.

The golden visa is granted once the applicants have invested in real estate within a EU member country that offers this program, such as Portugal, Spain and Greece. The holders of this visa and their family members will be able to benefit from the many advantages that come with the permit, which include having the opportunity to travel within the Schengen area.

Freedom of movement in Europe with the Golden Visa

International visitors that have the COVID passport will be once again be welcome to enjoy island-hopping in the beautiful islands in Greece, savor the tapas, paellas and claras along with other exquisite dishes in Spain, and experience the magnificent climate of Portugal; all of this will once again be possible with the Digital Green Certificate, and with the Golden Visa, investors and their family can choose to shift from a summer-long stay, to a permanent address.

On the other hand, if the purchase of real estate in these touristic countries is not for residing, but for business, entrepreneurs that apply for the Golden Visa can use the properties that they buy for short-term rental business (Airbnb) and profit from the beautiful and touristic countries of Europe. In line with this, the vaccination certificate will provide assurance and be advantageous to EU countries, as well as to international entrepreneurs that decide to invest through the Golden Visa.

 

New regulations about the Portugal Golden Visa have been implemented recently by the Portuguese government. The changes are about the requirements of real estate and the capital transfers investment. These updates will take effect on 1st January 2022.

Real state updates:

  • Investors will not be able to invest in areas with high-density population such as Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, as well as coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast.
  • In inland territories or in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, only real estate investors will be eligible to acquire the Portugal Golden Visa if the housing properties are worth €280K and up (acquisition) than or equal to €350K (rehabilitation).

Capital transfers changes:

  • The requirement of the amount of the capital transfer will increase from 1 million euros to 1.5 million euros.
  • The minimum subscription requirement of the Investment Fund will increase from 350,000€ to 500,000€.
  • Will increase investment in research from 350,000€ to 500,000€.
  • Investment into an existing Portugal-registered business will increase from 350,000€ to 500,000€.

It has to be taken into account that applicants have until the end of 2021 to take advantage of the current Portugal Golden Visa scheme.

The suspended rules of the Golden Visa of Portugal will continue in 2022

Due to the COVID pandemic, the government’s new Portugal Golden Visa rules had been suspended in 2020. They are now scheduled to move forward again. In fact, legislative amendments to Portugal’s Golden Visa program will go into effect in January 2022, preventing investors from buying properties in the areas named above.

These changes of the Portugal Golden Visa are designed to drive investment in low-density locations of the country, relieving pressure from metropolitan areas and encouraging foreign investment in other areas of Portugal.

Portugal Golden Visa new rules: the property sector expected to be affected

Real estate professionals have expressed concern about the changes, as they can hurt the real estate market. Therefore, it was expected that the suspended changes of Portugal Golden Visa would not go ahead.

However, the Golden Visa new rules will help boost low-density areas and balance out the property market.

There are low density areas with high growth potential that offer excellent property locations for Portugal Golden Visa investors and their families. Some examples are Douro Valley, Aljezur and Peneda Gerês. For only €280K, individuals can invest in low-density areas renovation projects and become eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa Program.

Will the Portugal Golden Visa changes impact existing investment in Porto and Lisbon?

You will not be impacted by the Portugal Golden Visa updates if you are in the process of purchasing a property in a high-density town.

However, if you are interested in purchasing a property in Lisbon, Porto or the Algarve, now is the time to do so as changes, because the new rules will come into effect on the 1st of January 2022.

The rest of Golden Visa’s investment routes will not be affected by the updates and will remain available. If you are not particularly interested in investing in real estate, the Portugal investment fund golden visa is a very attractive investment route. You can become a Portuguese resident for a minimum investment of 350,000€.

Portuguese Golden Visa, acquisition process

To apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa, applicants must prepare their documents and submit their residence application. Upon approval and payment of the permit issue fee, the residence certificate will be released with a validity of one year. In order to successfully obtain the permit, applicants must stay in the country for at least 7 days during the first year, and 14 days in the two following years.

Once you have the Portuguese Golden Visa, you will have the option to later apply for Portuguese citizenship, wherein you will be a holder of one of the most valuable passports: the Portuguese passport.

Are you interested in the Golden Visa Portugal? Contact us

Due to the crisis of COVID-19 the spanish government has adopted urgent and extraordinary measures that cover many different areas of business activity. The most significant in each area are summarized below.

Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of 17 March, on urgent and extraordinary measures to deal with the economic and social impact of COVID-19

Individual protection measures

  • The supply of electrical energy, natural gas and water cannot be suspended for vulnerable, severely vulnerable or socially excluded consumers.
  • Measures are adopted to seek a moratorium on mortgage debt for the purchase of the habitual residence of those who are experiencing extraordinary difficulties in meeting their payments as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The benefit of exemption is granted to the guarantors or mortgage guarantors who are in a situation of vulnerability.
  • Electronic communications services and broadband connectivity are guaranteed to all current users during the state of alarm.
  • The term to return any purchased product is suspended during the validity of the alarm state and will be resumed at the end of the validity of the royal decree law.

Measures to ensure liquidity and financial

  • The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation will provide up to one hundred billion Euros (100,000,000,000 Euros) in guarantees for financing granted by credit institutions, financial credit establishments and electronic money and payment institutions, to companies and self-employed persons who need it to meet their needs arising from the management of invoices, working capital requirements, financial or tax obligations or other liquidity needs.
  • The ICO’s net debt limit is increased by ten billion (10,000,000,000) euros in order to increase the ICO lines of financing for companies and the self-employed.
  • A line of insurance coverage of up to two billion (2,000,000,000) euros is authorized for the working capital loans required by the export company from the Internationalization Risk Reserve Fund, for certain small and medium-sized companies with liquidity problems due to the impact of the crisis generated by COVID-19.

Extraordinary measures for associations or foundations

  • Companies, associations or foundations may hold the meetings of their governing bodies by videoconference.
  • Likewise, companies, associations or foundations are allowed to adopt resolutions of their governing bodies in writing and without a meeting, with conditions.
  • The period of three months from the end of the financial year for the preparation of the annual accounts is suspended.
  • Until the end of the state of alert, the right of separation of the partners is suspended.

Tax measures

The following measures have been adopted in the area of taxation:

  1. Measures to guarantee liquidity
  • Suspension of tax deadlines

With regard to the tax deadlines, measures have been taken to extend or suspend them.

– Extension of time limits in administrative procedures

The following deadlines that started before the entry into force of the royal decree – law are extended until April 30, 2020:

  •  The deadlines for payment of tax debts provided for in the article resulting from administrative settlements.
  •  The deadlines for attending requirements, seizure proceedings and requests for information with tax implications, as well as the deadlines for making allegations in the opening of such proceedings or in the following hearings:
    • Tax application procedures.
    • Penalty procedures.
    • Nullification procedures.
    • Procedures for refund of undue income.
    • Procedures for rectification of material errors and revocation.
  • Time limits for enforcement of guarantees on property in the context of administrative enforcement procedures.
  • The time limits for attending requests and information requests from the General Directorate of Cadastre.

Also extended until 20 May 2020, among other things, the deadlines for voluntary and enforced payments of settled tax debts and the due dates of instalments and instalment agreements already granted.

 

Labour and social measures

  •  Measures to avoid layoffs due to temporary adjustments in business activity
    • With regard to temporary employment regulations (ERTEs) due to economic, technical, organizational and production reasons related to the COVID:   These are understood to be those that have their direct cause in losses of activity as a consequence of COVID-19, including the declaration of the state of alarm, which imply the suspension or cancellation of activities, temporary closure of premises with public affluence, restrictions on public transport and, in general, on the mobility of people and/or goods, lack of supplies that seriously impede the continuation of the ordinary development of the activity, or in urgent and extraordinary situations due to contagion of the workforce or the adoption of preventive isolation measures decreed by the health authority, which are duly accredited.  Similarly, the requirements for extraordinary benefits due to cessation of activity are made more flexible.
  • Distance working or teleworking is encouraged
  • Adapting the timetable and reducing the working day
    • Workers who can prove that they have a duty of care towards their spouse or partner, as well as towards family members by blood up to the second degree of the working person, shall have the right to have their working day adapted and/or reduced.
    • Likewise, exceptional circumstances will be considered to exist when there are decisions adopted by the governmental authorities related to the COVID-19 that imply the closure of educational centres or those of any other nature that provide care or attention to the person in need of them, and when the exceptional circumstances that require the presence of the working person concur, when the person who up until now had been responsible for the direct care or assistance of the spouse or relative up to the second degree of the working person could not continue to do so for justified reasons related to the COVID-19.
    • The right to adapt the working day may refer to the distribution of working time or to any other aspect of working conditions, and may consist of a change of shift, alteration of timetable, flexible timetable, split or continuous working day, change of workplace, change of functions, change in the form of provision of work, including distance working, or any other reasonable and proportionate measure, taking into account the temporary and exceptional nature.
  •  However, the employment measures that have been adopted will be subject to the company’s commitment to maintain employment for a period of six months from the date of resumption of the activity.

The state of alert has been extended for a further 15 days, until 11 April, with the support of the Congress of Deputies.

New measures have been adopted, which are summarised below:

  1. To provide that all the Autonomous Communities take charge of the private residences for the elderly.
  2. Apply generalised restrictions on travel for one month.
  3. The Armed Forces will extend their actions in the transfer of patients, protecting critical infrastructures, and supporting the transport of medical material and connections with the islands.
  4. Establish a home food delivery service for people from risk groups.
  5. Establish a strategic reserve of health products.