Portugal is in the process of updating its Golden Visa programs in 2021, as we had announced some months ago. The changes in the requirements of the Portuguese Golden Visa will encourage international investors to target other areas of the country with low population, rather than in the more popular cities of Porto and Lisbon. This will help the country gain a more balanced environmental and social status, as entrepreneurs must redirect their companies and funds to more remote places than in the typical urban cities. Nevertheless, international investors will still have the opportunity to benefit from this long-term plan, while experiencing the Mediterranean lifestyle in one of the safest countries in Europe.

The new deadline before international investors can acquire their Portuguese Golden Visa through investment in the metropolitan cities of the country is in March 2021; therefore, all the applicants that have submitted their residency permit petition before the end of 2020 are holding their breath for it to be released before the third month of 2021. The new restriction will fully affect investors that are planning to purchase property this year, as Portugal wants to spread the locations where international entrepreneurs are buying real estate.

These modifications in the Portuguese Golden Visa do not change its popularity among investors and their families that want to live, work and study in one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Portugal is consistently on top of the Annual Global Retirement Index for 2020 for its affordable lifestyle, high safety rating and the professional quality of healthcare; the main reasons international investors choose this country as their life plan despite the new restrictions. Aside from these advantages, the Portuguese Golden Visa will give you the right to work in the country, and choose from a variety of schools with a high standard international educational system, which includes 2 of the 10 best European universities. And as part of the Schengen Area, once you acquire the Portuguese Golden Visa, you can travel to the countries that are in the Schengen Zone without the need of another visa. Among the 26 countries that you could visit include Germany, the Netherlands and Finland.

However, the new restrictions in the Portuguese Golden Visa will not apply to the fund investment option or other investment options. Therefore, the investment fund option with a 350,000€ investment minimum remains the best opportunity for entrepreneurs to invest in a start-up or medium-sized project with great development potential. This investment opportunity introduced in 2018 has different sectors regulated by CMVM, Portugal’s regulator, where the applicant can choose to invest in different sectors, such as real estate, technology and industry. The main benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa option are that the sectors are being handled by qualified experts, and the capital that is invested are tax-friendly, where dividends and capital gains are returned to the investor through subsidies or financed by the FDI, the Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento. On the other hand, the Algarve is another alternative for international investors that want to purchase real estate with the new restrictions on the Portuguese Golden Visa. It complies with the minimum requirement to be submitted for its lower density location, compared to more populous cities in Portugal, for as low as 280,000€ or 400,000€.

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.

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