Change of Law – Golden Visa (Updated on October 2023)
Portugal’s’ Golden Visa program offers residency to non-EU citizens who wish to invest in Portugal. After passing through the 5-year program, applicants are entitled to apply for permanent residency or citizenship.
Starting from October 2023, under the new Portuguese law, applicant can invest designated funds (private equity and venture capital) in Portugal in order to apply for the Golden Visa.
Under the new constitutional law in Portugal, the current viable option for the Golden Visa is investing in designated investment funds in Portugal. The minimum investment amount is 500,000 euros, and the investment period is at least five years, until permanent residency or citizenship is obtained. These funds must allocate at least 60% of their investments to companies headquartered in Portugal and cannot directly or indirectly invest in the real estate market.
In Portugal, the establishment of funds requires approval and scrutiny from the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM). The subsequent investment operations of the funds are also subject to continuous supervision by the CMVM. As for the safety of investors’ funds held by custodian banks, they are subject to oversight and regulation by both the Bank of Portugal and the European Central Bank.
In addition to the regulatory oversight during the establishment of funds, fund management companies also adhere to strict standards and policies regarding the subsequent investment direction of the funds. Therefore, investing in funds allows for maximum risk control.
Investment Funds are characterized by not placing all capital into a single business but rather being managed by professional financial teams, allowing for greater diversification of investments to effectively spread risk. Additionally, as an investor, the subscription process for funds is relatively simple, and the fees involved are transparent. When compared to real estate investments, fund investments involve fewer complex procedures, such as property inspections and transfers, thereby reducing the cumbersome processes and increasing investment efficiency.
Most importantly, there are no transaction fees or other government charges for subscribing to or exiting funds. Applicants are also not required to pay land registration fees or stamp duty costs. Furthermore, fund investments are completely tax-free. For individuals who only intend to stay in Portugal for 7 days per year to obtain citizenship, non-tax residents do not have to pay taxes on any profits gained when exiting the fund upon maturity.
When considering the choice of funds, applicants can take into consideration of the background of the fund company and fund manager, the legal structure of the fund, the fund’s category and sector, the investment cycle, the fund’s past performance, and, of course, the most important factor, which is the fund’s investment strategy and expected returns.
We currently offer a variety of eligible investment funds under the new law, this includes：
– Hospitality Fund
– International School Fund
– Food Retail Fund
– Agricultural Fund
– Energy Efficiency Fund
Please get in touch for more information.
It usually takes 9-12 months from preparation of application to visa approval, depending on whether there are any problems on the related application documents.
Provide free telephone consultation to assess the applicant’s background and answer relevant questions
Schedule a face-to-face consultation to discuss the applicant’s situation, eligibility and timeline
Sign the Independent Consultant Agreement
Decide on investment options
Prepare the application documents
Arrange an appointment to obtain a certificate of no criminal record
After the completion of the investment, the we will process and submit the Golden Visa application to the The Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – SEF (English: Foreigners and Borders Service)
After submitting the application, SEF will notify all applicants to travel to Portugal for biometric certification
The processing time of the SEF is generally at least 6 months
The approval letter is issued, and the Portuguese lawyer collects the 2-year period Golden Visa on behalf of the applicant
Apply every 2 years to extend Golden Visa status for 2 years
Passed the A2 level exam and apply for Portuguese permanent residence or citizenship
After a period of discussion, the Portuguese Golden Visa program will continue to operate as confirmed earlier. However, the Portuguese government has officially announced that starting from October 7th, the option of purchasing real estate as a pathway to apply for the Golden Visa will be terminated.
The Golden Visa involves the following SEF fees and third party fees:-
Visa application fee
Initial: EUR539 / Applicant
Extension: EUR539 / Applicant
Golden Visa fees
Initial: EUR5,391 / Applicant
Extension: EUR2,696 / Applicant
Portugal Lawyer Fees
Processing investment and visa applications
Depend on different law firms’ quotation
Third Party Professional and Documentation Fees
Documents apostilled, notarized and translation
Depend on the number of documents
Portugal Tax Accountant Fee
EUR250 / year
*SEF =The Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras
(English: Foreigners and Borders Service)
The government department that processes the relevant applications for the Portuguese Golden Visa
You must pass the Portuguese A2 exam before you apply Portugal Permanent residency/ Citizenship. The A2 level is the ability to communicate in the simple, basic and predictable situations in daily life, such as in workplace and in school.
The Portugal language test (CAPLE) consists of three parts: writing, listening and speaking.
There are many institutions teaching Portuguese in Hong Kong (such as HKU Space, etc.), and applicants can also apply the online course.
CAPLE has 3 examination periods each year, which are May, July and November. Applicants can take the examination at 3 officially recognized institutions in Macau, including:
The exam takes about 2 hours and is structured as follows:
Exam scores range from 0-100 with passing score at 55. Once you passed the exam, you will be issued with a certificate, and the certificate is permanently valid. After completing the 5-year valid temporary residence, the applicant can be eligible to apply for permanent residence or passport.