visa: How Portugal Golden Visa changes from 2022

Located in the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is one of the most developed countries in the world, with a high GDP per capita of more than 11 times that of India, a high life expectancy of 80.68 years, a rate basic literacy of 99.44%, excellent institutions of higher learning and the 12th best public health system in the world. Its picturesque coastline dotted with quaint shops and old cafes, its highly diverse flora and its pleasant Mediterranean climate have made Portugal one of the most coveted destinations in the world.

The meeting between Portugal and India extends over several centuries. They have left an indelible impact on Indian culture, be it cuisine, religion or the beautiful Baroque-style architecture we see in the coastal state of Goa. The familiarity of Portuguese culture is perhaps one of the reasons why India is one of the top countries in terms of foreign residents, with the number increasing by 39.3% in 2020.

Favorable economic conditions and the prospect of gainful employment have also boosted migration to Portugal, with the country issuing more and more new residence permits each year. Of all new residence permits issued between 2016 and 2020, Indians acquired more than 7,172, placing our country in third place only behind Brazil and the United Kingdom.

Interestingly, the Autorização de Residência para Investimento (ARI), better known as the Portugal Golden Visa (PGV) is a route that is quickly becoming a favorite for those aspiring to acquire residency. The Portugal Golden Visa is a permanent residency visa for non-EU foreign nationals who invest in the country through different avenues, either by investing capital, acquiring real estate or creating investment opportunities.

The program is seen as a relatively easier way to obtain alternative residency in Portugal, particularly due to its low physical presence requirement (investors are only required to live in Portugal 7-14 days per year). Additionally, the process of applying for approval takes just under a year.

Investment options currently start from €280,000 if you invest in a property in a Portuguese low-density urban regeneration area and can make you eligible for citizenship as early as five years. Options also include investing a minimum of €350,000 in an eligible fund regulated by the Portuguese CMVM (Securities Market Commission), buying real estate worth at least €500 000 €, the investment of at least 1 million euros in a company or the creation of at least 10 jobs. for Portuguese nationals, among others.

Some of these figures, however, are expected to change from January 1, 2022. Following the new legislative sanctions authorized by the 2020 State Finance Law, the Portuguese Council of Ministers has confirmed a number of changes to the Portugal Golden program Visa. Most minimum investment amounts should see an increase of at least 50%.

The minimum investment by capital contribution will now be €1.5 million, compared to €1 million previously, while that by research, for the creation or strengthening of a commercial company which will create at least 5 full-time jobs , and by investment funds or venture capital funds will increase from €350,000 to €500,000.

Although the minimum investment amount in real estate will not change, buying residential property in the coastal cities of Lisbon, Porto and the southernmost region of the Algarve, which were hotspots in the real estate, will no longer be an option. This was done in order to control booming property prices in these popular scenic destinations, which saw a 6.8% increase in 2020, and to redirect investment to low-density areas of the country.

The investment option for the rehabilitation of old commercial properties with a minimum of €280,000 for low density areas and €350,000 for others will remain unchanged even in the new year.

The author is the founder and executive chairman of LCR Capital Partners.

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