A Golden Visa is an authorization for entry and residence in Portugal that is granted to citizens from outside the European Union or outside the Schengen Area in exchange for heavy investments in the country. This authorization is also known as an ARI (Portuguese acronym for Residence Permit for Investment).
In this article, we detail everything needed for a US citizen to obtain an ARI in 2022, as well as the associated advantages. Despite the focus on US citizens, the guide applies to any citizen eligible for a Golden Visa.
Can U.S. citizens obtain a Golden Visa?
Yes. Golden Visas are available to people over the age of 18, without a criminal record, who are not citizens of the European Union, Switzerland, or any country in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Why get a Portuguese Golden Visa?
A Golden Visa gives someone the right to work and study in Portugal for five years. During this period it is also possible to travel freely within the Schengen Area without a visa. Whoever is in possession of a Golden Visa can apply for full Portuguese citizenship after five years and acquire a Portuguese passport which allows travel to 188 countries in the world without the need for a visa.
The holder of a residence permit in Portugal is entitled to access Portuguese education, health, and justice services. There are also several benefits of choosing Portugal, such as the tax benefits for US citizens and the country’s high English proficiency.
Do the benefits of a Golden Visa extend to the family?
The ARI includes the right to family reunification. This means that the rights of a Golden Visa holder extend to direct family members and/or dependents. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Spouses or partners,
- Minors or incapacitated children that are dependent on the couple
- Parents or siblings of the Golden Visa holder (or his/her spouse) that are dependent on the couple.
What is needed?
To obtain a Golden Visa you need to (1) invest in Portugal, (2) gather the necessary documents for the application, and (3) visit Portugal for a meeting with the Immigration and Border Service (SEF) to register biometric information. You also need to pay the application processing fees (2022 prices can be consulted on the SEF website).
The first step to obtaining a Golden Visa is to invest in Portugal. There are several ways to do this: namely through venture capital funds, real estate, or research projects. These are some of the main investment routes:
• Venture Capital Funds: investing at least €500.000 in a venture capital company. As explained in this blog, Venture Capital Companies, such as Lince Capital, are public companies with the objective of investing in projects with strong growth and development potential.
• Scientific research projects: investing at least 500.000 € in applied research developed by public or private scientific research institutions that are integrated in the Portuguese scientific and technological system.
• Real estate for residential purposes: a Golden Visa can be obtained by purchasing real estate property with a minimum value of €400.00 (if new) or €280.000 (real estate with more than 30 years in need of renovation). The Golden Visas attributed through real estate purchases are limited to properties in low population density areas. These regions have less than 100 inhabitants per square kilometer or a per capita GDP of less than 75% of the national average. In other words, it is necessary to invest in real estate located in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, or in the interior of Portugal. Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, and coastal cities like Setúbal are not an option.
• Acquisition of Real Estate for Commercial Purposes: investing at least € 500.000 in an established commercial company or using that same amount to create a new commercial company. In each case, at least five new jobs must be created and maintained for five years.
• Job creation and maintenance: It is also possible to get a Golden Visa by creating at least 10 new jobs in Portugal through a company operating in the country. This requirement can be reduced by 20% in low density areas (in these areas it will be enough to create eight jobs).
• Transfer and maintenance of capital: transferring a minimum amount of € 1.500.000,00 to Portugal. The amount must remain in a Portuguese bank account, or be applied for specific purposes such as Portuguese government bonds.
After investing in Portugal it is necessary to create an account to access the ARI online Portal. For this, you need to have a passport, provide an email, detail the type of investment you have made, and share your address and phone number (preferably in Portuguese territory). The remaining documents required vary depending on the investment that is made and the specifics of that investment.
About Lince Capital
Lince’s portfolio provides several options for those looking to obtain a Gold Visa for Portugal through investment funds. The portfolio is diverse with companies and startups from various industry sectors including real estate, healthcare, technology, retail, and manufacturing. If you would like more information about Golden Visas or would like to explore how to invest in Portugal, please feel free to contact us.