According to Regulatory Decree No. 84/2007, of 5 November, which has already undergone changes, the last being on 2 September 2015 by Regulatory Decree No. 15-A / 2005, and which regulates the legal regime of foreigners in national territory.
The Residence Authorization Program, for Investment (ARI) also known as “Visa Gold” or Golden Visa, was created in Portugal in 2012, having been granted more than 4,200 Gold Visas, representing more than 2.5 billion euros of investment in the country, with the aim of attracting foreign citizens to live and invest in Portugal.
Golden Visa can be granted to citizens of third states (outside the EU) who make an investment in Portugal, and who configure one of the following situations:
- Capital transfer of at least 1 million euros to Portugal
- The creation of at least 10 jobs in Portugal
- The purchase of real estate in Portugal in the amount of at least 500,000 euros
- Acquisition of real estate in Portuguese urban areas at least 30 years old, worth at least 350,000 euros
- Investment of at least 350,000 euros in scientific research in Portugal
- Investment of at least 250,000 euros in Portuguese arts, culture and heritage
- Investment of at least 500,000 euros in small and medium-sized companies in Portugal.
The Investment Activity must be carried out at the time of submission of the application for a residence permit and must be maintained for a minimum period of 5 years, counting from the date of the respective granting of the residence permit.
For the purposes of renewal, applicants must demonstrate that they have remained in national territory for at least 7 days, consecutive or interpolated, in the first year; and 14 days, consecutive or interpolated, in each of the subsequent 2-year periods.
Residents in Portugal, for a period of more than 6 years, are granted, under certain conditions, the possibility to apply for Portuguese nationality.
Those who have a Golden Visa are entitled to:
- Living and working in Portugal, as long as they reside in Portugal for a minimum period of seven days in the first year of residence and 14 days in each subsequent year
- Visa-free entry to Schengen area countries
- Some family members can also take up residence in Portugal
- Access to Portuguese healthcare and education
- Invest freely in Portuguese real estate
How to apply for Golden Visa
The Golden Visa application can be submitted online through the website of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), it can be made through a duly appointed legal representative, or you can apply in person (by the applicant or designated legal representative) for the Nearest Regional Directorate or local branch of SEF.
Along with the order, you will need to send the following documents:
- Passport or valid travel ID
- Proof of legal entry into Portugal (eg short-stay Schengen visa)
- Proof of health insurance (issued in the past three months)
- Criminal record certificate from the country of origin / residence (issued in the last three months)
- Evidence of compliance with tax and social security obligations
- Receipt of payment of Portuguese gold visa fees.
Processing for Golden visa could take months. Once the SEF has been processed, it contacts the candidate (or their legal representatives) to make an appointment.
The costs of obtaining a Portuguese gold visa include the following:
- Processing fee (order and renewal) - EUR 514.80 (plus EUR 80.20 per family member)
- Golden Visa Initial - EUR 5,147.80
- Golden Visa for family members - EUR 5,147.80
- Golden Visa renewal - EUR 2,573.90
Portuguese gold visa fees are paid directly to SEF.
The NHR regime was created in 2009 and reformulated three years later and provides that workers with high added-value professions can benefit from a special 20% IRS rate and that pensioners retired from another country can enjoy exemption from the payment of IRS, if there is a Double Taxation Agreement and this gives the country of residence (Portugal) the right to tax it.
It should be noted that each non-habitual resident can benefit from this tax regime for a maximum period of 10 years.
Fixed rate of 20% for income from dependent work (category A) and self-employment (category B) obtained in Portugal, derived from activities with high added value.
Income from dependent work earned outside Portugal is not subject to tax in Portugal if it is taxed in the country of origin.
Income from self-employment, obtained outside Portugal, from a high added-value activity, is not subject to taxation in Portugal, as long as income can be taxed in the country of origin under a tax agreement signed between Portugal and the respective country.
0% tax on interest, dividends and royalties obtained outside Portugal, and if taxed in the countries of origin, the respective taxation should not exceed the reduced rates established in the tax agreements signed between Portugal and the respective countries that vary between 5% and 15 %.
Foreign pensions subject to a fixed rate of 10%.
The tax regime is granted for a period of 10 years with the possibility of suspension and resumption of the regime.
Other Tax Advantages:
In Portugal there is no tax on large fortunes, except for the “Additional to the Municipal Property Tax” - AIMI - a tax between 0.4% and 0.7%, which is levied on the sum of real estate intended for housing or land for construction, owned by individuals or companies, with a value of more than € 600,000).
Donations and inheritances are totally exempt from taxation for ascendants, descendants and spouses. In relation to the other beneficiaries, a 10% Stamp Duty rate is applied.
The sale of foreign goods is not subject to Stamp Duty.
Exemption from taxation of capital gains from the sale of own and permanent residence provided that the income is reinvested in another own and permanent residence in Portugal, the European Union or the European Economic Area.
Exemption from taxes on income or gains derived from cryptocurrencies.
Exemption from taxation of capital gains in the sale of second-hand goods of value: art, automobiles and other collectors' goods.
Who can apply:
Individuals, foreign or Portuguese, who have not been tax residents in Portugal during the last 5 years.
Individuals who are considered tax residents in Portugal in the year they intend to apply for RNH status. For tax purposes, a resident of Portuguese territory is considered to be:
the individual who has stayed in Portuguese territory for more than 183 days; or
having stayed less time, have a home in Portuguese territory, on December 31 of that year, in conditions that suggest the intention of maintaining it and occupying it as a habitual residence.
Deadline to apply for:
The tax status of Non-Habitual Resident (RNH), must be requested to the Portuguese tax authorities at the time of registration as a tax resident in Portuguese territory, or until March 31 of the following year.