Europe’s most popular Golden Visa program, which has raised some €3.3 billion of FDI (€2.9bn of which in real estate investment) since its beginning in 2013, has launched a capital transfer option that will allow applicants to obtain a “Residence Permit for Investment Activity” (ARI) in exchange for a €350,000 investment in new or existing companies, or in investment funds, reports Fonseca Santos & Associates.
In a bid to diversify foreign investment in the country, which, under the Golden Visa program, has come overwhelmingly in the form of property investment, Portuguese lawmakers have introduced amendments they believe will help spur investment in both new and existing private sector companies.
According to Law 102/2017, which came into effect on November 26th, third-country nationals can qualify for Portugal’s Golden Visa under two separate capital transfer options:
- The transfer of capital amounting to (euro) 350,000 or more, for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds for the capitalization of companies, which are set up under Portuguese law, whose maturity at the time of the investment is at least five years and at least 60% of the value of the investments is carried out in commercial companies based in the national territory;
- the transfer of capital amounting to € 350,000 or more, for the purpose of setting up a commercial company with its head office in Portugal, together with the creation of five permanent posts or to increase the share capital of a company with headquarters in the national territory, already established, with the creation or maintenance of jobs, with a minimum of five permanent, and for a minimum period of three years.
The program has for some time also offered qualifying alternative investment types at a discount, none of which have been particularly popular, and which include:
- Acquisition of immovable property, the construction of which has been completed for at least 30 years or located in an area of urban rehabilitation and rehabilitation of acquired real estate, with a total amount equal to or greater than (euro) 350,000;
- Transfer of capital amounting to (euro) 350,000 or more, which is applied in research activities carried out by public or private scientific research institutions, integrated into the national scientific and technological system;
- Transfer of capital amounting to EUR 250 000 or more, for investment or support for artistic production, restoration or maintenance of the national cultural heritage, through direct central and peripheral administration services, public institutes, public foundations, private foundations with public utility status, intermunicipal entities, entities that integrate the local business sector, municipal associative entities and public cultural associations, that carry out assignments in the area of artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage;