Residency

GOLDEN VISA / RESIDENCE PERMIT

European Union / Switzerland / European Economic Area countries citizens may freely register as Portuguese Residents.

The Golden Residence Permit is an opportunity for other foreign nationals to obtain Portuguese residence, by undertaking qualified investment activities.

The Golden Residence Permit, created by a 2012 law, has a one-year validity from its issuance date, after which is renewable for successive two-year periods, and like other Portuguese residence permits enables free travel within the Schengen Area.

This temporary residence permit is granted to foreign investors who directly or through a single shareholder limited company undertake an investment in Portugal that meets one of the following requirements:

    Minimum real-estate investment of:

      - 350.000 Euros in the acquisition and renovation of real-estate built more than 30 years ago or located in qualified urban rehabilitation areas, reduced to 280.000 Euros if located in so defined as low density areas; or

      - 500.000 Euros in the acquisition of real-estate, reduced to 400.000 Euros if located in so defined as low density areas; or

    Minimum capital transfer to Portugal of:

      - 500.000 Euros, if destined to acquire participations in investment or venture capital funds specialized in capitalizing small and medium-sized companies; or

      - 1 million Euros for investment in any other financial assets, namely through the incorporation (share capital) of a Portuguese company, e.g. an IBCM company; or

    • The investment creates at least 10 jobs in Portugal; reduced to 8 if the company is located in a so defined as low density area; or

    Minimum of 350.000 Euros invested in scientific research developed by qualified entities, reduced to 280.000 Euros for investments in so defined as low density areas; or

    Minimum of 250.000 Euros in investment or support of artistic production, or qualified recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage, through accredited institutions, reduced to 200.000 Euros for investments in so defined as low density areas.

Investment undertaken through a company requires that the head-office is located in Portugal or in another EU country, provided there is a permanent establishment in Portugal.

The investment must be maintained for a minimum period of five years from the Golden Residence Permit issuance.

The permit renewal demands that its holder should stay, consecutive days or not, at least 7 days in Portugal during the first year and at least 14 days during each of the two-year renewal periods.

The holders of the permit are allowed to work in Portugal, with the option of maintaining residence abroad. The right to family reunification provides that immediate family members are also eligible for a residence permit.

After 5 years permit holders may require permanent residency, for which they will be tested for basic knowledge of the Portuguese language; and after 6 years Portuguese citizenship and consequently Portuguese passport, may be applied for.

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SPECIAL TAX REGIME FOR NON-HABITUAL RESIDENTS

Part of a broader strategy to attract foreign investment (and Ultra and High Net Worth Individuals) and increase its economic competiveness, becoming a premium real estate location as well as one of the leading EU countries in R&D and new technologies, in 2009 Portugal introduced a privileged (voluntary) Personal Income Tax regime for non-habitual residents, intendent to attract:

    Skilled professionals in high added value activities, of scientific, artistic or technical nature;

    Entrepreneurs and investors (know-how, intellectual and industrial property);

    Retired individuals, beneficiaries of pension schemes granted abroad.

These will be tax exempt regarding most foreign income, while benefiting from a reduced taxation on some Portuguese income, provided some conditions are met.


QUALIFYING FOR THE NON-HABITUAL RESIDENCY STATUS

The non-habitual resident tax regime is available to applicants that meet all of the following conditions:

    1. Are entitled to Portuguese residency;

    2. Have not been taxed as Portuguese residents in the 5 years prior to acquiring Portuguese residence;

    3. Apply for Portuguese tax residency.

The non-habitual resident status, for tax purposes, applies for a consecutive 10-year period, provided that the conditions for maintaining Portuguese tax residency are fulfilled during each year of that period.


WHAT IS “SPECIAL” ABOUT THE NON-HABITUAL TAX REGIME?

Portugal applies the Personal Income Tax (PIT) according to the following table:

Taxpayer Taxable Income for PIT purposes

Portuguese Residents

Taxed on worldwide income

Non-Habitual Residents

Tax exempt regarding most foreign income

Taxed at a reduced flat rate of 20% (plus a surcharge of 3,5%) on Portuguese income from employment and self-employment / business income, derived from high added value activities, of scientific, artistic or technical nature, as well as from intellectual or industrial property, or resulting from the provision of industrial, commercial or scientific information.

Non-Residents

Taxed on income obtained in Portugal

Included in the classification of high added value activities, of scientific, artistic or technical nature are for example: architects, engineers, medical doctors, university professors, designers, IT specialists, plastic artists, musicians, actors, investors, corporate managers and directors, and others.

Investors will only have a privileged treatment of their Portuguese source income, regarding their earnings as directors / upper management.

Golden Visa holders, may choose to remain as Non-Residents for tax purposes. When applying for Portuguese Residence, they may benefit from the Non-Habitual Resident regime or decide to be taxed as regular Portuguese Residents.

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