The Portuguese Citizenship by Investment Program is a strategy to attract foreign capital to Portugal, allowing the acquisition of European passports for the family through a specific investment, with only 7 days of annual residency required.
The President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has decided to veto the “Mals Habitação” bill, which aimed to eliminate real estate investment as a pathway to access the Golden Visa. The head of state has returned the legislative proposal to the Assembly of the Republic in Lisbon, providing a new timeframe to apply for the investment residency program and obtain a European passport.
This successful program, also known as the “Golden Visa,” was originally created to stimulate the Portuguese economy and has attracted investments of over seven billion euros to date, with seventy percent allocated to real estate purchases.
In addition to the direct investment option in properties starting from €280,000, the Portuguese program offers various alternatives, including investment in funds, capital transfers to scientific research institutions, contributions to artistic production, or the preservation of Portuguese cultural heritage, such as investing in films primarily shot in Portuguese territory. Notably, this includes the option to invest in the production of a film featuring, among others, Spanish actor Antonio Banderas.
The Portuguese Golden Visa program stands out among other European programs because it does not require investors to relocate to Portugal; they can continue residing in their home country. In terms of minimum stay, participants in the program only need to visit the country for 7 days per year for five years, making it a unique program. In contrast, the equivalent program in Spain requires Latin American investors to live in the country for at least 18 months in a two-year period to obtain Spanish passports for the family.
Once the investment is made, the investor and their family are granted the right to live, work, and study in Portugal, along with the freedom to move within the 27 Schengen countries for five years, with the possibility of obtaining Portuguese citizenship or a passport at the end of that period. After obtaining the passport, it is not necessary for the investor to maintain the investment.
“This program is focused on individuals who want to diversify their assets without needing to leave Chile but wish to obtain a European passport with all the associated family benefits,” says Matías Apparcel, partner at Apparcel Uriarte Abogados, the only Chilean firm in Portugal and director of the Chile-Portugal Chamber of Commerce.
Benjamín Valdivia, from the AIM Global agency based in Santiago and Lisbon, also indicated that the company provides expert advice to explore various investment alternatives (whether in funds, real estate, or audiovisual productions) and offers assistance throughout the process without the client needing to relocate to Portugal.
“We advise Chilean investors and family offices interested in investing in Portugal, whether or not it is for obtaining a European passport. We have created a private investment fund with Chilean farmers looking to buy land and take advantage of the European counter-season to maintain their production throughout the year. If we add obtaining a Portuguese passport for the farmer’s family to this, it is truly a win-win.” Link to the news article: Diario Financiero