In the framework of the celebration of Portugal Day and in his role as Director of the Chile-Portugal Chamber of Commerce, Apparcel Uriarte & Vassallo (AUV) Partner, Matías Apparcel, was invited to talk with a number of Chilean media about the residency by investment program, also known as the Golden Visa, promoted by Portugal.

The Golden Visa is a program for investors who are outside the European Union (EU) to obtain a valid residence permit in Portugal, created by the country to attract investment and develop the national economy. The visa is conducive to Portuguese citizenship.

The Portugal Golden Visa investment requirements begin at € 280,000 for direct investment in real estate.

“This is one of the most sought-after investment programs for residence in the world today, because investors do not need to live in Portugal to obtain a residence permit. The investment amount is relatively low compared to visas from other countries, and it grants qualified investors and their immediate family the right to live, work and study in Portugal, in addition to move freely in Europe’s Schengen countries,” explained Matías Apparcel.

“Portugal’s Golden Visa is highly regarded in the rest of the world, given the country’s privileged position in Europe and for being one of the countries with the best living standards in the world,” the Chile-Portugal Chamber of Commerce Director added. Indeed, the country was rated by Forbes as one of the best places to live in 2021. The specialized site Expat Insider rated Portugal as the best place in Europe for expatriates in 2021, for its outstanding quality of life. This was highlighted by the programs “Privileged Information” on Radio Duna, “Something to Talk About” on Radio El Conquistador Red Sur, and “Good Morning Market” on Radio El Conquistador Santiago.

So far, the visa program has attracted investments of more than € 5 billion since its inception in 2012. This is a fast-track visa, which means that the country will process and accelerate the approval of a visa more expeditiously, since it is a mutual benefit program that looks to boost the Portuguese economy.

Advantages of the Golden Visa Portugal

  1. Residence in Portugal: Live and work in Portugal. This provides access to Portuguese state benefits, including the health and education system.
  2. Entry to Europe: Visa exemption to enter Portugal and travel, live or work in any country within the 26 Schengen countries. In addition, it allows you to travel to 186 countries without the need for a visa.
  3. Extension to families: Golden Visa benefits can be extended to the immediate family (spouse, underaged children, children over 18 years of age who continue to study and are financially dependent on the applicant, or parents who are also financially dependent on the applicant).
  4. Portuguese citizenship and passport: A person can apply for Portuguese citizenship, provided that they have resided legally in Portugal for at least 5 years, for which they must have periodically renewed their Golden Visa and complied with other legal requirements such as demonstrating Portuguese language skills and having a connection with Portugal.

Investment alternatives to obtain the Golden Visa Portugal

Direct investment in real estate: The acquisition of real estate worth at least € 500,000, which decreases to € 350,000 if the investment is made in real estate built more than 30 years ago and with a commitment to remodel. These amounts are reduced by 20% for properties located in low-population density areas, starting from € 280,000 for properties at least 30 years old and € 400,000 for newer properties.

Participation in Investment Funds: A capital transfer of at least € 350,000 in investment funds or venture capital funds for the capitalization of companies constituted in accordance with Portuguese legislation. In these funds, at least 60% of the investment must be made in Portuguese assets.

While investments in real estate and funds are the most common and straightforward, there are other ways of investing to obtain the Golden Visa. These alternatives include:

Transfer of € 1,000,000 in capital to a Portuguese financial institution for a period of 5 years; the creation or acquisition of a Portuguese company that creates 10 new permanent jobs for 5 years; investment of at least € 350,000 in a company that creates 5 new permanent jobs for a minimum of 5 years; at least € 350,000 investment in scientific or technological research carried out by public or private institutions in Portugal; or the donation of at least € 250,000 to support artistic production or the recovery or conservation of cultural heritage.

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