New golden visa rules in 2022. What will change?

Starting in January 2022, getting a golden visa in Portugal has new rules. ECO News has prepared a guide with all the changes.

From January 1, 2022, applying for a golden visa in Portugal will have different rules. The most important has to do with buying a house, which will only be possible in the country’s interior regions and on the islands. And for investors who want to invest capital in other ways, the minimum investment amounts will also increase.

The State Budget for 2021 (OE2021) foresaw new rules to the golden visa regime, however, a decree now published in the country’s Official Journal pushes these same changes to next year, because of the Pandemic. In other words, the new rules will only come into force on January 1, 2022.

New real estate rules

Current law stipulates that a visa can be granted after the purchase of property worth at least 500,000 euros or 350,000 euros with older properties. However, from January 1, 2022, this will change. These two conditions will only apply to housing properties located in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira or in the interior territories.

In other words, acquiring a housing property in Lisbon or Porto for the above minimum values will no longer give the right to a golden visa. In the Metropolitan Area of Porto, for example, you can only acquire a property to obtain a visa in the municipalities of Arouca and Vale de Cambra. And in the Algarve, only in the municipalities of Alcoutim, Aljezur, Castro Marim, Monchique and Vila do Bispo.

However, investors will still be able to get a visa by buying commercial property, such as an office or retail space, anywhere in the country.

Changes also in capital transfers

The golden visas will also suffer changes regarding required investment values, increasing the minimum investment amounts, such as for when opting for capital transfers (increases from 1 million euros to 1,5 million euros) or for investing in scientific research activities (increases from 350,000 euros to 500,000 euros).

At last, to get a golden visa through investment into an existing Portugal-registered business, the minimum amount will also increase from 350,000 euros to 500,000 euros.

The options available to get a golden visa starting in 2022

  • Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 1.5 million euros;
  • The creation of, at least, 10 job positions;
  • The purchase of real estate property with a value equal to or above 500.000 euros (but only in the country’s interior and in the islands);
  • The purchase of real estate property (only in country’s interior and in the islands), with construction dating back more than 30 years or located in urban regeneration areas, for refurbishing, for a total value equal to or above 350,000 euros;
  • Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 500,000 euros for investing in research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions involved in the national scientific or technologic system;
  • Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 250,000 euros for investing in artistic output or supporting the arts, for reconstruction or refurbishment of the national heritage, through the local and central authorities, public institutions, public corporate sector, public foundations, private foundations of public interest, networked local authorities, local corporate sector organizations, local associations and public cultural associations, pursuing activities of artistic output, and reconstruction or maintenance of the national heritage;
  • Capital transfer of the amount of 500,000 euros, or higher, for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital fund of funds dedicated to the capitalisation of companies, capital injected under the Portuguese legislation, whose maturity, at the moment of the investment, is, at least, of five years and, at least, 60% of the investments is realized in commercial companies with head office in national territory;
  • Capital transfer of the amount of 500,000 euros, or higher, for the constitution of a commercial society with head office in the national territory, combined with the creation of five permanent working jobs, or for the reinforcement of the share capital of a commercial society with head office in national territory, already existing, with the creation or keeping of working jobs, with a minimum of five permanent jobs, and for a minimum period of three years;
  • A minimum investment of 500,000 euros in the establishment of a commercial company with head office in Portugal, which creates five permanent jobs, or in the reinforcement of the share capital of an already established commercial company, through the creation or maintenance of jobs, with a minimum of five permanent jobs, and for a minimum period of three years;

Where and how to apply for a golden visa?

To apply for a golden visa, foreigner citizens must pre-register online in the ARI Portal. It should be noted that the Portuguese government has also announced that golden visa applications will now be digitalized, as a way to reduce bureaucracy and create a faster application process.