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Law 29/2012, published in the Official Gazette on 9 August 2012, amends the Portuguese immigration legislation and creates a special residence card for investors (the so-called “Golden Visa”).

The amendments entered into force on 8 October 2012.

On 28 January 2013, the authorities introduced changes to these regulations, which make the regime more flexible. These changes are reflected in this document.

With the aim of attracting foreign investment to Portugal, the Portuguese Government has created a special residence card for investors (Golden Visa) for non-EU nationals who wish to invest in Portugal. This residence card will also allow the investor to travel within the Schengen area.

Requirements:

For purposes of obtaining the Golden Visa, the applicant should meet at least one of the following conditions:

i) A transfer of capital to Portugal of at least EUR 1,000,000;

ii) Creation of at least 10 new jobs in Portugal;

iii) Acquisition of real estate in Portugal with the value of, at least, EUR 500,000.

The individual may carry out the investment directly or through a company with its registered head office in Portugal, provided that it meets one of the above requirements. However, when the investment is made through a company, the investment amount considered for purposes of granting a Golden Visa will be proportional to the share capital held by the applicant.

The requirements should be maintained during a minimum period of 5 years counting from the date the residence card is issued for the first time.

Evidence of the Requirements Evidence that the requirements are met may be provided as follows:

i) Transfer of capital to Portugal: a statement issued by a financial institution registered in Portugal; or an updated statement from the Commercial Registry/Portuguese Stock Market Regulator supporting the share capital held by the applicant; or statement from the Board of Directors and certified financial statements;

ii) Creation of 10 new jobs: a statement issued by the Portuguese Social Security confirming the registration of the employees;

iii) Acquisition of real estate: real estate registration certificate; or promissory contract before the initial application for the Golden Visa, provided that a deposit of a minimum of EUR 500,000 is paid.

Validity

The first residence card (Golden Visa) is valid for one year and should be applied for at the Portuguese Foreign Services during the first 90 days of presence in Portugal. This residence card may then be renewed for successive periods of two years, provided that the conditions are maintained.

To be able to renew the Golden Visa, its holder should stay at least 7 days in Portugal during the first year of validity and at least 14 days during each of the two-year renewal period.

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