New rules for the granting of residence permits for foreign nationals wishing to invest in Portugal came into effect on November 26.

It was approved under the Program “Capitalizar”, Law no. 102/2017, proceeds to the fifth amendment to the Law that establishes the legal regime for entry, stay, exit and removal of foreigners from the national territory.

Among other changes, Law No. 102/2017 extends the types of investment considered eligible for the granting of Residence Permit for Investment Activity (ARI), better known as ‘Gold Visas’.

Since 26 November, this type of residence permit can also be granted to foreigners who transfer capital of € 350,000 or more: for the creation of a commercial company based in Portugal, together with the creation of five permanent jobs; or to reinforce the share capital of a company already incorporated, with the creation or maintenance of a minimum of five permanent posts, and for a minimum period of three years.

On the other hand, the minimum amount of investment necessary to obtain ARI is reduced from €500.000 to €350.000, in the case of transfer of capital destined to the acquisition of units of investment funds or Venture(risk) capital dedicated to the capitalization of companies.

With the change now introduced, the Government intends to diversify the type of investment raised and, above all, to reinforce investment in the creation and capitalization of companies.

Gold Visas granted blocked several months ago

In cumulative terms, the ‘Visas Gold’ scheme, created in 2012, attracted more than 3,223 million euros, of which 2,911 million came from real estate investment. If in the first half of this year the slowdown in the granting of residence permits for investment was pointed out, Luís Lima, president of the Association of Professionals and Companies of Real Estate Mediation of Portugal (APEMIP), in statements to Antena 1, speaks now of a complete block, and he is sorry for the loss in foreign investment.

Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF), which is responsible for granting visas, does accept the “blocking” accusation, but admits delays of up to three months, for example in Lisbon, where the pressure is greatest. In the middle of this year, the creation of a special service line was announced and the final phase of a process of recruiting almost 100 new SEF inspectors is now taking place.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive in relation to the matters covered here and was made with the support of the and article from “vida imobiliária” 28/11/2017.