There are certain investment options you can choose to get a Portugal Golden Visa. While most investors choose to buy real estate to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa program, the investment fund option is now on the rise as well.
What is a Portugal Golden Visa?
The Portugal Golden Visa program is a residency by investment program. Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens can invest in the country and obtain residency in Portugal, as well as other benefits brought with the visa.
- The program grants you temporary residency in Portugal. When you fulfill the minimum stay requirement, you can also apply for permanent residency and citizenship,
- The minimum stay requirement is only seven days per year. So, you don’t even need to change your lifestyle,
- You can include your dependent family members in this program as well. They’ll benefit from the same rights as you do,
- You have a right to visa-free travel to Schengen countries. If you later obtain citizenship, you can travel visa-free to 186 countries in the world,
- When you become a citizen of Portugal, you become a citizen of the EU as well,
- Portugal Golden Visa allows dual citizenship, so you don’t necessarily need to renounce your original citizenship.
- If you stay in Portugal for more than six months, you can apply for the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) program. In this way, you can benefit from many tax reductions and tax exemptions for a duration of ten years.
- You must be from a country other than an EU or EEA country, or Switzerland,
- You need to be at least 18 years of age and have a clean criminal record,
- You need to make a qualifying investment in the country. There are various investment options. Each of them requires different amounts. You can make an investment in real estate or a venture capital fund. You can transfer capital, or make donations, or you can establish a business,
- Within the first two years, you need to stay in Portugal for at least 14 days. For the subsequent three-year-periods, you need to stay in the country for at least 21 days,
- You can buy real estate at a minimum amount of €500,000. If the property is in a low-density area in Portugal, the minimum amount is €400,000.
- Another option is to buy real estate older than 30 years old and in an urban rehabilitation area. In this case, the minimum amount is €350,000. You need to renovate the building as well. However, the renovation cost is included in the minimum amount. If this kind of property is in a low-density area, then the minimum amount is €280,000.
- You can establish an enterprise allowing for at least ten employment positions,
- You can make a capital transfer of at least €350,000 for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds,
- You can invest a minimum amount of €350,000 in a research and development activity in Portugal,
- You can invest a minimum amount of €250,000 for the protection of national cultural heritage in Portugal, and
- You can make a capital transfer of at least € 1,000,000 to Portugal.
Portugal Golden Visa: €350,000 Investment Fund Option
This investment option of venture capital funds first came into effect in 2018. When you invest a minimum of €350,000 in this fund, you can obtain residency in Portugal. Venture capital is basically a pool of investment funds. Corporate experts in this field manage these funds. Through this investment option, you can invest in a start-up or a project with strong growth potential.
The investment can be made in sectors such as technology, energy, industry, or real estate. The central institution CMVM (Securities Market Commission) regulates these funds.
Benefits of the Investment Fund Option for Golden Visa Portugal
- As mentioned above, qualified experts in related sectors manage these investments. So, your investment will be in safe hands,
- The minimum investment amount is quite low compared to other options to obtain residency,
- Dividends and capital gains you obtain may be tax-exempt,
- Some funds even allow a minimum return hurdle-rate,
- Portuguese government supports some funds through subsidies. Alternatively, IFD (a state-owned financial development institution in Portugal) finances some of them as well.
- The funds undergo strict regulations. The registered funds in Portugal are regulated by the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM). In addition to CMVM, the Bank of Portugal, the external Fund Management company, and Portuguese tax authorities also regulate the fund. So, the funds comply with the tax laws and Portuguese legislation.
Things to Consider in Choosing a Qualifying Fund
You need to consider any potential risks before you decide on the type of fund. For the
Portugal Golden Visa investment fund, the following points are important:
- The fund manager’s credentials, the mandate of the investment, leverage, and liquidity and legal documents regarding the relevant investment,
- You should also note that certain funds offer limited potential for capital appreciation. However, they can have a safer investment profile while the others can have a more leveraged approach.
- Early exit is possible, however, you had better realize all the gains after five years.
- Sector exposure and portfolio diversification will be determinant in the risk-return profile of the funds
- You should note that not every private equity fund qualifies for the Portugal Golden Visa program. It is advisable to ensure that your chosen fund is compatible with the requirements of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF). Also, you need to make sure that the investment fund is regulated by the Portuguese CMVM.
Additionally, you must maintain your Portugal golden visa qualified investment fund for at least five years in order to be eligible for permanent residency and citizenship in Portugal.
Questions to Ask the Fund Managers
You need to ask the following questions before investing in funds:
- Do the Portuguese authorities regulate the funds?
- Does the fund have the right qualities to ensure your Golden Visa status?
- Is it completely suitable for the Portuguese Golden Visa according to SEF?
You need to submit some supporting evidence to show that you have made the minimum amount of investment. You can do it individually, or through a shareholder limited company in which you are the shareholder. See the relevant documents below:
- Confirmation of a credit institution. The institution must be authorized or registered in the national territory within the Bank of Portugal. It must confirm the effective transfer of the amount which is equal to or above the legally required one.
- A supporting document confirming the ownership of the units of investment, free from any charges and obligations. It must be issued by the entity responsible for keeping an updated record of the units of investment holders.
- The declaration issued by the holding company of the related investment fund. It must confirm the feasibility of the business plan and the maturity dates of at least five years. In addition, the application of at least 60% of the investment in companies with their head office in the national territory.
- The management company receives a KYC Form, subscription form, and personal documents from you,
- You obtain a Portuguese tax identification number (NIF) and open a Portuguese bank account (checking and securities account),
- You transfer the money from your foreign account to your Portuguese bank account,
- You order the bank transfer to the funds bank account,
- The management company issues a declaration necessary for the Golden Visa application. Also, the Portuguese bank issues two declarations: money transfer overseas and certificate of holding the Participation units (shares).
You should also note that if you are an investor who is an American citizen, or you are a tax resident in the US, you must open your Portuguese bank account with a FATCA compliant bank account. Bison Bank, Banco Atlântico, and Banco Carregosa are among them.
How does the qualified investment fund option for Golden Visa Portugal work?
First of all, you need to make a qualifying investment to be eligible for a Portugal Golden Visa. You must invest at least €350,000 in Portugal venture capital funds. The funds are allocated to a funds manager with credentials. The funds manager then invests the amount in a sector of your choice.
What are the advantages of investing in Portugal investment funds?
First of all, experts in each sector manage the funds. Also, the Portuguese Securities Market Commission regulates the funds. So, they are quite secure.
Through this investment, you can obtain residency without waiting too long. Furthermore, many investors are exempt from taxes.
Do all Portuguese investment funds qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa?
No. Not all investment funds qualify for a Golden Visa in Portugal. You should consult an expert first.
Are the real estate investment funds in Portugal that qualify for a Golden Visa?
Yes. You can be eligible for a Portugal Golden Visa through a real estate investment fund as well.
What is Venture Capital in Portugal?
Venture capital in Portugal offers investors the opportunity to invest in certain sectors. Real estate is among them. Usually, the investments are made in start-up companies or projects that have the potential to grow strongly.