GOLDEN VISA - WHAT'S NEW IN 2022?

Detailed Golden Visa Information

If you would like more detailed information about the Golden Visa then we’ve prepared a separate section just for you. We believe the list below covers the most relevant points to help you with your Golden Visa application.

Golden Visa Rule Changes - What's New in 2022?

 

In February 2021, the Portuguese government decreed that the Golden Visa program would undergo changes in 2022.

Starting from January 1st 2022, the Portuguese Golden Visa will apply new qualifying rules which potential Golden Visa applicants should be fully aware of.

The Highlights

  • New rules apply to Portugal Golden Visa applications submitted from January 1st 2022
  • Portugal Golden Visa Funds minimum investment amount is €500,000
  • Portugal Golden Visa Capital Transfer minimum amount is €1.5 million
  • Residential real estate investment for the Golden Visa is restricted to low-density, interior territories of mainland Portugal as well as the Azores and Madeira

Golden Visa Rules in 2022 - Detailed Changes

 

  • The minimum value related to Golden Visa Investment Funds is €500,000
  • Golden Visa real estate investments in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon, Porto and much of the Algarve are limited to commercial and touristic properties.
  • Residential real estate investments for the Golden Visa are limited to properties located in the interior territories of Portugal and on the islands of Madeira and Azores. The minimum investment levels are: €500,000.00 (reduced to €400,000.00 if located in a “low density area”), or €350,000.00 (reduced to €280,000.00 if located in a “low density area”).
  • The capital transfer route requires a bank deposit of €1.5 million.

The table below illustrates which investment types qualify for the Golden Visa in 2022.

Rules from January 1st 2022
Golden Visa Funds €500,000
Real Estate Acquisition €500,000*
Real Estate with Renovations
(must be over 30 years old and in Urban Regeneration Zone)
€350,000*
Establish a Company and Create Ten Job Positions Project dependent
Invest in Portuguese Research & Development €350,000
Donate to Portuguese Cultural Heritage €250,000
Capital Transfer to a Portuguese Bank €1,500,000

*No longer applies to high-density areas such as Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve unless it is commercial or touristic real estate but remains applicable in Portugal’s interior and islands – Madeira & Azores.

For a more detailed view of the current Golden Visa rules and new Golden Visa rules please click here

Why are the Golden Visa rules changing in 2022?

 

The reported motivation behind these Golden Visa real estate changes is to help divert investment into the less economically developed parts of the countries and breathe new life into Portugal’s rural interior and remote islands. In addition, by making the Golden Visa investment funds the more attractive option, capital will flow to Portuguese businesses which has a positive impact on the economy.

How do the Golden Visa rules changes in 2022 affect Golden Visa applicants?

 

The most important point is that we now have clarity on the Golden Visa rule changes in 2022 and investors can plan accordingly. The majority of new applicants are choosing between investing €500,000 into a Golden Visa fund or acquiring a residential property in one of the low-density, interior territories.

For those hoping to buy a home in Lisbon or Porto to also serve as a qualifying investment for the Golden Visa, that is no longer an option. Instead, investors should consider a Golden Visa fund as a qualifying investment and buy a home separately, perhaps with bank finance to reduce the capital outlay.

What if I missed the December 31st 2021 deadline before the rules changed?

 

If you’ve already invested €350,000 into a fund but your application wasn’t submitted in time you can still apply under the new rules by topping up your investment with another €150,000 to reach the new €500,000 threshold. 

If you’re just starting the process and have not yet invested then you can apply under the new rules by investing €500,000 into Golden Visa funds.

Golden Visa Statistics

Since the Golden Visa was introduced in Portugal in October 2012, applicants have invested in excess of €5.6 billion through various channels. The official statistics reveal that the authorities (SEF) have issued more than 9,000 Golden Visas to primary applicants with a further 16,000 Golden Visas to their family members. This infographic has been produced by SEF and it summarises the Golden Visa activity between 2012 and the end of 2020. If you’re interested in looking at more detailed Golden Visa data, we recommend exploring the statistics section on the SEF website.

Golden Visa Document Checklist

 

It’s really important that you are aware of all the documents required in order to submit a complete Golden Visa application. Portugal has some quite bureaucratic tendencies and that may be the case in your country of origin too so it’s best to be proactive and prepared. You should also keep in mind that because some of these documents need to be notarised and/or apostilled, it can take longer than you think to get your hands on them.

Here’s what you need:

  • The application form for your Portuguese Golden Visa 
  • A copy of a valid passport for each applicant along with travel documents
  • Declaration from your bank Portugal confirming the transfer of funds and that they originated outside of Portugal
  • Proof that you have made the minimum investment required (e.g. proof from the Golden Visa Investment Fund or an executed property CPCV/Deed)
  • Certified copy of the criminal certificate or a Police clearance letter from your country of origin
  • A completed form authorizing SEF to obtain an extract of your Portuguese criminal records
  • A copy of your health insurance policy in Portugal
  • An affidavit (declaration) from you personally confirming your intention to comply with the investment requirements (i.e. to maintain the investment for the required period of time)
  • Documents from Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority and Social Security system declaring that you are in a position of good standing (i.e. have no outstanding debts to either department). These can be issued 45 days prior to your online application
  • A receipt showing that you already paid the application processing fee
  • Note that the certificates of criminal records or police clearance letters must have been issued no more than 90 days before submitting your application. For all other certificates, it is 180 days.

Golden Visa Application Costs

golden visa application costs

Cost Comparison: Funds vs Real Estate vs Capital Contribution

Golden Visa Fund Real Estate Capital Contribution
Min. Investment €350,000 €350,000 €500,000 €1,000,000
Transfer Taxes
– Title Transfer (IMT) 0% 6.5%* 6.5%* 0%
– Stamp Duty 0% 0.8% 0.8% 0%
Registration & Notary Fees 0% 0.2% 0.2% 0%
Agent Fees at Exit (Est.) 0% 5% + VAT 5% + VAT 0%
Furniture (Est.) 0% €20,000 €20,000 0%
Lawyer’s Fees (Est.) €5,000 €5,000 €5,000 €5,000
Government’s Golden Visa Application Fees €29,086 €29,086 €29,086 €29,086
Total Investment (Est.) €384,086 €451,861 €627,336 €1,034,086

*The above figures do not take into account the details within the Portuguese property tax rules. You can use this property tax calculator to get a more precise calculation.

Portuguese Real Estate Taxes

 

Assuming that you are purchasing the physical asset (rather than a company that owns the asset) then you can expect to pay the following taxes: 

  • Municipal Property Transfer Tax (IMT)
  • Stamp duty (Imposto do Selo)

Municipal Property Transfer Tax (IMT) will be calculated on the price of the transaction or on the VPT (value of the real estate assessed by the Tax Authority), whichever is higher.

IMT is calculated using the following formula:

(Taxable value x Rate) – Threshold deduction = IMT to be paid

IMT is charged at the following rates:

  • Flat rate of 6.5% on the sale or transfer of any urban property not exclusively of a residential nature
  • Flat rate of 5% for rural properties
  • Progressive rates for the sale and transfer of urban buildings or apartments exclusively for residential purposes that are intended to be the buyer’s permanent residence, ranging from 0% to 7.5% as mentioned below:
Taxable Value (€) Rate (%) Threshold Deduction (€)
Up to 92,407 0 0
92,408 to 126,403 2 1,848.14
126,404 to 172,348 5 5,640.23
172,349 to 287,213 7 9,087.22
287,214 to 574,323 8 11,858.26
Above 574,323 to 1,000,000 6 0
Above 1,000,000 7.5 0
  • Progressive rates for the sale and transfer of urban buildings or apartments exclusively for residential purposes and/or intended for letting purposes, but not intended as the buyer’s permanent residence, ranging from 1% to 6% as mentioned in below:
Taxable Value (€) Rate (%) Threshold Deduction (€)
Up to 92,407 1 0
92,408 to 126,403 2 924.07
126,404 to 172,348 5 4,716.22
172,349 to 287,213 7 8,163.09
287,214 to 550,836 8 11,035.30
Above 550,836 to 1,000,000 6 0
Above 1,000,000 7.5 0