ARI – Autorização de Residência para Atividade de Investimento (Residence Authorization for Investment Activity), better known as Golden Visa is a regime which allows nationals of countries outside of the EU to obtain a temporary residence permit for investment activity with the exemption of a residence visa to enter Portugal and subsequently the entire European Union (Law no. 23/2007, of 4th July in its latest revision). Citizens with a Gold Visa are able to:
– Enter Portugal (and other countries in the Schengen area) without a residence visa;
– To live and work in Portugal – must at least stay in Portugal for a period of no less than 7 days per year (in five years);
– Benefit from family reunification;
– Apply for a Permanent Residence Permit, after 5 years, as well as a passport and Portuguese Nationality by naturalization (fulfilling the other requirements demanded by the Nationality Law)
There are eight modalities that allow access to the ARI / Golden Visa according to the type of investment that best suits the needs, interests and capabilities of the candidates.
1 – Capital transfers equal to or greater than 1 million euros to an account in Portugal;
2 – The creation of at least 10 jobs (and maintenance of the same for 5 years) in a new or existing company;
3 – The acquisition of real estate with a value equal to or greater than 500 thousand euros;
4 – Acquisition of real estate, whose construction has been concluded at least 30 years ago or located in an urban rehabilitation area (ARU) and execution of rehabilitation works on the acquired real estate, for an overall amount equal to or greater than 350 thousand Euros;
5 – Capital transfers in an amount equal or superior to 350 thousand euros, which are applied in research activities developed by public or private scientific research institutions, integrated in the national scientific and technological system;
6 – Capital transfers in an amount equal or superior to 250 thousand euros, to be applied in investment or support of artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage, through central and peripheral direct administration services, public institutes, entities that integrate the public business sector, public foundations, private foundations with public utility status, intermunicipal entities, entities that integrate the local business sector, municipal associative entities and public cultural associations, which carry out attributions in the area of artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage;
7 – Capital transfers in the amount equal to or higher than 350,000 euros, destined to the acquisition of participation units in investment funds or venture capital funds focused on the capitalization of companies, constituted under the Portuguese legislation, with a maturity, at the time of the investment, of at least five years and at least 60% of the value of the investments to be made in commercial companies based in national territory;
8 – Capital transfers in an amount equal to or higher than 350,000 euros, aimed at the incorporation of a commercial company with registered office in the national territory, combined with the creation of five permanent jobs, or to increase the share capital of a commercial company with registered office in the national territory, already existing, with the creation or maintenance of jobs, with a minimum of five permanent jobs, and for a minimum period of three years.
In addition to the investment amount, there are also applicable legal fees for the submission and renewal of residence permits of the main applicants and respective family members who require reunification. The applicant must be present in Portugal at the time of submission of the application, as well as at the appointments for collection of biometric data and respective renewals of the residence permit (after 2 years and after 3 years).
There are two important updates to the legislation applicable to the ARI / Gold Visa that will come into force on 1 January 2022 (Decree-Law no. 14/2021 of 12 February).
On the one hand there is updating of values, respectively in the following subparagraphs:
1- from €1 million to €1.5 million;
5 – from EUR 350 000 to EUR 500.000.
7 – from EUR 350 000 to EUR 500.000.
8 – from EUR 350.000 to EUR 500.000, while maintaining the number of employees and the minimum period.
On the other hand they update points 3 and 4 in the geographic scope, whereby properties for commercial purposes or for housing purposes only allow access to the present regime if they are located in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira or in inland territories (identified in the annex to Ordinance No. 208/2017, of 13 July).