Monday, 7 April 2014

The European Gold Visa - Top 10 Questions

As a born Portuguese I find interesting the decision of creating the so-called Gold Visas for Portugal. At one hand it allows direct investment to Portugal, on the other, it gives the possibility to get the European Visa for the investor. Many European countries are not happy with the creation of this visa it will be a matter of time for us to understand the real consequences of this both for Portugal and European Union.

Let's understand a bit more about the famous Euro Gold Visa.

1. What is the gold visa?
It is a residence for investment activity that allows nationals from outside the European Union states waive a visa to enter the territory.

2. What are the benefits?
The holder of a gold visa will not need a residence visa to enter Portugal, can live and work in Portugal while also maintaining residence in another country; can move within the Schengen area without a visa and allows you to benefit from family reunification. After five years while respecting the requirements of the law the holder can access to permanent residence in Portugal; after six years and also fulfilling the legal premises, the holder can access to Portuguese nationality.

3. Who can apply?
Citizens of third countries (i.e. outside EU) that make an active investment, either personally or through a company, leading to the realization of an investment for a minimum period of five years.

4. Where are you applying to? 
Foreign and Borders Services (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras), in person or online .

5. What are the requirements to apply?
Make a mandatory minimum investments for five years (the time limit is attested by a declaration on honor); have a clean criminal record:
  1. not having been convicted of a crime in Portugal that is punishable by deprivation of liberty for a period exceeding one year;
  2. not being in the period of prohibition of entry into the country for having been expelled;
  3. not being referenced in the Schengen information System
  4. not being referenced in the integrated information system of the Foreign and Borders Services for the purposes of refusing entry.

6. What are the minimum investment?
At the time of submission of the application at least one of three investments have to be implemented:
  1. transfer to a Portuguese bank capital in the amount not less than one million euros;
  2. or create at least 10 jobs;
  3. or the purchase of goods properties equal to or exceeding 500 thousand euros.

7. How can you evidence the investments?
In the case of transfer of capital (including investments in shares in companies) the declaration of a financial institution authorized to work in country which proves effective transfer amounts to a bank account is needed whose the first or sole proprietor is the the visa applicant; and also an updated certificate of business registration to prove ownership of social participation in society.
For ten jobs the holder must prove that they were created and that the workers were covered by Social Security, through an updated certificate that institution.
In case of acquisition of properties the is the need of proof of ownership of the assets through the contract of purchase of properties. The declaration of a financial institution authorized to operate in Portugal attesting the effective transfer of capital is required for the completion of the sign promissory purchase worth equal or more than 500,000euros. Finally it is also required to submit an updated certificate of the land registry on the property, if there is only the preliminary contract the holder needs to provide the registration of this .

8. What other documents are required?
It is still required, the passport or other valid travel document, proof of legal entry and stay in the national territory, proof of health insurance, request consultation for the the Portuguese criminal record on the Foreign and Borders Services, a criminal record in the country of origin or the country in which you reside for more than one year, proof of contributory situation regularized by submitting a no debt statement issued by the Tax and Customs Authority and the Social Security.

9. The other requirements are tied?
For renewals at the end of the first , third and fifth year, holders of the gold visa need to show that they were in Portugal at least seven days in the first year (they do not need to be consecutive) and 14 days (they do not need to be consecutive) in the following two years periods. They also have to prove the payment of taxes on real estate.

10. What are the process costs?
At the moment there is the Foreign and Borders Services charge 513.75 euros for opening the process and 80,08 EUR per each family member. The initial visa for the applicant and family costs per person, 5137.5 euros. The renovation costs is 2568.75 euros.
There is then an associated acquisition tax costs with the purchase of real estate. The most important are:
  1. the IMT, the Municipal tax Onerous Property Transfer, it t is a tax on the right of (partial) ownership (usufruct, use and habitation, surface rights , etc) on immovable property (urban or rustic) in the portuguese territory. (while making , depends on the value of the business);
  2. and the annual IMI (Annual Property Tax) which depends on the valuation of the property - normally between 0.3 % and 0.5 % of the total value.

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Blog Editor and Owner: Luis Aparicio Fernandes (or Mikey) is a Business Expert and a Traveler based in Sydney, Australia. He is a member of The International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma due to his achievements in business. You can follow Luis on Google+, and LinkedIn.