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A change in the Portuguese Golden Visa rules came into effect on the 1st of January 2022.

If you weren’t aware, or are struggling to understand the changes, you might be left wondering if a Golden Visa application is worth it! But don’t worry!

RHJ Accountants are here to clarify the process and provide clarity on the Golden Visa rule changes in 2022 so you can plan accordingly. Read on!


Golden Visa Rule Changes 2022

Changes to the Golden Visa were announced earlier this year. The most important of these changes was a reduction of investment amounts for both Real Estate purchases and Corporate Investment Schemes.

If you’ve ever considered applying for a Portuguese Golden Visa (the Visa de Residência Fiscal para Pessoas Singulares), you probably already know that one way to achieve it is by purchasing property worth at least €500k; or by investing €350k into Portuguese corporations. However, effective from 1st January 2022, it was announced there would be a reduction in investment amounts required to obtain a golden visa.

Here, we highlight the changes you should be fully aware of:

  • 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. 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”)


Why Did The Rules Change?

The previous rules surrounding The Portugal Golden Visa program made it a very attractive option for retirees, however there were some issues with how easily it could be used by investors.

One of the biggest problems was that an investor could just park their funds in an offshore account held within The European Union, and then apply for residency on that basis alone. This loophole has now been closed – although only partially so.

So; why did the rules changes? Let’s explore in more detail.

The main motivation behind the Golden Visa changes were real estate; helping to divert investment from the less developed areas of the country and breathe new life into rural areas and the remote islands.

In addition; making investment funds the more attractive option, capital can begin to flow to local businesses – positively impacting the economy.


How Do The Changes Affect Golden Visa Applicants?

Now there is clarity on the Golden Visa rule changes for 2022, people and businesses are able to plan accordingly.

New applicants are choosing between investments of €500k and purchasing residential property in a lower-density, inner territory. If you’re hoping to purchase a home within the capital of Lisbon, or even in Porto, and hoping it will qualify you for a Golden Visa; that is no longer the case.

Investors should now consider a Golden Visa fund as a qualifying investment, purchasing a home separately.

It is important to note what did not change:

  • Launching a company in Portugal and employing at least 10 new local employees
  • A €250,000 contribution in arts

The official statistics reveal that the Portuguese authorities (SEF) issued more than 9,000 Golden Visas to primary applicants; with a further 16,000 Golden Visas to their family members.


What Do You Need for a Golden Visa Application?

There are only three requirements for a Golden Visa application:

  • You must be able to show proof of legal and continuous residency in Portugal for five years
  • Your investment needs to be at least €500,000
  • You need to have access to at least €30,000 from savings or investments

That’s it! Note that while some people claim they have obtained a visa without proving they had full-time employment, we recommend showing proof of financial security as well.

Accessing local accounts is a great way to do so; these funds are your money—from an inheritance or trust fund—and can satisfy both requirements.

It’s also really important to be aware of documents required in order to submit a Golden Visa application. With so many being required, and a strict level of application needed, it is important to work with a firm who can support you every step of the way.


How RHJ Accountants Can Help with your Golden Visa Application

RHJ Accountants – together with RHJ Law – are a full-service accountants, tax service, business advisor and law consultancy; providing solutions on residency, citizenship, investments and more – worldwide.

We recognise more than ever that individuals and businesses from the UK and other countries may be globally mobile. We aim to make you aware of the tax-efficient opportunities, available tax relief and structure finances for life at home and abroad.

With a massive increase in enquiries from UK companies looking to save on their corporate tax and reduce their Brexit export headaches. Reviewing an organisation’s operational strategy, we can assist in shifting operations to Portugal in a tax compliant and stress free way.

Our international team of specialists operate from offices in the UK and Portugal. We work together synergistically to provide tax efficient solutions to our clients to help them grow their business whilst keeping tax liabilities to a minimum.

Get in touch with us today to find out more, or to make use of our services.

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💬 PSA: between April & June our Portuguese team have limited meeting availability due to the Tax Return Submission Period 🇵🇹