Ask A Question  | Learn more about Portugal

How can I use properties purchased before the inception of Portugal’s Golden Visa program to get Portuguese permanent residency?

My father purchased a property 15 years ago in Lisbon. After he passed away, I inherited the property. The cost of it was 250,000 euros, but we did several renovations and I think its current value might go beyond 350,000 euros. Can I use this property to apply for Portugal’s Golden Visa program? If yes, do I need to hire some professionals to evaluate the property to decide my eligibility?

  • Caiado Guerreiro
    May 28, 2019

    The Portuguese program demands that the investment must be made after the entering into force of this regime (October 2012). Prior acquisitions or payments shall not be considered. Moreover, donations as per an inheritance are not considered for purposes of the law requirements, since the law requests that this option of investment is a purchase of real estate in Portugal using foreign capital. A different aspect is using a property acquired in such conditions as proof of residency for other kinds of resident permit applications that do not request a real estate investment with foreign capital.

  • Alves & Silva Pereira
    March 06, 2019

    A first and important note to be taken into account in this case is the impossibility of complying with an essential rule for obtaining the resident permit for investment activity in Portugal, also known as Golden Visa, namely that the amount allocated to the investment must be made through an international (and effective) bank transfer. It is not possible to obtain this type of resident permit through the sale of the property acquired by your father 15 years ago, since the ratio legis that underlies the Golden Visa program is that the investment must be made through foreign capital. Without prejudice, we would like to inform that you can invest in Portugal (always through an international transfer) in another property or even in the same property (for example, through a sole proprietorship company that you can open for this purpose) for a minimum amount of 350,000 (in Lisbon), in the following terms: acquisition and execution of works of real estate, on the amount equal to or above 350,000 euros. In the acquisition and execution of works of real estate, of the amount equal to or above 350,000 euros, the construction of the real estate must have been concluded for 30 years, at least; or the real estate has to be located in an urban rehabilitation area (though with less than 30 years). The amount of this investment must be reduced in 20 percent (280,000) when in a low-density territory (NUTS III level with less than 100 inhabitants per square kilometer or PIB per capita less than 75 percent of the national average). The real estate may be acquired in a co-ownership method, provided the applicant for the ARI invests an amount equal to or above 350,000, or 280,000 in a low-density territory (NUTS III level in the acquisition and rehabilitation), as well as through a shareholder limited liability company in which the applicant is the shareholder. A real estate, or a set of real estate, may be acquired whose value of the acquisition and rehabilitation is equal to or above 350,000 or 280,000 in a low-density territory NUTS III level. The applicant for the ARI may yet charge the real estate acquired, in the part which exceeds the amount of 350,000 or 280,000 in a low-density territory NUTS III level, as well as lease the real estate or holding it for commercial, industrial, agricultural or tourist purposes.

  • Alves & Silva Pereira
    March 06, 2019

    In addition to the previously sent email, the most pragmatic solution for the situation under analysis will be through the constitution of a company in Portugal in which you are the only partner. The international transfer must be to the company bank account that should receive the minimum amount of 350,000 to acquire the property. The property will be owned by the company (of which you are the only partner) and you will therefore be able to apply for a resident permit under the GV program. The constitution of companies in Portugal is quite simple and fast.

  • March 20, 2019

    You cannot apply through this situation because of the following situations. First, the property was acquired before the existence of the law and this law has effects "ex nunc" and not "ex tunc," which means will only apply to future situation after it enters force and not past situations. In this case, this is the acquisition of the property by your father in 2004. Second, the purpose of the resident permit by means of investment is that someone obtains a permit to live in Portugal as result of making an investment in our country, either by depositing money, opening company and hiring a minimum amount of workers, investing in culture, investment funds or real estate. In your case the investment was done by your father before the law entering force, and also you inherited the property, but actually did not make any investment, since you got if for "free." Third, the only valid solution would be to sell that property in Portugal and acquire a new one, then apply for the investment, or donate/sell that property to a third party, register the ownership and then acquire that property back again applying for the Golden Visa program.

  • NEXT/Gali Macedo & Associados
    April 03, 2019

    The investment carried out by your father 15 years ago does not qualify for the Golden Visa program because the Golden Visa program was created in October 2012. Therefore, only investments carried out after this date and under the terms of the programs are qualified for the visa.