Is this the end of Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa program, established in 2012, used to grant residency permits in exchange for qualifying investments, the most popular option being investments in real estate and capital transfer. This is the ideal route for those who want a residence permit, without the obligation to become tax residents in Portugal. However, with the enactment of Law No. 56/2023 on October 6, the avenue of investing in real estate has been closed. The following options now remain for obtaining a Golden Visa:

  1. Investment in non-real estate collective investment schemes with capital transfers of €500,000 or more.
  2. Investment in Portuguese commercial companies with a minimum capital transfer of €500,000, coupled with creating five permanent jobs.
  3. Creating at least ten jobs.
  4. Capital transfers for research activities by public or private scientific institutions, with a minimum of €500,000 (reduced by 20% for investments in low-density areas).
  5. Capital transfers of €250,000 or more (reduced by 20% for investments in low-density areas) for supporting investment, artistic production, and the preservation of national cultural heritage.

For individuals seeking actual residency in Portugal, the country offers a range of visa options based on their intended purpose, including dependent work (D1), entrepreneurship (D2), remote work (D8), retirement or passive income (D7), among others.

NHR – What does the future bring?

The unexpected decision to end the NHR scheme, created in 2009, has far-reaching implications. The 2024 state budget proposes the elimination, for new beneficiaries, of the current NHR tax regime starting on January 1, 2024. Existing NHR beneficiaries will maintain their benefits, and new beneficiaries must either become tax residents in 2023 or, if becoming tax residents before December 31, 2024, meet one of the following conditions:

  • Promise or contract of employment, promise or secondment agreement concluded until December 31, 2023, the exercise of whose duties must take place on national territory; or,
  • a promise or contract of employment, promise or agreement of secondment concluded by December 31, 2023, the exercise of duties is to take place in national territory; or,
  • Lease agreement or other agreement granting the use or possession of real estate in Portuguese territory signed until October 10, 2023; or
  • Reservation contract or promissory contract for the acquisition of real estate in Portuguese territory concluded until October 10, 2023; or
  • Enrollment or registration for dependents, in an educational establishment in Portuguese territory, completed by October 10, 2023; or
  • Residence visa or residence permit valid until December 31, 2023; or
  • Procedure, initiated until December 31, 2023, for granting a residence visa or residence permit, with the competent, in accordance with the legislation in force applicable immigration legislation, namely through requesting an appointment or actually making an appointment to submit the application for a residence visa or residence permit.

A modified version of the NHR, titled "Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation," is proposed to replace the NHR from January 1, 2024. This new scheme will primarily apply to higher education and scientific research teaching careers, qualified professionals for productive investment, and research and development positions with a minimum doctorate qualification.

Under this new regime, a 20% rate will apply to employment income and business or professional income, with an exemption from taxation for various foreign-source income, excluding income from jurisdictions considered "tax havens." This revised NHR scheme is expected to be more stringent in its application.

Keep this in mind!

In conclusion, Portugal aims to maintain various tax incentives for both companies and individuals, alongside favourable tax regimes such as the absence of a general tax on assets or inheritances and the attractive crypto assets tax regime.

These changes are subject to approval by the Portuguese Parliament and should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Portugal continues to offer numerous advantages for those considering living in the country, making it an attractive destination for investors and residents.

In investment and immigration, having a knowledgeable and reliable local partner is invaluable.

NEWCO is your local partner in Portugal. We have 30 years of experience and a versatile and multidisciplinary team that accommodates all your demands:

  • Business Setup and Management
  • Personal and Business Accounting and Tax Compliance
  • Obtaining a NIF and Bank Account
  • Obtaining a Residence Permit
  • Relocating to Portugal
  • Real Estate

Contact us today!