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Portugal’s €350,000 investment option particularly has been in high demand. Picture: 123RF/SEAN PAVONE
Portugal’s €350,000 investment option particularly has been in high demand. Picture: 123RF/SEAN PAVONE

The prospect of EU citizenship paired with a solid investment is attracting SA families looking for a plan B or to settle in another country. Portugal’s €350,000 (R5.8m) investment option, in particular, has been in high demand.

John Dunn from Sable International looks at the processes and the options for obtaining a Golden Visa.

Why choose Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Programme?

The Portugal Golden Visa allows you to live and work in Portugal and gives you visa-free travel throughout the European Schengen area. After five years, you and your immediate family can qualify for permanent residence and potentially citizenship thereafter.

Benefits of having a Golden Visa include the following:

  • no visa required to enter Portugal;
  • visa-free travel within the Schengen area;
  • live and work in Portugal with dependent family members;
  • extend Portuguese residency to dependent family members;
  • a low minimum stay period (a total of 35 days within five years); and
  • after just five years, you can apply for permanent residency or citizenship.

Four routes to getting a Golden Visa 

1. Make a €1m capital investment 

This can be in the form of a fund deposit into a Portuguese bank account, the purchase of Portuguese stocks and bonds, or a company investment.  

2. Create 10 jobs

If you employ 10 workers at minimum wage and all employees pay social security, you can qualify for a Golden Visa. There is no minimum investment for this route.

3. Buy a property for €500,000 or €350,000

This is a popular option among investors. You must buy a property, or multiple properties, with a minimum value of €500,000 (about R8.2m). The property you buy can be rented out.

4. Make a private equity investment of €350,000

There has been high demand for the €350,000 (R4.9m) property category for investors seeking a comparatively cheaper route to attaining a Golden Visa.

“Compared with the straightforward property purchase of the €500,000 route, the €350,000 option has a few more requirements to satisfy, but the capital savings more than make up for the hassle,” says Dunn.

The €350,000 Golden Visa investment options

According to Golden Visa requirements, a €350,000 investment can be made in a number of ways:

  • Real-estate rehabilitation: This category focuses on stimulating the redevelopment of old, dilapidated buildings in what the government calls regeneration zones. You can invest in eligible properties that are more than 30 years old or buildings located in an urban regeneration area. The property purchase price combined with the ex-VAT value of the rehabilitation work contract must equal at least €350,000.
  • Invest in research: Invest capital of at least €350,000 in research conducted by accredited institutions that are part of the national scientific and technological system.
  • Invest in an existing business: Invest in a business with a registered office in Portugal. A minimum amount of €350,000 must go to either incorporate or increase the share capital and create a minimum of five full-time permanent jobs for at least five years.
  • Invest in private equity funds: This popular investment option involves an investment of €350,000 in regulated private-equity funds. This can be an easier option for some as it avoids the hassle of looking for property and subsequent management.
Praca do Comercio, Lisbon, Portugal. Picture: 123RF/TOMAS1111
Praca do Comercio, Lisbon, Portugal. Picture: 123RF/TOMAS1111

Investing in the Vintage Hotel 

“We’ve had great interest and success with a private-equity fund offered by the purchase of the Vintage Hotel in Lisbon,” says Dunn.

The Vintage Hotel is a five-star hotel located in Lisbon’s city centre. Its superb location offers guests easy access to the surrounding neighbourhoods where they can experience Lisbon’s excellent nightlife.

Managed by an experienced hotel operator, it is already running successfully and boasts a good income and capital growth potential. Through an investment firm, share in the hotel that fit the requirements for a Golden Visa have been made available for purchase.

“There’s already been an overwhelming amount of interest, with more than 70% of the shares already purchased. It offers investors an excellent way to attain a Golden Visa and a share of a professionally managed five-star institution,” says Dunn.

“Compared with other more traditional property GRV investment options, you can save up to €45,000 [about R740,000] on your purchase expenses by investing in a solution like The Vintage Hotel.

“This route is gaining traction, especially with foreign investors, because it offers an attractive investment and provides you and your family members with the full benefits of Portugal’s Golden Visa programme.” 

Benefits of the Vintage PEF investment

  • The €350,000 investment capital is more affordable than traditional property-based investment options.
  • The Vintage Hotel PEF offers holders a minimum 3% return per year.
  • In addition to a 3% fixed base yield, Vintage PEF holders will enjoy 50% of all distributable income as well as 70% of any proceeds when the Vintage Hotel is sold.
  • The PEF is fully exempt from corporate income tax. Non-resident investors are exempt from withholding tax and capital gains tax. Quick processing timeline: you can apply for a Golden Residency Visa as soon as 10 days after making your investment into the Vintage PEF.
  • Your investment will be professionally managed in Lisbon. As an overseas investor, this removes much of the hassle you might experience owning a property overseas.

Speak to a professional 

“Undergoing this type of process alone leaves you exposed to unnecessary risk. If you’re looking at buying a property for between R7m and R10m, there is a certain amount of risk involved in real-estate investment. To do this in a foreign country and currency adds to that potential risk,” says Dunn.

“Sable has key partnerships with legal advisers and consultants in Portugal across all critical areas. Having worked with these sponsors extensively, we consider the Vintage PEF to be one of the best choices for obtaining your Portuguese Golden Visa.

“If you want to secure your chance of investing in the Vintage Hotel PEF, it’s important that you contact us before subscriptions close in December 2019.”

Sable International’s consultants are the leading experts on the Golden Visa.

To discuss the Vintage PEF route in more detail, send an e-mail to goldenvisa@sableinternational.com or call +2721 657 1584.

This article was paid for by Sable International.