Most significant changes:
Through Law 29/2012, of August 9, regulated by 11820-A/2012 Dispatch from September 4th 2012 and more recently by Dispatch nº 1661-A/2013 of 28 January this year, several amendments were introduced to the legal framework of the “foreigners law”, the most important being:
A) The possibility of third-country nationals to obtain a residence permit in Portugal through one of the three types of investment typified by this new law;
B) The creation of a new type of residence permits for third-country nationals, the so-called “EU Blue Card”;
GOLDEN RESIDENCE PERMITS
A) So, as to the so called investment activities, it will now be possible for third-country nationals to obtain a residence permit if they carry out in Portugal one of the following investments:
1. Capital Transfer of value equal to or greater than 1 million;
(Proof: Statement of a financial institution authorized to exercise their activity in the country attesting to the effective transfer of capital, in an amount equal to or greater than 1 million, realizing that it is the sole or first holder of capital, or for the acquisition of shares or units of companies, and updated business registration certificate attesting to ownership of social participation in the company.)
2. Creating at least 10 job positions;
(Proof: the applicant must submit updated certificate of social security to confirm the creation of the 10 job positions).
3. Acquisition of immovable property with a value equal to or greater than 500 000 euros.
(Proof: Provide evidence of having the ownership of real estate free from any liabilities. Have an up to date certificate issued by the Real Estate Registry. As means of evidence of compliance with tax obligations, the applicant shall deliver a declaration proving the absence of debts issued by the Inland Revenue and Customs Authority and by the Social Security).
Still, on the acquisition of real estate, requirements became more flexible, and are now permissible the following situations:
3.1 Share–purchase (keeping the requirement of minimum investment of 500,000 euros to be performed by each of the joint buyers)
3.2 – making the investment through a promissory contract, provided that the signal is of value equal to or greater than 500 000 euros,
3.3 – encumbrance of real estate up from 500,000 euros and
3.4 – rental or commercial, agricultural or tourist exploration of the properties acquired.
The investment must take place at the time of the application for a residence permit, and the investment activity should be maintained for a period of five years from the date of the granting of a residence permit.
For the residence permit to be granted in these terms, applicants must also meet the following conditions:
• meet the general requirements for granting temporary residence permit (except possession of a valid residence visa);
• be holders of valid Schengen visas (ie, short term visas);
• regularize their stay in Portugal within 90 days from the date of first entry into national territory.
For applying for this residence permit and for its extension should also be borne in mind:
1. The minimum period of stay is 7 days in the first year and 14 days in the subsequent periods of two years, given that proof of residence in the national territory is made upon presentation of a valid passport.
2. The proof of the regularized tax situation is made upon submission by the applicant of a negative declaration issued by the Tax and Customs Authority and Social Security.
It is also noteworthy that the evidence above must be presented at the time of application for a residence permit, in person, at the Office for Foreigners and Borders in the area of residence of the applicant. Being that the decision to grant a residence permit is of the competence of the national director of the Foreigners and Borders Service.
EU BLUE CARD
B) As for the “EU Blue Card” this is a special residence permit that allows the holder to reside and pursue a professional activity in Portugal considered as highly qualified.
The conditions for granting the EU Blue Card are the following:
– Have An employment contract compatible with the exercise of an activity highly qualified, with a minimum duration of one year, and an annual salary of at least 1.5 times the national average gross salary;
– Be registered in Portuguese social security;
– Proof of being covered by the National Health Service or beneficiary of a health insurance;
– holding a professional certificate or other document evidencing having higher professional qualifications;
– Observe, in general, all the requirements for the granting of temporary residence permits.
The EU Blue Card is valid initial one-year, renewable for successive periods of two years.