Portugal reforms its immigration policy and proposes a Golden Visa for social investments

In recent weeks, the Government of Portugal has introduced two sets of measures that, among other aspects, will add a new category to the Residence Permits for Investment (ARI, in Portuguese), also known as “Golden Visa,” and will end the option for residence through “Expression of Interest,” which was used by those who arrived in Portugal without a residence visa and then proceeded with their regularization in the country.

This falls within the framework of the “Action Plan for Migration,” whose main objectives are to improve the entry rules to Portugal and facilitate the operational management of the Integration, Migration, and Asylum Agency (AIMA), which has been experiencing significant congestion and delays in its processes.

According to the specialized media outlet IMI Daily, 90% of these delays are due to the “Expression of Interest” regime. Essentially, with this option, immigrants without a residence visa could arrive as tourists and initiate the process easily, provided they secured a job, contributed to Social Security, or started an economic activity. After 12 months of contributions, their situation was considered legalized.

The new situation will allow for a significant reduction in new applications and better utilization of AIMA’s personnel, who will also resume handling residence renewals instead of the IRN (Institute of Registries and Notaries).

Regarding the new Golden Visa, it entails a minimum investment of 250,000 euros, non-refundable, in projects that include “investments in reception equipment and infrastructure, integration projects, and support for immigrants in vulnerable situations,” such as reception centers, job training programs, and legal and psychological counseling services.

Additionally, the possible creation of a social investment intermediation and accreditation system is being considered, specifically through the state Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund (FAMI). This complements the measures outlined in “Building Portugal,” another major set of initiatives announced by the Government to promote investments in housing at controlled prices or with affordable rent.

It is worth noting that the Portuguese government, which prefers to refer to “an ARI to channel investments for social purposes” rather than a Social Golden Visa, has indicated that there will also be priorities and facilities for issuing Visas for Highly Qualified Workers (HQA), thus seeking to attract more talent from abroad.

Portugal continues to offer what many consider to be one of the best Golden Visas in the world. A report by Henley and Partners places the Portuguese program among the top 10 residency by investment programs globally.

At AIM Global, we have the expertise needed to successfully process your application for the Portuguese Golden Visa, as well as the HQA Visa for Highly Qualified Workers. We have offices in Santiago and Lisbon, and our team can offer you attractive and secure investment alternatives, specially designed for your profile.

Don’t delay any longer and schedule a meeting with us. We are at your disposal to help you achieve your international mobility projects.

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