There has been great interest in this new program, designed by the Portuguese Government to attract foreign investment.
This Residency program is an investment program for non-European citizens. For official advert/flyer: http://secomunidades.pt/ari/images/stories/ARI/flyer__EN.pdf
Below are FAQs taken from the official site of the S.E.F.- Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Borders and Foreigners Service) of the M.N.E. – Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Hope that is helpful!
RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES (ARI)
1. What is the special legal mechanism for obtaining a Residence Permit for Investment (ARI)?
The ARI mechanism allows third country nationals to apply for a temporary residence permit to conduct an investment activity with residence visa waiver to enter national territory.
2. What are the advantages of the ARI programme?
In return for the investment made in Portugal, the beneficiary of ARI is entitled to:
– Resident visa exemption to enter Portugal;
– Living and working in Portugal, while maintaining residence in another country;
– Visa exemption for travelling within the Schengen Area;
– Family reunification;
– Obtain permanent residence (after 5 years and in the terms and conditions set out by the legislation in force);
– Acquiring Portuguese citizenship (after 6 years and in the terms and conditions set out by the legislation in force);
3. Who is entitled to be a beneficiary of ARI?
All third country citizens who conduct an investment activity, as an individual businessperson or
through a company set up in Portugal or in another EU Member State and who, in addition, is
stably settled in Portugal, provided that these citizens fulfil the quantitative requirements and
the time requirements set out by the relevant legislation.
The ARI legal mechanism does not apply to individuals with Portuguese citizenship and to EU and EEE citizens.
4. What quantitative requirements must be fulfilled by an investor to enable him / her applying for an ARI?
The minimum quantitative requirement is deemed fulfilled when one of the following conditions is met in national territory:
a) Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 1 million Euros, including the purchase of shares in companies;
b) The creation of, at least, 10 job positions; or
c) Purchase of real estate property with a value equal to or above 500 thousand Euros.
Where the investment is made through a company, only the proportion of the capital actually invested by the applicant of ARI shall be ascribable to him / her.
Applicants may apply to swap from one requirement to another, subject to the condition of reinvesting the capital within a maximum period of three months, from the moment where they formally abandon the first investment.
5. What are the minimum time requirements for the investment activity (i.e. how long does it have to continue?)
The minimum time requirement for maintaining the investment is five (5) yeas, from the date of issuance of the Residence Permit.
6. What are the requirements in terms of cautionary measures and documents?
All of those interested in obtaining ARI are, cumulatively, subject to a number of cautionary measures, whereby they may not:
– have been convicted of an offense punishable in Portugal with penalty involving deprivation of liberty of more than one year;
– have been banned from entering national territory, following expulsion from the country;
– have had an alert in their name issued in SIS (listed person);
– have had an alert in their name issued in SEF’s Integrated System
All of those interested in obtaining ARI are, cumulatively, subject to a number of document requisites, whereby they have to:
– Hold a valid passport;
– Hold a Schengen Visa, when applicable, and legalize their entry with SEF within 90 days from the date of their first entry in Portugal;
– Deliver a criminal record issued by their country of origin or by the country where they have been residing for more than one year;
– Deliver a declaration giving their consent to a criminal record check in Portugal;
– Up-to-date declarations issued by the Portuguese Tax Authorities and by the Portuguese Social Security confirming the absence of any debts to those entities;
– Affidavit, signed by the applicant, undertaking the responsibility of fulfilling the requirements correlated to the investment activity conducted in national territory;
– Health insurance;
– Receipt of ARI application fee (513, 75€).
– Any document that is not written in Portuguese or in English shall be translated by a translator recognized by the Portuguese diplomatic or consular post at the country of origin, and then authenticated by that same authority.
7. Where may I apply for ARI?
Anyone interested in applying for ARI, may submit an application to that effect in one of the following ways:
– By registering online at http://ari.sef.pt. After registration in complete the applicant shall receive a password to fill in and submit the necessary form and send the relevant documents, as well as proof of having paid the application fee of 513,75 €;
– In person, at the Portuguese diplomatic posts or consular post abroad, where they shall submit the whole application procedure (application + proof of the investment + proof of payment of application fee in the amount of 513,75€);
– In person, at SEF’s Regional Directorates and Delegations in Portugal: The interested party may apply for ARI at the Regional Directorate or Delegation of SEF in his / her area of residence, within a maximum period of 90 days from the date of his / her first entry into Portugal, where he / she shall deliver the application procedure (application + proof of the investment + proof of payment of application fee in the amount of 513, 75€).
8. What means of proof are accepted for granting ARI?
In order to prove the quantitative requirements, investors shall deliver the following documents in accordance to the type of investment made:
8.1. Bank transfer for an amount equal to or above 1 million Euros:
This requirement is deemed fulfilled where the applicant is able to demonstrate having transferred capital in the minimum amount required, including investments in shares of share capital of companies, for which he / she shall deliver:
Declaration issued by a banking institution duly accredited in national territory, certifying that the applicant has effectively transferred capital, in an amount equal to, or in excess of, 1 million Euros, into an account of which he / she is the sole or first holder of capital, or to purchase interests or shares in companies; and
An updated certificate issued by the Commercial Register, certifying that the applicant is the holder of share capital in a company.
8.2. Creation of, at least, 10 job positions:
This requirement is deemed fulfilled where the applicant presents an updated certificated issued by the Social Security.
8.3. Purchase of property in value equal to, or above, 500 thousand Euros:
This requirement is deemed fulfilled where the applicant presents:
Final Deeds of Purchase, or promissory contract for the purchase, of a property which must include a statement by a financial institution duly accredited in National Territory certifying the effective transfer of capital for the acquisition or for the first payment in a value equal to, or above, 500 thousand Euros; and
Up-to-date certificate issued by the Real Estate Register, which, in the case of a promissory contract must include where legally feasible its registration in that department.
9. What means of proof are accepted for renewing ARI?
9.1. In order to renew its ARI permit, the investor shall:
Submit the means of evidence required according to the type of investment made;
Provide up-to-date declarations issued by the Portuguese Tax Authorities and by the Portuguese Social Security confirming the absence of any debts to those entities;
Have a health insurance, if he / she is not covered by the social security system in Portugal;
He / she may have to prove compliance with the minimum period of permanence (7 days in the first year and 14 days in the subsequent periods of two years, consecutive or unsequential);
Exhibit a valid passport and flight tickets or proof of accommodation;
Provide an affidavit, on his / her word of honour that he / she shall comply with the minimum quantitative requirements and with the minimum investment time of the investment activity.
9.2. Depending on the type of investment made, the applicant shall deliver:
9.2.1. Regarding the transfer of funds in an amount equal to or above 1 million Euros:
Statement issued by a financial institution accredited in national territory confirming the existence of an average bank balance (on a quarterly basis) equal to, or above, 1 million Euros; or
Up-to-date certificate of the Commercial Register confirming the ownership of share capital in a company; or
In case of companies listed in the Stock Exchange, a statement issued by the Stock Market Regulator, or by a banking institution accredited in national territory certifying the ownership of shares; or
In case of companies not listed in the Stock Exchange a statement issued by the Administration or by the Management of that company, together with the certified accounting report proving the ownership and the full compliance with the minimum quantitative requirement.
9.2.2 Regarding the creation of, at least, 10 job positions, the applicant shall deliver:
Up-to date Certificate issued by the Social Security certifying the maintenance of 10 job posts.
9.2.3 Purchase of real estate property with a value equal to or above 500 thousand Euros, the applicant shall deliver:
Up-to-date Certificate issued by the Real Estate Registry showing registrations, endorsements and entries in force, as evidence of ownership of properties.
10. What is the time-limit for reaching a decision on an application for obtaining or renewing ARI?
Provided the application contains all the required documents, SEF shall validate the application in a maximum period of 72 hours.
11. What is the cost involved in obtaining or renewing an ARI permit?
Where the application for the granting is approved, investors shall pay a fee for 5.135,50€;
Where the application for the renewing is approved, investors shall pay a fee for 2.568, 75€.
12. When has the ARI special programme came into effect?
This programme came into effect since the 8th of October 2012.
13. Are there any official intermediaries accredited by the Portuguese State?
No. The Portuguese State has no bona fide intermediaries; either Portuguese or foreigner to act on its behalf with regards the administration of ARI applications.
14. As ARI holder, what family members may benefit from this same scheme, where and when may I apply for family reunification, and how much does it cost?
The following are considered conventional relatives:
– Minor children and incapacitated children under the custody of the couple or of one spouse;
– Children who have been adopted by an unmarried applicant, or by a married applicant or by his / her spouse, provided such adoption was authorized by the relevant authority of the country of origin and has the same legal effects to those of natural children, and that such decision is recognised in Portugal;
– Children of age, who are dependent on both or one parent, provided they are single and studying in a teaching establishment in Portugal;
– First degree ascendants (parents) of the applicant or of the spouse, provided they are dependent;
– Minor siblings, under the custody of the applicant by order of a legal decision by the relevant authorities of the country of origin, if such order is recognized in Portugal.
The following are considered relatives resulting from non-marital partnership:
– Life partner, with registered partnership under the law, either in national territory or abroad;
– Minor, single or incapacitated children, including children who have been adopted by the life-partner who has been given legal custody over those children.
Family reunification can be applied for at a Regional Directorate or Delegation of the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) from your area of residence.
Family reunification can be applied for at the same time as the ARI title, or at a later stage, according to the preference of the investor. In any case, it is always dependent on the decision on the application of ARI.
Family reunification requests in connection with the ARI scheme that are approved cost 5.137, 50€ per each family member; renewals cost 2.568, 75€.
15. What fiscal rules apply in Portugal?
The fiscal regime of investors who are in Portugal under the ARI scheme depends on the individual conditions of each investor and must be properly assessed by specialized tax advisors dully accredited to that effect by the Portugal Tax Office.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.secomunidades.pt
The Immigration and Borders Service: www.sef.pt
AICEP – http://www.portugalglobal.pt/PT/Paginas/home.aspx
Act 29/2012, 9 August – Aliens Act
Order MNE/MAI number 11820-A/2012, 4 September – ARI Programme
Order MNE/MAI number 1661-A/2013, 28 January –ARI Programme
Ordinance number 305 A/2012, 4 October – ARI Fees