Portugal Golden Visa Qualified Investment Fund Option

Portugal offers various investment options to obtain a Golden Visa. One of them is the investment fund option. This investment option is gaining popularity day by day. Let’s look at the details of this investment.

What is the Investment Fund option of Portugal Golden Visa?

The investment fund option was first introduced in 2018.

You invest a minimum of €350,000 in this fund, and then you can apply for a Portugal Golden Visa. If you already think of investing in a start-up, you can make your investment more useful if you do it through Portugal Golden Visa. To do this, you first invest in a start-up or a project with strong growth potential. There are various sectors you can invest in. They include industry, technology, real estate, energy, and several more. Also, it is safe enough because the corporate experts of their field manage these funds. In addition to the experts, the central institution CMVM (Securities Market Commission) regulates these funds as well. 

Important Note: The Portuguese Golden Visa program rules will go through changes at the end of 2021. As of January 1, 2022, the changes will affect the minimum required investment amount for the investment fund option. It will increase from €350,000 to €500,000.

What is a qualifying fund?

A qualifying fund means the venture funds you invest in which are accepted by the authorities. They are the ones which are the best suitable funds for you to invest in. The qualifying funds are allocated to a Funds Manager with credentials. The fund manager then the amount in a sector of your choosing.

Pros and Cons of Golden Visa Portugal through Fund Option

There are both advantages and disadvantages of this investment option. It is important to weigh each of them and decide if it is suitable for you or not.

Pros

  • Firstly, the investment amount is quite low compared to other options for the Portugal Golden Visa program. For example, the requirement for a capital transfer is €1M, or for a real estate investment, it is €500,000. However, it is sufficient to pay only €350,000 for venture capital funds. 
  • Compared to real estate acquisition, this option does not require high taxes or fees. For example, if you acquire a property in Portugal, you need to pay IMI transfer tax (avg 6%), stamp duty (0,8%), and annual municipal taxes (between 0,3-0,5% annually). Comparably, investing in a fund does not require any of these taxes.
  • The registered funds undergo strict regulations and controls. For example, the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM), the Bank of Portugal, and the external Fund Management company regulate a registered fund. Besides,  the Portuguese Tax Authorities audit the fund as well. This means that the fund is made to follow the Portuguese legislation, tax laws, and the investment plan approved by the fund investors.
  • You may also be exempt from some taxes depending on the tax structure of the fund and the investor. In some cases, you may be exempt from withholding tax on the income made from the fund. It is especially possible if the investors are not tax residents in Portugal.
  • The eventual capital appreciation and the annual yields can be considerably higher than the other Golden Visa investment options. 

Cons

  • As stated above, a fund manager controls your fund, and decides on the strategy of the investment. So, you don’t interfere with this in any way. So, this may not be suitable for all investors. 
  • Through contracts, most of the funds guarantee that the funds will not be dissolved before a certain number of years. Yet, this can be problematic in some case. For example, mostly, the resale of the participation unit is quite difficult before the fund dissolves. Also, generally, funds have extension periods, and the participant cannot interfere with this. Another case is when the ultimate objective of the fund is to sell the portfolio at a target appreciation. In this case, it will be uncertain how the corresponding market will be when the fund decides to sell the portfolio.  
  • You share the potential yield and the ultimate capital appreciation with the fund managers. However, the management fee and the performance fee vary depending on funds.

Costs of the Fund Option

  • Minimum investment amount: €350,000
  • Performance fee: 35% of the profit. Yet, it may vary depending on the fund. Typically, the performance fee is between 20% and 50% above a hurdle on the profit.
  • Management fees: 1,5% annually. This also varies on the fund. Typically, the annual management fee is between 1% and 2% of the invested amount.
  • Legal fees: They vary depending on different variables. Yet, the fees do not differ between different investment routes.

Required Documents

In addition to the documentation required for your Golden Visa application, supporting evidence is necessary for the fund investment option. You must demonstrate that you have made the minimum amount of investment. You can either do it in person or through a shareholder limited company where you are the shareholder. Details of the required documents are below:

  • Approval of a credit institution. The institution has to approve the transfer of the amount which is at least the required amount. Also, this institution must be authorized or registered in the national territory within the Bank of Portugal. 
  • ​A document approving the ownership of the units of investment, free from any charges and obligations. The document has to be issued by the entity responsible for keeping an updated record of the units of investment holders.
  • The declaration by the holding company of the relevant investment fund. It must approve the feasibility of the business plan and the maturity dates of at least five years. In addition, the application of at least 60% of the investment in companies with their head office in the national territory. 

Golden Visa in Portugal At a Brief Glance

The Portugal Golden Visa program is a residency by investment program. It has been in effect since 2012. Since then, a total of 9,340 investors obtained their residency in Portugal. It is aimed at Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens. If such individuals invest in one of the options, they can apply for the Golden Visa, and obtain residency in Portugal. At first, it is a temporary residence. When you fulfill the minimum stay requirement, you can apply for permanent residency and citizenship. In the case of citizenship, you will also be an EU citizen and have a right to visa-free travel to 186 countries. In addition, you can live, work, and study in any EU country. You can also include your dependent family members in this program. All the rights mentioned will be valid for them as well. 

FAQ

Who can apply for the Golden Visa fund investment option?

Anyone who is a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen can apply for this investment fund option.

What is the minimum amount of investment for the fund investment option?

You need to invest at least €350,000 in fund investment.

What is the Portugal Golden Visa?

Portugal Golden Visa program is a residency by investment program. You will obtain residency and later potential citizenship in return for your investment in Portugal. 

Is it useful to invest in venture capital funds in Portugal?

It offers many benefits to its applicants. For more details, you can check the Pros and Cons section above. 

Can I invest in any Portuguese investment fund to apply for a Portugal Golden Visa?

Not all investment funds qualify for a Portugal Golden Visa. It is advisable to check them with an expert first.


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