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Portugal Golden Visa - Arts and Culture route 2023

Law 63/2015 of 30 June came into force on 1 July 2015 and it makes further changes to the rules on foreign citizens entering, staying in and leaving Portugal and on their removal from the country (the "Residence Rules").

These changes include new types of "investment activities" that enable foreign citizens to qualify for a Golden Visa, including:

a) Support for artistic production

b) Renovation and maintenance of national cultural heritage

The minimum investment requirement for the above activities is EUR 250,000. However, this minimum amount can be reduced by 20% (that is, to EUR 200,000) when the activity is carried out in a Low Population Density Area, as officially defined.

The cultural Golden Visa route is not an extremely popular investment route. This is largely due to the ambiguity surrounding this investment option. So, let’s break it down.

Portugal’s cultural Golden Visa program offers two pathways: (1) artistic support funding and (2) a donation to the maintenance of national heritage. To qualify for the former, you must invest at least €250,000 in an artistic production, such as a film or musical. To qualify for the latter, you must donate the same amount, €250,000, to a qualifying art foundation or national heritage foundation.

It was in 2019 that the first processes began to be submitted to GEPAC. GEPAC is an integrated service of the Direct Administration of the State, which is responsible for guaranteeing technical support for the formulation of cultural policies, strategic and operational planning and international relations, in conjunction with financial programming, monitoring and global evaluation of results obtained, as well as ensuring legal and litigation support from the services and organizations dependent on or under the tutelage and supervision of the Government member responsible for the area of ​​culture. It is precisely the GEPAC – Office of Strategy, Planning and Cultural Assessment, that must issue an official statement proving that the investment was carried out in the cultural sector.

Order No. 2360/2017, approves the regulation for issuing said declaration attesting to the effective transfer of capital for the purposes of residence permits for investment activities in the cultural sector and establishes the rules applicable to the issuance of this declaration.

The entities that applied for activities under the investment residence permit (ARI) regime, and that have already obtained the due approval are, namely:

  • Serralves Foundation
  • Foundation Batalha de Aljubarrota
  • D. Luís I Foundation
  • Ricardo Espírito Santo Silva Foundation

Each of these Foundations has options suitable for this investment: from projects to restore pieces and art, to archaeology work, for example an international opera singing competition, films and exhibitions.

In case of any transfer to the entity responsible for the activity, the investor, or its representative, must then request the “b) Declaration issued by the Office of Strategy, Planning and Cultural Assessment, after hearing the service of the area of ​​culture with responsibilities in the sector, attesting to the nature of investment or support for artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage “as expressed in paragraph 8 of art. 65D of Regulatory Decree No. 9/2018, of September 11th.

For this purpose, the following documentation must be added to the application, addressed to the Director General of GEPAC:

  • Statement from the beneficiary entity, duly identified, confirming receipt of the investment;
  • Copy of the Declaration, issued by the Ministry of Culture, attesting the eligibility of the entity and the target activity of the investment (provided by the beneficiary entity);
  • Evidence of the international transfer and the transfer to the beneficiary entity;
  • Statement proving receipt by the beneficiary entity;
  • Evidence of power of attorney, if applicable;
  • Investor identification;
  • Representative identification.

It is important to highlight the importance of establishing a commitment with the entity benefiting from the investment in order to be able to provide the investor, or its representative, with the report on the execution or monitoring of the activity, target of investment, thus ensuring that, in the event of renewal residence permit, can prove what is required in paragraph 14 of article 65-E of that Regulatory Decree “ 14 — For proof of maintenance of the investment provided for in subparagraph vi) of paragraph d) of article 3 of Law no. 2007, of July 4, in its current wording, the applicant must present: a) Declaration issued by the Office of Strategy, Planning and Cultural Assessment, attesting that there have been no supervening changes, attributable to the applicant, that have compromised the investment or support performed or granted; b) Declaration issued by the beneficiary entity, attesting to the maintenance of the investment or support carried out or granted”.

In view of the recent law proposal presented under the Housing Programme, which also includes residence permits through an investment activity, there is an expectation, yet to be confirmed, that this cultural investment option will continue to be possible for those looking for a residence. without effectively relocating to our country.

Written by
Clara da Costa
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