Foreign Investment Control in Portugal
Approval Requirements For Foreign Corporate Investments in Portugal
More and more countries are tightening regulations for foreign investors that intend to acquire stakes in companies. Gonçalo Malheiro (Attorney, Partner at Abreu Advogados, Lisboa) and Laura Antunes (Attorney, Associate at Abreu Advogados, Lisboa) describe the legal situation in Portugal.
In Portugal, there are no restrictions or regulations concerning foreign investments in companies. However, Portugal holds a Gold Visa Programme («Golden Visa»), which grants a special residence permit to foreigners, that can be obtained through investment in the national territory.
As in several countries, Portugal holds a Gold Visa Programme («Golden Visa»), which grants a special residence permit to foreigners, that can be obtained through investment in the national territory. The Portuguese government created it in August 2012, through Law 29/2012. On December, 22nd, 2020, legal authorities approved legislation that restricts and limits investment conditions pertaining to the Golden Visa Program. According to the press release, the Golden Visa program will be limited in the areas of Lisbon, Oporto, and along the coastal line. Therefore, in principle, the program will only be available in the interior regions, Azores and Madeira. This limitation aims to foment foreign investment in areas with low population density and interior regions.
According to Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva, “this type of investment – mostly related to real estate – will thus be directed to the interior regions, Azores and Madeira”. A further underlying goal is to increase the investment volume in activities that directly correlate with job creation in sub-developed Portuguese regions.