Amendment
Taking into account the entire context of the epidemiological situation caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the exceptional measures adopted to deal with this pandemic, it has been put in place an interdiction to air traffic to and from Portugal for flights that do not belong to the European Union, starting 14th of November of 2020 at 11:59pm.
However, there are some exceptions such as:
• Air traffic to and from Portugal is authorized to all flights to and from countries belonging to the European Union, countries associated with the Schengen Area and the United Kingdom under the terms of the Brexit Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom;
• Flights to and from special administrative countries and regions are also permitted, as well as the entry into Portugal of residents in countries that appear on the list, provided that they have only carried out international transits or transfers at airports located in countries that are not included In the list.
The exceptional countries are as follows:
1 – Australia
2 – China
3 – South Korea
4 – Japan
5 – New Zealand
6 – Rwanda
7 – Singapore
8 – Thailand
9 – Uruguay
Special Administrative Regions (SARs)
1 – Hong Kong.
2 – Macau
• Air traffic to and from Portugal is authorized for all flights to and from countries that are not part of the European Union or that are not countries associated with the Schengen Area exclusively for essential flights.
• Under the terms referred to in Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/1551, of 22 October 2020, essential flights, namely those designed to allow the transit, entry, or departure from Portugal, are from:
(a) National citizens of the European Union, national citizens from countries associated with the Schengen Area and members of their families, national citizens from other countries legally staying in a Member State of the European Union.
(b) National citizens from other countries traveling for professional, academic, family, health, or humanitarian reasons.
• Flights to support the return of national citizens or holders of residence permits in Portugal and flights of a humanitarian nature, such as flights intended for foreign citizens who are in Portugal to return to their respective countries, provided that such are promoted by the competent authorities of such countries, are also authorized;
• Passengers on essential flights, with the exception of transit passengers who do not have to leave airport facilities, must present proof of laboratory testing (RT-PCR) prior to boarding to screen for SARS-CoV-2 infection, with a negative result, carried out in the 72 hours prior to the moment of departure, without which they will not be able to board (The airline may be prosecuted if these citizens are not refused entry in national territory);
• National citizens and foreign citizens with legal residence in national territory and their family members, as well as diplomatic personnel placed in Portugal, and who, exceptionally, do not have proof of laboratory tests to detect SARS-CoV-2 infection with a negative result, will be sent to competent authorities to carry out the said test at their own expense, upon arrival in national territory;
• Citizens who refuse to carry out the test on arrival in national territory, under the terms of the previous number, are immediately notified by the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service to carry out the test within 48 hours, at their own expense, and they may incur the crimes of disobedience and spread of contagious disease, with this notification being informed to health authorities and the local security force in the area where the person lives. (Passengers must remain in the residence or in accommodation of their choice until the negative result is notified. If not, they incur the crime of spread of contagious disease).
It should be noted that, however, the application of the fines referred to in the crimes above is not applied to the boarding of national and foreign citizens with legal residence in the national territory without the mentioned test, on flights originating in Portuguese-speaking African countries and on flights to support the return of national citizens, holders of a residence permit in Portugal or flights of humanitarian nature.

Information Note

On October 2nd, 2020, the Portuguese Parliament approved amendments to The Nationality Law, which was approved by the President on November 3rd.

The main changes are:
• The government must, within 90 days, fulfill the objective requirements to prove the effective connection with the Portuguese community in the naturalization processes of descendants of Sephardic Jews.
• It is no longer necessary to show evidence of the effective connection with the Portuguese community in the nationality processes of Portuguese citizens’ grandchildren, with the exception for evidence that the applicant has enough knowledge of the Portuguese language.
• For applicants who are married or in a non-marital partnership with a Portuguese citizen, the minimum requirement of three years to obtain Portuguese citizenship remains applicable. However, in cases where the applicant has been married or in a non-marital partnership for more than six years, the objection to the acquisition of Portuguese citizenship on the basis of non-existent effective connection with the Portuguese community is no longer accepted.
• Children born in Portugal to foreign parents who are not working for their own State and who do not refuse Portuguese nationality can also have the right to Portuguese nationality in its original form if one of the parents is a legal resident in Portugal or if, regardless of the title, the parent is living in the country for at least a year.
• Whoever did not retain their Portuguese nationality for living in Portugal for less than 5 years during April 25th, 1974 (The Carnation Revolution), has the right to Portuguese nationality if they did not work for their country’s government after not retaining the nationality and remained in Portugal, regardless of the title. The children of these citizens, born in national territory, can also be Portuguese.

We would like to recall that in July 23rd 2020, the Portuguese Parliament had already approved some amendments to The Nationality Law, such as the amendments concerning the grandchildren of Portuguese citizens and applicants married to Portuguese citizens, as can be read here: https://lamarescapela.pt/en/changes-in-the-nationality-law/

However, these changes were vetoed by the President to enable the Parliament to review some aspects regarding nationality application via non-marital partnership ( https://lamarescapela.pt/en/president-returns-changes-to-nationality-law-to-the-parliament/ ). The President welcomed a new version of the decree October 2nd.

The changes to The Nationality Law will come into effect the day following its publication although there might be some regulations and guidelines put into place for specific offices such as The Portuguese Institute of Registries and Notary (IRN).

This Information Note is addressed to clients and lawyers, and does not constitute advertising. The information therein contained is general and abstract in nature, and should not be used as basis for any decision making, without first resorting to appropriate legal advice. This Information Note may not be copied, reproduced or put into circulation, without the express authorization of its authors. For further clarification contact us at info@lamarescapela.pt

On July 23, the Portuguese Parliament approved some amendments to the Nationality Law, including amendments concerning grandchildren of Portuguese citizens and citizens married to Portuguese (you can read more about this here: https://lamarescapela.pt/en/changes-in-the-nationality-law//).

After approval by the Parliament, the legal texts are taken to the appreciation of the President, who has the power to promulgate (approve), veto (fail) or return the document to the Assembly of the Republic, without promulgation, so that there is a new consideration of the approved rules.

In the case of amendments to the Nationality Law, the President of the Republic has chosen to return the document, without promulgation, so that certain rules can be reviewed: these will only be the rules regarding the waiving of proof of effective connection to the Portuguese community for couples with children in common, who have Portuguese nationality. This decision does not alter the novelties regarding Portuguese grandchildren, it only delays the entry into force of the law.

The President of the Republic has argued that the approval of this rule would harm couples without children or Portuguese children who are not in common.

Therefore, and given this explanation, this specific rule will be discussed again in Parliament, since it was the only one that raised doubts in its justice to the Head of State.

During this period of pandemic, the interest of foreign citizens in the Portuguese Golden Visa Program did not fade. On the contrary, the month of May was even the month with the highest number of applications for Golden Visa since its creation in 2012.

One of the factors that may be on the basis of this record is the fact that most investors increasingly understand the extreme importance of having a second passport in the globalized world in which we live.

Having the possibility to easily travel to another country with your family and stay there legally can be a great advantage in a context of spreading of a disease.

Read more about Public Health and International Migration here 

The urgency of having a second passport at a time when most of the investments that can be used to obtain a Golden Visa require some physical/presential intervention by the investor has increased their interest in alternatives in which their intervention is not necessary.

Within this panorama, the interest in transferring capital in the amount of EUR 350 thousand or more for the acquisition of units in investment funds or venture capital has raised.

In our opinion, this growing interest of investors is due to five reasons:

1) Investors are familiar with this form of investment. They feel more secure in acquiring shares in investment funds because the rules for this type of investment are internationally similar and there are no substantial discrepancies;

2) They know that the investment funds they are dealing with are regulated by the Securities Commission (CMVM) and that they have to go through an extensive bureaucratic process until they are fully constituted. Regulatory scrutiny makes them feel secure about the seriousness of the players;

3) Unlike the other investment options available of equal value (350 thousand euros), this option does not require prior knowledge of the market or certain sectors of activity in Portugal. Both the acquisition and execution of real estate rehabilitation works with a value of 350 thousand euros or more; the transfer of 50 thousand euros, for the incorporation of a commercial company with head office in Portugal, combined with the creation of five permanent jobs, or for the reinforcement of the share capital of a commercial company with head office in Portugal, already incorporated, with the creation or maintenance of jobs, with a minimum of five permanent jobs, and for a minimum period of three years, are types of investment that require the intervention of several intervening parties and knowledge about the real estate and construction sector in the first case and about the corporate and labour sector in the second. For this reason, they seem, from the outset, more complex for the investor who cannot be present in Portugal to monitor the development of his investment;

4) The speed of investment is often pointed out by investors as one of the main advantages. Although the return on investment (ROI) may not be as attractive as in the case of real estate investment, the truth is that the process for subscribing to an Investment Fund may take less than a week to be completed, thus allowing the investor to start the process of acquiring the Golden Visa very quickly; and

5) It entails the payment of less tax than other investment options.

Read more about the types of investment available here 

On this last point, it is important to understand that the process of obtaining Golden Visa can only start when the investment is completed.

The Residency Program through the Portuguese investment foresees a total investment period of five years, so the subscription in the fund should continue until the end of that period.

In addition to maintaining the investment for five years, the minimum periods of stay in Portugal will have to be respected. The Applicant is required to prove compliance with the minimum period of stay in Portugal for a total of thirty-five days over the five years of investment.

The complete process of the Golden Visa until obtaining the passport or permanent residence permit for an investor and his/her family, has a set of 11 steps, more specifically:

1) Application of the Main Applicant (Investor), through Immigration and Border Services (SEF) and payment of the analysis fee;

2) Application for Family Members, through SEF and payment of the analysis fee;

3) Pre-Approval of the Main Applicant’s Application, after the analysis by SEF;

4) Pre-Approval of Family Member Applications, after analysis by SEF;

5) Schedule the collection of biometric data – according to the availability of applicants and SEF;

6) Submit valid original documents and collect biometric data upon appointment at SEF;

7) Final approval, after examination by SEF and payment of the Approval Fee;

8) Issuance of the first residence card, valid for one year;

9) First Application for Renewal (biometric data collection and presentation of the necessary documents) and payment of the examination fee (to be presented between 90 and 30 days before the expiry date of the card);

10) Second Renewal Application (biometric data collection and presentation of the necessary documents) and payment of the analysis fee, (to be presented between 90 and 30 days before the expiry date of the card);

11) Permanent residence and Portuguese citizenship application. After holding a temporary residence permit for 5 (five) years (Golden Visa), the Applicant may apply for Permanent Residence Permit or Portuguese Citizenship and thus have access to the Portuguese passport, which is considered to be one of the strongest in the world..

Golden Visa allows the investor to legally enter Portugal and travel freely through other countries in Europe and the Schengen Area. The Golden Visa Program not only allows the investor to obtain all these advantages, but also for spouse, children, parents and in-laws.

Read more about family reunification here 

According to an Announcement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Portugal, the processing of all national visas was resumed today, August 5.

In recent weeks there has been a reduction in the processing of national visas at the Portuguese Consulates in various countries, limiting their issuance to specific types of visas, such as visas for highly qualified workers.

However, as of today, these limitations no longer exist and it is now possible for a foreigner to obtain a visa for Portugal, regardless of its type.

It should be noted, however, that the processing of Schengen visas is suspended until 15 August 2020, except for the situations allowed by Order 7595-A/2020.

 

Fonte: MNE

On August 1st, at 00h00, new air traffic rules came into force from and to Portugal.

These rules indicate to us that traffic with European Union countries, as well as with countries belonging to the Schengen Area, can still take place without restrictions.

In addition to these countries, the Government has established the list of countries that can have connections to Portugal:
– Australia
– Canada
– China
– South Korea
– Georgia
– Japan
– Morocco
– New Zealand
– Rwanda
– Thailand
– Tunisia
– Uruguay

It should be noted that all flights to and from these countries may only take place if they are considered essential, regardless of the origin of the flights. Essential flights are all those made for work, study, family reunion, health or humanitarian reasons.

Regarding the conditions of entry into Portugal, all passengers must submit a negative test to the Covid-19, carried out in the 72h before departure (unless the passengers are in transit, and always remain in the airports).

All citizens with legal residence in Portugal (as well as members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Portugal) who do not present the test, will have to do it on arrival, inside the airport, and bear their costs. Those who refuse to take the test practice the crimes of disobedience and the spread of contagious disease.

Foreign citizens will not be able to enter Portugal if they board without the test.

As announced in May, the Government adopted simplified procedures for the decision of applications for renewal of residence permits, in which the Applicant will not need to go to a reception desk, but simply make the application at SEF’s online Portal.

This process will have two stages:

1. Submission of the application for automatic renewal

By registering in the personal area of the SEF Portal, it is possible to submit the request for automatic renewal of your residence permit.
It is important to point out that if you are the holder of a residence permit for study/ volunteer work; residence permit for investment activity; permanent residence permit; residence card (for family member of a European Union citizen); permanent residence certificate (for a European Union citizen), you cannot use the “automatic renewal” feature. In these cases, you must go to a SEF’s reception desk.

2. After submitting the application for automatic renewal

You must pay the fee for the application for renewal of the residence permit on the SEF Portal.
The fees have to be paid during the 48 hours after submitting the application.
After having received the confirmation of the application for automatic renewal of the residence permit you will only have to wait for the arrival of the residence card at your address in Portugal, so there will be no need to go to the reception desk.

These changes will avoid travelling to SEF’s counters, and will allow the renewal of the residence permit to be, for most citizens, quite simplified, since it can be done from home.

Source: SEF

 

On July 23rd, 2020, some amendments to the Nationality Law were approved by the Parliament. These amendments ease access to Portuguese nationality for some groups of people, namely grandchildren, spouses or non-married partners of Portuguese citizens.

With regard to Portuguese’s grandchildren, two major changes have occurred:

1.The first one concerns the ascendant, who must have Portuguese nationality in the original form.

  1. The second one concerns the proof of connection to the Portuguese community: the Applicant’s connection to the Portuguese community will now be proven, provided that he/she proves to have sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.

With regard to the acquisition of citizenship by marriage or non-marital partnership, there are also important changes:

  1. The requirement concerning the duration of the marriage or partnership – 3 years—does not apply if the couple has children with Portuguese citizenship;
  2. The legal action for recognition of the partnership is also waived if the couple has a Portuguese child.
  3. The possibility of legal action to oppose the acquisition of Portuguese nationality is not allowed if there are children of the couple, or the marriage has at least 6 years. In practice, this means that, in these two cases, proof of effective connection to the Portuguese community is not necessary.

Regarding the nationality of Sephardic Jews, the Parliament determined that the Government will implement, within 90 days (by amending the Nationality Regulation), the objective requirements for proof of effective connection to Portugal. This determination of the Parliament means that, in theory, there will necessarily be changes to the regime of acquisition of nationality of Sephardic Jews within 90 days, which will see their process made more difficult.

In addition to these major changes, Portuguese nationality may also be granted to individuals who have not retained it: for residing in Portugal for less than 5 years from April 25, 1974, provided that, from that moment on, they have not been in the service of the respective State and have remained and will remain in Portugal, regardless of their title, as well as to their children, born in Portugal and to whom no original nationality was attributed.

Portuguese nationality will now be granted to individuals born in Portugal, children of foreigners who are not in the service of their State and who do not declare that they do not want to be Portuguese, at the time of birth, one of the parents is legally resident in Portugal or, regardless of the title, has been resident in Portugal for at least one year.

The approved amendments will enter into force on the day following its publication, which is expected soon.

On all these changes and the others that the Law has undergone, there will be more to detail, being certain that the Government regulations and the position of the Central Registry Office on the practical application of the above mentioned changes are still unknown.

In the last two years, 14,344 people have joined the status of Non-Habitual Resident (RNH) in Portugal, with this programme now having 45,262 beneficiaries.
The status, created in 2009, allows an exemption from taxation of income obtained outside Portugal for a period of 10 years. However, from the 2020 State Budget it was defined that retirees residing in Portugal and enjoying the status of RNH, with pensions paid by a foreign country, will pay 10% on this income (instead of the previous exemption). This change should not alter the degree of attractiveness of this statute, since many of its holders come from countries with tax burdens much higher than Portugal.
It should be noted, however, that retired people who, at the time of the entry into force of the new State Budget, already enjoyed the status of Non-Habitual Resident (RNH), may maintain the exemption, unless they opt for taxation at 10% of their income: this option may be important, due to conventions to avoid double taxation.
Another major change in this special regime concerns the list of added value activities, which currently includes farmers and intermediate level professions, linked to science and engineering.
With this measure, Portugal attracts highly qualified people specialised in high value-added activities, with the capacity to invest and boost the national economy.

Digital nomads are a community of individuals who can develop their professional activity anywhere in the world, who usually use their computer as their main work tool and who take advantage of this fact to migrate to different countries with some regularity.
Digital nomads usually adopt a traveling lifestyle, spend seasons in one city, and easily move to another, or even to another country. This way of life allows a balance between travel and work. Not necessarily tourists, digital nomads are important for boosting the economy, culture and the globalisation of the places they pass through.
Also digital nomads see several advantages in Portugal when it comes time to choose a destination. Besides being highly prepared to receive these communities, Portugal is highly sought after for its climate, long coastline, safety (being one of the safest countries in the world, it inspires confidence to come here to live, alone or accompanied), culture and gastronomy.
Because they take root in the countries they pass through, there are factors that greatly influence the decisions of digital nomads: such as gastronomy, friendly and tolerant culture and the relaxed way of life. For this reason too, Portugal gains a serious advantage.
When coming to work in Portugal for more than a year, digital nomads need to acquire a residence visa.
To enter and stay in Portugal, the so-called Digital Nomads usually use one of two types of Visa: the D2 Visa (entrepreneurs, freelancers, self-employed) and the D7 Visa (income holders).
Both residence visas will give Applicants the possibility to travel to Portugal, apply here (within 4 months) for a residence permit and receive the resulting residence card. This latter will give the possibility to the Applicants to:
• Move freely as tourists throughout the Schengen Area
• To family reunification;
• Access to quality education, teaching and vocational training;
• To engage in a subordinate or independent professional activity;
• To enjoy a qualified and accessible health system;
• To access to the law and the courts; and
• Portuguese nationality at the end of the five years.
For digital nomads from European Union/ European Economic Area/ Andorra / Switzerland, they must instead apply for the certificate of residence in order to live here legally.