Portugal Golden Visa: How to Invest €280,000

The Portugal Golden Visa Program is a five-year residency-by-investment program. Investors can obtain residency permits for themselves and their families. After holding a residency permit for 5 years, visa holders may apply for permanent residence or citizenship.

To be eligible for a golden visa, applicants must:

  • Be a non-EU, non-Swiss, or non-EEA citizen.
  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • Make a qualifying investment of at least €280,000.
  • Comply with the stay-requirement – spend at least 7 days in Portugal the first year, and then at least 14 days each subsequent 2-year period. (A minimum of 35 days in the first 5 years)
  • Keep the investment for at least 5 years.

Qualifying investment options

Before any application can be filed, the applicant must make a qualifying investment, which can be any of the following:

  • A minimum capital transfer of €1,000,000

The investor can buy Portuguese public debt instruments, acquire an equity stake in a Portuguese company or deposit the funds in a Portuguese bank account.

  • Create 10 new jobs in Portugal for a Portuguese business or a single-member company (if in a low-density area, only 8 jobs are required)

No minimum investment amount is required. The investor needs to employ at least 10 workers at a minimum wage. Employees must have a work contract and comply with social security obligations. There are no restrictions on the activities or the area where the jobs are created.

  • Real estate investment of €500,000 (€400,000 if in a low-density area).

Applicants can invest in new or old property. All property types qualify. It can be commercial, tourism purposes, rental purposes, or serve as a second home, or for retirement. It need not be a single property, and all properties may be rented out.

Low-density areas are areas with less than 100 residents per square km.

  • €350,000 real estate investment in a rehabilitation project (€280,000 if in a low-density area)

To qualify, the property must be at least 30 years old and undergoing renovations, or the property must be located in an urban regeneration area. It need not be a single property.

  • €280,000 investment into preserving national heritage

Investors can invest through public institutions for the artistic production, recovery, and maintenance of Portuguese cultural heritage.

  • A minimum of €350,000 in scientific or technologic research.

Investors can invest in research undertaken by public or private institutions as part of the national scientific and technological system. In low-density areas, the amount is reduced to €280,000. Investment may be through a sole shareholder limited liability company.

  • €350,000 in corporate investment and job creation.

Investing in an existing limited liability Portuguese company, provided that the investment increases the share capital and creates or safeguards at least 5 full-time permanent jobs for at least 3 years, or investing to incorporate a limited liability company in Portugal and create at least 5 positions.

  • A minimum of €350,000 investment in Investment or Private Equity Funds.

Portugal golden visa venture capital funds are managed by fund managers accredited by the Portuguese regulatory body. Funds are usually managed in start-ups or medium-sized projects with good growth potential. Investors can choose from a variety of sectors like energy, industry, technology, and real estate.

Proposed changes to the scheme by the Portuguese government were suspended due to Covid-19. The changes would have blocked investors from investing in central Lisbon and Porto and limit real estate investments to inland municipalities from 2021.

It remains to be seen what the Portuguese government decides to do in the future.

CONSULTATION FROM LONDON IMMIGRATION LAWYERS – Portugal Golden Visa 

You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone as in person.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at enquiries@manns-solutions.com or call +44 207 993 63 46.

Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence: Main Reasons for Licence Application Refusal

Any UK based company wanting to employ a skilled non-EU or Non-EEU worker in the UK on a Tier 2 visa must apply for a relevant Tier 2 Sponsorship licence.

Tier 2 Sponsorship licence applicants must comply with all the requirements when applying; many applications are rejected or refused every year. It is important to note the difference between rejection and refusal.

If an application is rejected due to incorrect or missing documents, the application will be rejected as invalid, and the applicant will be able to correct the mistake and re-apply immediately.

If the application is refused, however, the implications are more serious. There is no right of appeal against an application refusal. Applicants must file a new application at full cost and can only do so after a minimum of a 6-month cooling-off period. The length of the cooling-off period will depend on the reason for the refusal and may even be 12 months under certain circumstances.

Main reasons for rejection

Common reasons for rejection include:

  • Failure to submit the relevant documents as set out in Appendix A of the Sponsor Guidance.
  • The Home Office cannot verify the certifier’s details where an original document has been certified.
  • Incorrect fees were paid.

Main reasons for refusal

 There could be different reasons why a Tier 2 sponsor licence is refused. Some of the main reasons include:

  • The submitted documents were false.
  • The applicant did not meet the requirements to be a sponsor in the category under which they applied.
  • The company previously had a sponsorship licence revoked.
  • The application failed the genuine test – the applicant did not provide genuine and compelling evidence that the employer is genuine, the vacancy is genuine, and that there is a genuine reason why the vacancy cannot be filled by a UK worker.
  • The applicant did not provide sufficient evidence that the company is registered and actively trading in the UK.
  • The applicant did not provide enough evidence to show that it has suitable HR systems and processes in place to implement and comply with their sponsorship duties.
  • The evidence is not sufficient to satisfy Home Office that the key personnel named in the application is honest, reliable, and dependable.
  • The Home Office requested further documents and the applicant failed to provide the documents within the given time limit.
  • The applicant has, or had, an unspent criminal conviction for a relevant offence, including any offences under the Immigration Act, offences of espionage or terrorism, dishonesty, tax avoidance, money laundering, abuse or neglect of children, or trafficking for sexual exploitation, or homicide.
  • The applicant is legally prohibited from becoming a company director.

Although there is no right of appeal against a sponsor licence refusal, applicants may submit an error correction application within 14 days of the refusal. Error correction applications may be submitted where the applicant believes there was a simple “caseworker error” or the provided information was not properly considered.

CONSULTATION FROM LONDON IMMIGRATION LAWYERS

You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone as in person.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at enquiries@manns-solutions.com or call +44 207 993 63 46.

Tier 2 General Visa: Entry Clearance Requirements

A Tier 2 General visa offers opportunities for skilled, non-EEA citizens, to live and work in the UK.

Entry clearance requirements

  • To qualify for a Tier 2 General visa, the applicant must be sponsored by a licensed UK based employer who is offering the applicant a specific skilled position that qualifies for Tier 2 sponsorship. The employer must be able to show that there is no suitably qualified resident or EU citizen to fill the position.
  • Individuals coming to the UK to fill a position on the shortage occupation list, may also apply for Tier 2 General visa.
  • The applicant must have a valid certificate of sponsorship for the qualifying position. Licensed companies must check that the applicant is suitably skilled for the sponsored position.
  • The certificate of sponsorship must confirm that the applicant will be paid the appropriate, or higher salary, and the applicant must have sufficient maintenance funds available.
  • Applicants must meet the English language requirements, which can be waived if the applicant holds an academic qualification equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or a PhD from an English taught institution.
  • Applicants must score at least 70 points under the Tier 2 criteria.

Tier 2 General visa minimum salary threshold

 Amongst other requirements, employers sponsoring individuals must meet the minimum salary threshold requirement.

The threshold depends on:

  • Whether it is a Tier 2 General or Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer.
  • Whether it is a new entrant or an experienced worker.
  • The standard occupational classification codes (SOC), as set out in the immigration rules, and
  • The number of hours worked.

For Tier 2 General new entrants, the threshold is currently £20,800 per year, or the appropriate specified new entrant SOC rate for the job, whichever is the higher.

A new entrant is a person who was under 26 years old on the date they applied, or the applicant qualifies under the post-study work provisions (switching from Tier 4 from within the UK after successfully completing their studies) and is exempt from the resident labour market test, or the resident labour market test was met under the provisions for new graduate jobs or internships.

For Tier 2 General experienced workers, the current minimum salary threshold is at least £30,000 or the appropriate specified SOC rate for the job, whichever is the higher.

If the applicant is needed for more than 3 years, the salary must be considered under the experienced worker level.

When considering the minimum salary, the number of working hours should be taken into account. This can become very important when the worker is paid the exact minimum salary. The minimum salaries are based on a 39-hour working week. So, if the worker is contracted to work more than 39 hours a week, the salary must be adjusted to meet the minimum salary threshold.

Indefinite leave to remain

Minimum salary thresholds apply if the visa holder wants to successfully apply for indefinite leave to remain. The threshold ranges between £36,200 to £40,100, depending on when the applicant applies between 2020 and 2024.

There is an annual limit on the number of certificates of sponsorship available under Tier 2 General visa. However, certain applications are exempt from this limit.

CONSULTATION FROM LONDON IMMIGRATION LAWYERS

You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone as in person.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at enquiries@manns-solutions.com or call +44 207 993 63 46.

Sole Representative Visa: Entry Clearance Requirements

An individual who holds a senior position in an active trading company whose head office is outside of the UK, but who plans to set up representation in the UK with the same business activities, can apply for a Sole Representative visa if the individual will be responsible for running the business in the UK, and is appointed as the sole representative of the company in the UK.

Entry clearance requirements for sole representatives

  • The company’s headquarters and main place of business must be outside the UK.
  • The individual must be recruited outside the UK.
  • The applicant must hold a senior position in the company and must have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the company.
  • The applicant must intend to start the company’s first commercial presence in the UK with the same type of business activity.
  • The applicant must intend to work full-time as the company’s sole representative in the UK, and not engage in other work.
  • The applicant must meet the English language requirement applicable to a Sole Representative visa.

Applicants need to provide evidence that they can support themselves, and dependants during their trip, plus details of where they will be staying.

The representative must be directly employed by the company and not be hired by the company as an independent sales agent.

The new branch or subsidiary cannot be established solely as a means for the applicant to enter and stay in the UK.

Documents required from the company’s overseas headquarters

 Applicants must provide sufficient evidence that they meet all the above entry clearance requirements.

Employers (headquarters) need to provide further documents to establish the following:

  • A detailed description of the overseas company’s business activities, including details of assets and accounts, it’s turnover and its registered offices.
  • A statement that the applicant does not own or control a majority of the overseas business.
  • A letter confirming that the company will set up the first subsidiary or register a new branch in the UK with the same business activity as it runs overseas.
  • The applicant’s employment contract, with a full job description and salary details that will apply whilst the applicant is employed in the UK.
  • A letter providing information about the applicant’s recruitment process.
  • A letter stating that the applicant is familiar with the business and has the relevant skills, experience, knowledge, and authority to take operational decisions and perform their duties.

Notarised statements confirming that:

  • The applicant will be the sole representative in the UK.
  • The company has no other branch, subsidiary, or representative in the UK.
  • The overseas business operations will continue to have its headquarters outside the UK and centre the business overseas.
  • The applicant will not engage in any other business of their own or represent any other business interests.

Representatives of overseas media organisations being posted in the UK on a long-term assignment can also apply for a Sole Representative visa.

CONSULTATION FROM LONDON IMMIGRATION LAWYERS – Sole Representative Visa

You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone as in person.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) and IMC.

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at enquiries@manns-solutions.com or call +44 207 993 63 46.

Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence: General Requirements

Any UK based company that wants to employ a non-EU or non-EEU Tier 2 visa applicant must hold a Tier 2 Sponsorship licence.

There are many types of sponsorship licences. The most common one is the Tier 2 General licence, which is the route most skilled workers have to use to enter the UK.

A foreign worker cannot simply apply to come and work in the UK; they need a job offer from a UK-based employer with a sponsorship licence.

The employer needs to apply to the Home Office to get a Tier 2 Sponsorship licence. The licence is valid for 4 years and must be renewed before it expires.

Once a company obtains a sponsorship licence, it can issue certificates of sponsorship (CoS) which is required as part of the applicant’s immigration application under Tier 2 of the points-based system.

Requirements for an employer to obtain a sponsorship licence

 To obtain a sponsorship licence, the employer must be eligible and suitable to fulfil its sponsor duties.

 To be eligible for a sponsorship licence, the employer must provide evidence to show that it is a genuine employer that is lawfully trading in the UK.

The Home Office will assess the employer to decide if the company is honest, dependable reliable, and capable of meeting the responsibilities expected of a sponsor. The following will be taken into account when assessing the suitability criteria:

  • Does the sponsor have the human resources and recruitment systems in place to fulfil their sponsorship duties?
  • Can the Home Office visit unannounced to check that the sponsor is complying with its duties? Is there a genuine vacancy that meets the criteria of the category that the employer is applying for?
  • Do any key personnel in the business have an unspent criminal conviction for a relevant offence?
  • Any evidence of previous non-compliance to sponsorship duties by the sponsor.

Supporting documents

 Employers who want to apply for a sponsorship licence must provide certain documents to establish their credibility. The list of supporting documents is set out in Table 1-4 in Appendix A of the Guidance for Sponsors.

In most cases, the employer must provide at least 4 documents from the list of possible documents. The required documents depend on the category of sponsorship the employer is applying for.

For Tier 2 General sponsorship, the employer must provide the following information, as well as at least 4 documents from Table 1-4.

  • The reason for applying for a sponsor licence (usually providing evidence of a skill shortage that needs to be filled).
  • The sector that you operate in.
  • Opening/operating hours.
  • A current hierarchy chart showing the owner, director, and board members of the business. If you have less than 50 employees, a list of all employees’ names and titles.
  • Details of the vacant job that the certificates of sponsorship will be assigned to, including the job title, the standard occupational classification code, duties, where the job fits in the hierarchy chart, minimum salary for the job, skills, experience, and qualifications required for the job.
  • If a specific person has already been identified for the position, evidence of how the person was identified as the most suitable for the job. If the person was identified through a recruitment process, copies of the advertisements should be included, details of all applicants, and the reasons why they were not suitable for the job. You also need to state whether the person is already working for you.
  • If a person is already identified for the job, and the employer wishes to assign the CoS to that person, the employer must provide the persons, full names, date of birth, nationality, current immigration status, current job title and duties, and 3 monthly payslips, if applicable.

Table 4 then provides a list of other documents that could be provided if the employer has not found 4 documents in Table 1-3 yet. Table 4 includes documents to show evidence of the following:

  • Employer’s liability insurance cover for at least £5m from an authorised insurer.
  • Listing on the London Stock Exchange Main or AIM markets.
  • Registration with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as self-employed, or as an employer to pay PAYE & National Insurance.
  • An audited annual financial report showing the name of the accountant that must be registered with an accredited accounting body.
  • Latest acknowledgment of a company tax return – CT 620, or completed CT 600 tax return and the CT 603 notice.
  • Certificate of VAT registration.
  • Submitting returns to HM Revenue & Customs.
  • Recent corporate bank statements and/or a letter from the bank stating dealings with the bank.
  • Ownership or lease of the business premises.

From January 2021 EU nationals not already living in the UK, might also need sponsorship.

CONSULTATION FROM LONDON IMMIGRATION LAWYERS

You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone as in person.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at enquiries@manns-solutions.com or call +44 207 993 63 46.

Tier 1 Investor Visa: Initial Visa Application and General Requirements

The Tier 1 Investor visa is aimed at high-net-worth, non-EEA individuals over the age of 18 years old, who have £2,000,000 or more to invest in the UK.

Entry clearance

 Other than the usual requirements for a UK visa, applicants must be able to prove that:

  • The money belongs to either the applicant or their husband, wife, unmarried, or same-sex partner, and
  • That they have opened an investment account with a UK regulated bank to use for the funds.

At the time of application, the funds must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions (in the UK or overseas) and must be freely available to spend in the UK.

Applicants must be able to provide evidence showing:

  • That they have at least £2,000,000 and where the money is being held.
  • If you’ve had the money for less than 2 years, where the money came from, and
  • If the money is not already in the UK, that the money can be transferred to the UK and converted to sterling.

If the money belongs to the applicant’s partner, the evidence must include:

  • A marriage, or civil-partnership certificate, or if unmarried, proof that they have been in a long-term relationship for at least 2 years.
  • A statement from the partner stating that they will allow the applicant to control the funds in the UK.
  • A letter from a lawyer confirming that the statement is valid.

Qualifying investments

 To qualify for a Tier 1 Investor visa, the funds must be invested in qualifying investments, which include:

  • Share capital or loan capital, an active and trading UK registered company. An active and trading UK registered company means the company must be registered with Companies House, must be registered with HM Revenue and Customs for corporation tax, must bank with and have a trading history with a UK based financial institution, and the business must have at least 2 UK resident employees (who are not directors of the business).
  • UK government (including a delegated government department or one of its agencies) funded pooled investment vehicles.

In practice, most UK registered companies that are listed on the UK stock exchange will qualify, unless it is engaged in one of the listed non-qualifying activities.

Previously, government bonds were a qualifying investment, but not anymore. If the Tier 1 visa holder, however, obtained the visa by investing in UK government bonds under the immigration rules before 29 March 2019, the Tier 1 Investor visa holder may rely on UK government bond investments for extensions of the visa until 5 April 2023, and for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications until 5 April 2025. After these dates, Tier 1 Investor visa holders can no longer rely on UK government bond investments for extensions or ILR applications.

Investments that do not qualify include:

  • Investments via an offshore company or trust.
  • Investments where the underlying investment cannot be guaranteed to be in the UK, such as investments in open-ended investment companies or investment trust companies.
  • Pooled investment vehicles (unless funded by the UK government).
  • Investments in property companies mainly engaged in investment, management, or development of property, including companies that earn a return through rental income (Investment in construction firms, manufacturers, or retailers who own their premises may however qualify).
  • Premium bonds and saving certificates issued by the National Savings and Investment Agency.
  • Funds invested solely as a deposit with a bank, building society, or other enterprises whose normal business includes accepting deposits.

It should be noted that all the capital initially invested must remain invested for as long as the applicant remains in the UK under the Tier 1 Investor visa.

Validity

 The initial visa is granted for 3 years and 4 months, after which the applicant can apply for a 2-year extension.

CONSULTATION FROM LONDON IMMIGRATION LAWYERS – Tier 1 Investor Visa

You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone as in person.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at enquiries@manns-solutions.com or call +44 207 993 63 46.