The Golden Residence Permit is a programme launched to attract foreign direct investment into the country. The programme allows a residence permit to be granted for investment activity in Portugal for a minimum period of five years, after which the investor may apply for Portuguese (and thus EU) citizenship. Uptake for the residence permit has already brought in €306 million in investment.
The new Immigration Law introduces a single visa for foreign nationals wishing to enter Portugal and apply for a residence permit, replacing the six types of visa under the previous regime. The law provides better terms for many applicants, including temporary and seasonal workers, the families of visa applicants and non-EU students, but imposes stricter penalties on employers of illegal immigrants.