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Understanding the Purpose of a Golden Visa

It is not every day that you come across a visa that opens up the borders of an entire continent, but this is exactly what the Golden Visa does. It was introduced by the Portuguese government back in 2012 to attract wealthy investors from outside Europe and it has worked surprisingly well. This blog post will help you understand more about how these visas work, so if you are thinking about applying for one then read on!

What Is A Golden Visa?

A Golden Visa is a visa that provides residency in exchange for investing at least $500,000 USD into the property in the country where it was issued. The amount varies by country and depends on how much money they want to attract from international investors.

For example, Hungary requires an investment of €250k or equivalent currency while Portugal only needs €50k euros or equivalent currency for a Mercan Golden Visa. In some countries, there are no set requirements for what you can invest but most require just one non-refundable purchase of real estate with either a value greater than €300,000 euros or above 500 square meters.

Some countries allow investments such as government bonds which have different rules about how long your investment must be held before getting citizenship; usually three to five years.

Benefits

The Golden Visa offers many benefits such as:

  • Citizenship within one year after obtaining residency status
  • Freedom from visa restrictions when traveling within Europe under Schengen Area membership
  • Access to international education programs offered by many European countries including kindergarten through university-level studies with fewer tuition fees charged for EU students enrolled in higher education institutions
  • The ability to live in a diverse society with different cultures and languages

The program is an excellent opportunity for people who want to invest in real estate, have access to European citizenship, or wish to study abroad without worrying about visa restrictions under EU membership.

Why People Want To Get One

There are many reasons why someone may want to get a Golden Visa, The two main ones for people in the United States for instance are that they have enough money saved up so that they can invest at least €500,000 into the property and live there on an annual basis, or they have a relative who lives in one of these countries.

The first reason is that if you haven’t lived in Europe before then it’s difficult to qualify for residency through any other means than getting married to a European citizen and even more difficult if your family doesn’t already live inside of EU borders.

The latter reason would be used by those who wish to take care of elderly relatives outside of their home country by hosting them over while also being able to travel back and forth.

How To Apply For One

Obtaining a golden visa is not as easy as it might seem. Countries are starting to adopt more stringent requirements; Portugal requires that the applicant has invested at least 500,000 Euros in Portugal or 250,000 Euros into an approved business project.

The country also now demands proof of health insurance coverage by applicants who do not already have residency status there.

These stricter regulations may be due to recent cases where fraudsters were uncovered using fake documents and/or contacts with Portugal government representatives in order to make such investments on behalf of others without their knowledge.

To get one you’ll need proof that your wealth is legitimate; documents such as bank statements, pension plans, shares certificates, deeds of property, etc., along with evidence that you have access to sufficient funds while living abroad, such as a monthly income statement from a non-working spouse.

The Types

In order to apply for a golden visa, it is important to be aware that there are many different types and each comes with its own requirements and benefits.

The Immigrant Investor Visa

Requires applicants to have either €500 000 into real estate in their new country or at least €250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This visa is for those who want to improve their quality of life in return for an investment.

The Retirement Visa

Requires applicants to be at least 55 years old and have €400 000 invested into government bonds, or shares. They can also invest €350 000 into real estate anywhere on the Portuguese coast; this option comes with a requirement that they maintain ownership of the property during their stay (and it must remain free from any mortgages). This type of visa is good if you are looking towards retirement and wish to live close to the ocean.

The Business Investor Visa

Requires applicants to have either £200 000 into business in their new country OR £250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This visa is for those who want to set up a business and live in Portugal.

The Ph.D. Student Visa

Requires applicants to be studying, researching, or teaching at an accredited Portuguese university. This type of visa will enable you to study without any tuition fees

The Innovator’s Visa

Has not yet been released but it is expected that the requirements will include either £200 000 into research projects or £250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares).

The Entrepreneur Visa

This one is also coming soon! The entrepreneurial visa offers residence permits with minimum investments of €50k in new companies registered outside Portugal. Applicants must have control over all company decisions. The Portuguese government has been very generous in that it does not require applicants to leave Portugal for at least five years and, if they do decide to live elsewhere during this time period, they will still be able to maintain their visa status by providing proof of regular visits back home

The individual investor Visa

Requires applicants have €100k invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This is the easiest option because there are no other conditions attached to it but you should note that with all types of visas there may be restrictions on employment opportunities depending on where your investment lies. For example, an immigrant investor cannot work as a doctor while applying for residency nor can he/she take up any jobs related to Portuguese immigration.

The Immigrant Investor Visa

Requires applicants to have either €500 000 into real estate in their new country or at least €250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This visa is for those who want to improve their quality of life in return for investing in the local country’s economy.

A Golden Visa is an opportunity to live in another country without having to go through the same visa process as everyone else. Whether you’re looking for more exotic and exciting places to visit, or if you just don’t feel at home where you currently reside – there are many reasons why someone may desire this type of immigration status.

DRBF 20th Annual International Conference

On June 30, DRBF’s 20th Annual International Conference was held in Lisbon, Portugal. Advisory Excellence Member, Giovanni Di Folco, was a speaker at the event. Giovanni is the President of Techno Engineering & Associates, which is a key player in the industry.

Mr Giovanni Di Folco speaking at the prestigious 2021 event.

Mr Giovanni Di Folco speaking at the prestigious 2021 event.

Event details:

  • 30 June: Q&A about DBs –  Mr Giovanni Di Folco, together with Mr. Sean Gibbs, Mr. Ignacio Palacios, and Mrs. Giorgiana Tecuci; 
  • 1 July: Effective Project Delivery: DBs and Quantum Assessment – Mr Giovanni Di Folco together with Mrs. Marianne Ramey and Mrs. Patricia Sulser;
  • 2 July: Dispute Board Seminar for Public Entities – Mr Giovanni Di Folco together with Mr. Leo Grutters and Mr. João Mora.

If you would like to find out more information, please visit the Techno Engineering & Associates website.

Hogan Lovells announces new Madrid Office Managing Partner

Global law firm Hogan Lovells announces today that José Luis Vázquez will become Madrid Office Managing Partner, effective 1 July.

José Luis will balance his new responsibilities with the leadership of the Banking & Finance practice in Madrid.

He takes over the role from Lucas Osorio, who will return full time to his practice. Lucas first took on the OMP role in 2014 and he has been instrumental in building up our Madrid office to our present position as a top 20 firm by turnover in Spain.

José María Balaña, Regional Managing Partner for the EMEA region, commented: “Spain is a critical part of our EMEA region, comprising 24 partners and more than 100 lawyers. I am delighted that José Luis Vázquez will become our next Madrid Office Managing Partner and will continue the growth and success of this office.”

Biographical Information

José Luis is a partner in the Corporate & Finance practice group of Hogan Lovells’ Madrid office. He is well-established in the market and regularly advises clients in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Having participated in some of the most high-profile financial transactions in Spain, his practice focusses on structured finance, debt capital markets, energy, infrastructure, acquisition and real estate finance, insolvency, and debt restructurings.

Madrid Office

Comprising 24 partners (22 of which in Madrid) and more than 100 lawyers, our Spanish offices had a record financial year in 2020 and saw a significant increase in activity in some of their most strategic areas, including Corporate & Finance. Our multilingual team regularly assists Spanish and international companies with high-profile cross-border transactions, including deals involving Latin America. Our lawyers also have deep expertise in energy, infrastructure, real estate, media and technology, insurance, and life sciences. We recently boosted our capabilities through the appointment of Gonzalo Ardila as head of the Litigation and Arbitration practice in Madrid, the promotion to partner of Inmaculada Lorenzo, and the recent hire of leading insurance practitioner Pablo Muelas García.

R&D return on pharma investment picks up for the first time in six years

In 2020, projected returns on investment in research and development (R&D) for a combined cohort of 15 global pharmaceutical companies was 2.5 per cent, 0.9 percentage points higher than in 2019. This is the first sign of a reversal in the declining trend seen over the past seven years, according to research by Deloitte’s Centre for Health Solutions.

The range in performance between the top performing and bottom performing companies has narrowed, however, with all but one company having an internal rate of return (IRR) below the industry weighted average cost of capital. (The weighted average cost of capital is acknowledged by most industries as the most common discounted cash flow method to derive enterprise value.)

In 2020, the cohort saw an increase in average forecast peak sales per pipeline asset (the amount of money a drug is expected to generate annually) to $421 million, from $357 million in 2019. However, the average cost to develop an asset (bring a drug to market) increased once more to $2,442 million, up $51 million compared to 2019 and a $1,115 million increase since 2013.

The increase in costs per asset is due mainly to a fall in the overall number of assets in late stage pipelines (the final stage of R&D before a drug is launched to market) which decreased from 213 in 2019 to 207 in 2020. Between 1 May 2019 and 30 April 2020, the cohort had a total of 53 assets approved, an increase from 39 in 2019.

Deloitte also commissioned analysis measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical trials to investigate the likely impact on future year returns. The analysis revealed that between March and November 2020, the pandemic affected an estimated 1,210 trials across the industry. The vast majority of these (66 per cent) had delayed starts or completions; and eight per cent were terminated (permanently stopped) or withdrawn (stopped before enrolling any patients).

Colin Terry, Consulting Partner for European Life Sciences R&D at Deloitte, commented: “We are finally seeing seeds of change in the projected R&D productivity given recent progress of some novel trial designs and improvements in efficiency through the digitalisation of drug discovery and development. However, adoption continues to be experimental and not at scale across the industry, although accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic across all stakeholders and regulators. The ‘need for speed’ has become all-encompassing alongside the realisation that development cycle times need to be reduced and new ways of working embraced to finally see the industry break the trends of the last decade.”

Neil Lesser, Principal, US Life Sciences R&D Leader at Deloitte added: “While the uptick in performance is encouraging, sustaining it will require companies to continue investing in approaches that led to this positive direction. These include expanding investments in digital technologies and data science approaches, as well as increasing the use of transformative development models. The industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic proved that biopharma innovation can be speeded up through creative approaches to drug development – only time will tell if this progress becomes a permanent legacy.”

Hogan Lovells strengthens finance capabilities with leading Brussels hires

International law firm Hogan Lovells is pleased to announce that Ivan Peeters and Philip Van Steenwinkel are joining the firm in Brussels with a focus on expanding the firm’s finance, capital markets and financial regulatory offering. They join with three associates.

“The addition of Ivan and Philip to our finance and capital markets team is an important step in our effort to strengthen our finance offering in Brussels particularly in the context of Brexit.” said David Gibbons, Global Head of the Corporate and Finance Practice at Hogan Lovells. “Their experience will enhance our ability to support clients on cross-border finance deals throughout the CE region.”

Ivan is a leading practitioner with international recognition in Europe, with a broad practice in advising on financial transactions, structured financing, capital markets and securities regulations, restructurings, and financial sector regulations. He combines long and deep experience of financial institutions and markets with regular contributions to the development of Belgian legislation, including in relation to covered bonds, securitisation, collateral arrangements and securities. His time as inhouse counsel at KBC and as a partner with reputed firms like Freshfields, Stibbe and PwC Legal provide him with a special background to help assist clients handle the major current market developments.

Philip Van Steenwinkel is a leading practitioner in banking and financial law, capital market transactions, structured finance and derivatives as well as other financial products. He acts for a wide range of leading financial institutions and corporates in Belgium and across the globe.

Commenting, the duo said: “We have worked with members of the Hogan Lovells network in the past and were always impressed by the firm’s high quality client service and the strength of its global platform. We see strong synergies with the Hogan Lovells offering. We are very excited to join and work with the team to continue to grow the firm’s finance capabilities cross- border and in the Belgian market generally.”

DLA Piper launches dispute resolution service in Luxembourg

DLA Piper is delighted to announce the launch of a dedicated dispute resolution service offering in Luxembourg for its clients. The practice will be led by Olivier Reisch with the day-to-day assistance of Amin Bouazza, fully dedicated to the practice, and the support of a task force of 8 cross practice Luxembourg-based experienced lawyers in tax, corporate, investment funds, capital markets, regulatory, insolvency and intellectual property and technology.

The Luxembourg office has had the expertise and ability to advise clients on dispute matters for some time but as a result of increasing client interest and increased activity the dedicated service has been formally established. DLA Piper has the local knowledge to apply the regulatory, economic, political and cultural context to legal issues and regularly handles technically challenging and complex multi-jurisdictional matters. In addition, its global reach allows it to provide clients with fully integrated teams within Luxembourg or wherever in the world advice and support is required.

Jean-Pierre Douglas Henry, Global Co-Chair of the Litigation & Regulatory practice, said: “This launch is significant for the global Litigation & Regulatory practice as Luxembourg is an important financial centre, and we are delighted to add to the global reach of our practice.”

Catherine Pogorzelski, Country Managing Partner of DLA Piper in Luxembourg, said: “The formal launch of this service is a testimony to our ambition of being a full service firm in Luxembourg and to support our clients in all areas of business law, especially in difficult times as the ones we are currently going through; it also demonstrates our true collaboration capabilities in response to clients’ needs. We have not only the local strength and knowledge, but as part of a larger global firm the ability to deploy cross-border teams where necessary. We look forward to supporting our clients in whatever area on law and in whichever country they do business in.”