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July 31, 2020 - Comments Off on EDGE WEBINAR | Applying for the Non-Habitual Residency programme in Portugal’s Clean&Safe environment

EDGE WEBINAR | Applying for the Non-Habitual Residency programme in Portugal’s Clean&Safe environment

Tuesday 4 th August 2020, 11am

After a series of successful Webinars, we are very pleased to announce the next in our Webinar series: “Applying for the Non-Habitual Residency programme in Portugal’s Clean&Safe environment”, in partnership with the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in UK, which will take place on Tuesday 4th August 2020, at 11am (UK Time), via Zoom.

Are you wondering how to plan your move to Portugal and what you need to plan for? This webinar will contain all the answers you need on the Non-Habitual Residency Programme (NHR), one of the most efficient tax programmes available, and how Portugal’s lifestyle has attracted a diversity of individuals to Portugal. Forbes puts Portugal at the top of the list of countries to live and retire overseas post COVID-19, especially due to important factors like the country’s healthcare system, healthy living, language, long-lasting sunshine and safety, being ranked by Global Peace Index as one of the top 3 safest countries in the world for 2020.

If you wish to find out more about why Portugal continues trending as a Clean&Safe country to live and invest, especially through NHR and Golden Visa Programmes, and what might or might not change after Brexit, don’t miss this opportunity. Join us and hear all about real-life experiences regarding NHR Programmes and application process, and how Portugal continues to be a highly attractive country with government services that adapt as quickly and innovatively as possible to this #PostCovidWorld, with measures like the Clean&Safe campaign, and the Portuguese Health Passport.

Register here, and take the chance to hear from one of our Senior Partners, Geoffrey Graham, introduced by Christina Hippisley, General Manager at the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

We also encourage participants to send their questions prior to the webinar to events@edge-il.com.

Further information will be available on www.nonhabitualresidents.com and https://movingtoportugal.org.uk/

SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 11am (UK Time)

July 30, 2020 - Comments Off on Changes to the law of nationality

Changes to the law of nationality

The Portuguese parliament has approved on 23 rd July the amendments to the Law of
Nationality - Law 37/81 of 3 rd October. These amendments simplify the process for
obtaining Portuguese nationality by children of holders of residency permits,
grandchildren and for spouses of Portuguese citizens.

One of the main changes to the law is the one that applies to children born in Portugal
from parents that hold residency permits. In this respect, it has now been established
that it is sufficient for children born in Portugal to obtain direct Portuguese citizenship if
just one of the parents holds a residency permit for one year only.

Another changes that has been approved is related to spouses of Portuguese citizens.
Previously, the law established that a spouse could apply for Portuguese citizenship
after 3 years or marriage or civil union and if there was an effective connection to the
country. With the amendments that have now been approved, the minimum period of 3
years is waived in case the couple has common children of Portuguese nationality.

In addition, the Public Prosecutor’s office can no longer oppose to the application for
nationality on the grounds of absence of the effective connection to the country in case
the marriage has lasted for more than 6 years or in case the couple has common
children of Portuguese nationality.

Finally, regarding grandchildren, ie the second-degree descendants in straight line, the need
to show an effective connection to Portugal is now simply proven through sufficient
knowledge of the Portuguese language. This means that it is no longer necessary to provide
evidence of relevant ties to Portugal and existence of regular contacts with the country.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020

July 29, 2020 - Comments Off on Flights to Portugal – New Measures

Flights to Portugal – New Measures

The Portuguese government has just released an update to the regulations and restrictions applicable for flights to and from Portugal. This update follows the recommendations for the EU on flights and travel.

The new measures are divided between three main groups of travelers:
The first group includes all countries of the EU and some non-EU countries, including
Australia, Canada, China and a few others. For this first group access to Portugal is totally free and passengers can enter Portugal without any restrictions.

The second group includes travelers from all other countries. For these, it is mandatory to
have a negative Covid-19 test result done within a maximum of 72 hours before the date of
departure. In addition, travelling is limited to essential reasons (professional, study, family
reunion, health or humanitarian reasons) and for the return of citizens or residents of Portugal.

The last group applies to flights for the return of Portuguese citizens or flights from Portuguese peaking African countries where it is hard to secure tests before departure. In these cases, passengers will have to carry out a test on arrival, either at the airport or in a facility indicated by the authorities.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020

July 7, 2020 - Comments Off on Travel Restrictions Updated in Portugal and Europe

Travel Restrictions Updated in Portugal and Europe

In the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the consequent travel restrictions measures implemented worldwide, the European Commission has issued on 30th June 2020 recommendations to the member states of the European States with regards to air travelling within the European Union/Schengen Area and with third country states, in the direction of lifting the existing restrictions of travelling within member states as well as easing the existing restrictions to selected non-EU countries.

Consequently, the Portuguese Government has issued Decree 3427-A/2020, in which the recommendations of the European Commission for air travel within the European Union/Schengen Area and the United Kingdom have been fully adopted. Additionally, the Decree has also removed the existing air travel restrictions to the following countries: Argelia, Canada, South Korea, Morocco, Tunisia and China, subject, however, to the reciprocity of these countries with flights from Portugal.

The Portuguese Government has also created exceptions for flights coming from Portuguese speaking countries as well as from the United States of America.  Passengers from these countries will be allowed in case of essential trips, which include, travellers that are European Union nationals or holders of Residency Permits in Portugal, or the ones for professional, studies, family reunion, health and humanitarian related reasons.

In this respect, such travellers will have to show a negative Covid-19 test carried out in the last 72 hours before departure. Those travelling who are Portuguese Citizens or holders of Residency Permits in Portugal and that did not5 present such test on departure shall be submitted to a Covid-19 test upon arrival and at their own expense.

The policies set forth in the Decree 3427-A/2020 will be in force from 1st to 15th July and will be monitored closely and adapted in accordance to the evaluation of the epidemiologic situation.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020

July 7, 2020 - Comments Off on Chinese National security law sparks even more demand in Hong Kong for Golden Visa

Chinese National security law sparks even more demand in Hong Kong for Golden Visa

The national security law for Hong Kong was passed last Tuesday by the Chinese Authorities amid international criticism and global concern. Such law prohibits acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces and establishes severe penalties for those found guilty of breaking the law.

The passing of such law comes at a time when the interest from Hong Kong residents in the Portuguese Golden Visa programme has been increasing significantly.  Recently, the General Consulate of Portugal in Macau registered a very relevant increase in the number of requests from HK residents that are looking to invest and even move to Portugal.

The Portuguese Consul Paulo Cunha-Alves mentioned that the growth has already taken place "for a long time, basically since June last year", as Hong Kong recorded major pro-democracy demonstrations, which were violent and with great social, financial and economic impact.

The significant rise of interest in Portugal by HK residents has also been noticed and mentioned by multiple people from different sectors in Portugal, from developers and real estate agents, to lawyers, people in banking and many others.

In fact, despite the pandemic, according to the official statistics of the Portuguese Immigration Office, in May the investment through the Golden Visa almost tripled (192%) in comparison to the same month of the previous year, to € 146 million. In addition, May has recorded the highest monthly amount of investment raised since March 2017.

The Portuguese Golden Visa has always been looked at by HK residents as an extremely attractive residency by investment option and the instability in HK has made the interest increase even more.  In addition, Portugal is globally been considered as one of the best positioned countries for the “post-Covid-19 world”.

It must also be pointed out that not only the Hong Kong residents are interested in investing in Portugal but also many British expatriates living in Hong Kong are concerned about the instability in HK and also the consequences of Brexit and see Portugal as a safe and peaceful option.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020

July 7, 2020 - Comments Off on GOLDEN VISA | New Validity periods for Residency Permits

GOLDEN VISA | New Validity periods for Residency Permits

In accordance with the changes to the Immigration Law approved within the State Budget for 2020, the validity of the initial residency permits has now changed from 1 to 2 years.  As such, the residency permits that have been issued since 1st April 2020 already have this initial validity period of 2 years.

The changes that have been approved apply for all types of residency, including the Golden Visa programme.  Up to now, all residency permits were initially valid for an initial period of 1 year and were then renewed for periods of 2.  With this change, the duration of the initial residency permits is now 2 years consecutive.

It should be noted that the changes to the duration of the validity of the temporary residency permits does not affect the possibility of applying for permanent residency or citizenship.  In these cases, the minimum time required to apply remains 5 years.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020

 

April 13, 2020 - Comments Off on SOCIAL PROTECTION MEASURES IN SICKNESS AND PARENTHOOD

SOCIAL PROTECTION MEASURES IN SICKNESS AND PARENTHOOD

DECREE LAW 10- A/2020 OF 13TH MARCH

Following the pandemic declared situation, with serious risk to public health, the government adopted, among several other, measures to protect employees and self- employed workers in the general social security system.

In this context, the Government has decided to equate sickness with preventative isolation for the period of 14 days decreed by the health authorities and, this time, to ensure recognition of the right to sick benefit for these employees, corresponding to their entire pay.

In this case the grant is not subject to any waiting period.

These measures also protect employees who have to be absent in order to accompany, within 14 days, the prophylactic isolation of their children or dependents, such absences being considered justified. In the case of children under 12 years old or with a disability or chronic illness, employees are entitled to childcare allowance and grandchild care allowance, paid in an amount equivalent to 100% of their remuneration, with no required guarantee period, i.e. no minimum social security contributions.

Employees’ absence shall also be considered justified on the grounds of care for a dependent child or dependent under the age of 12, or with a chronic illness or disability, and shall not entail any loss of rights, where duly established by the competent health authorities or government. The employee is entitled to care allowance in the event of illness of a child or grandchild, paid by the social security authorities.

In situations where employees have to care for a child under 12 years of age or with a chronic illness or disability due to the forced school break, they can benefit from a monthly support corresponding to 2/3 of their remuneration, paid in equal parts by the employer and Social security, with a minimum national minimum wage of EUR 635 and a maximum of three national minimum wages of EUR 1905. This support depends on the application to social security and only in case other ways of being able to provide the activity are not justified.

It should be clarified that in the same family (household) only 1 parent can benefit from this support, since the same is not valid for both parents simultaneously.

Extraordinary protection measures were also adopted for the families of self- employed workers. These workers, also in the situations mentioned above, where they cannot normally continue their activity due to the care of children under 12 years old or with chronic illness or disability, or grandchildren, are entitled to financial support provided they have fulfilled their contribution obligation for at least 3 consecutive months. The support will be equivalent to 1/3 of the monthly reference pay considered for contribution purposes in the first quarter of 2020. In this case the limits are based on IAS (EUR 438,81), the minimum being 1 IAS and the maximum 2 1⁄2 IAS.

All these supports depend on application, again as long as the self-employed worker is unable to continue the activity in other ways.
Here too, only one parent can benefit from this support, as it cannot apply to both simultaneously.

Cláudia Vaz Póvoa
Employment Department
17th March 2020 

 

April 13, 2020 - Comments Off on TIME TO FILE YOUR TAX RETURN FOR 2019

TIME TO FILE YOUR TAX RETURN FOR 2019

Since 1st April 2020 individuals can file their personal tax return in Portugal for 2019. All Portuguese tax residents, including those with non-habitual tax residency status, are required to file a return based on their worldwide income for the previous tax year i.e. over the period 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2019. The deadline for filing is 30th June 2020.

If you have not filed tax returns for previous years you should file immediately in order to avoid accumulating interest, fines and possible seizure of bank accounts or assets.

We strongly recommend that the services of a Portuguese accountant are used in order to file the tax return correctly. We can as required provide the details of such an accountant on request.

We can assist with the preparation of the documents which will be required by your accountant and please contact us further on international@edge-il.com should you require this, or any other, assistance.

If you are a non-tax resident but have received Portuguese sourced income, such as rental income, for example, you are also required to file a tax return, as non-resident, for such income.

April 13, 2020 - Comments Off on Exceptional and temporary measures for the protection of jobs, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Exceptional and temporary measures for the protection of jobs, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government approved Ordinance no. 71-A/2020, of 15th March, with a view to determine extraordinary measures of immediate support for employees and companies, in which it establishes a simplified lay-off regime.

Due to a deeper reflection of the Government and in order to better clarify this legislation, Decree-Law no. 10-G/2020, of 26th March, was created, with the aim to clarify and compile what is set out in the aforementioned Ordinance also determining its revocation. The above mentioned Decree-Law will remain in force up until 30th June 2020 at the least.

This new legislation refers to the “lay-off” already known and determined by the Employment Code, which means that companies in a proven crisis situation can resort to the suspension of employment contracts or the reduction of the normal working period, but now in a more simplified procedural way.

The business crisis situation must be proven by the employer and an application filed by electronic sent to Social security services.

For this purpose, three types of situations are considered to be a business crisis:

⁃ Companies which have been forced to close their facilities and establishments, as set out in DL 2-A/2020, of 20th March, or by legislative and administrative determination (DL 10- A/2020, of 13th March) due to the declaration of emergency state;

⁃ Companies whose employer has declared, together with a certified accountant’s certificate, the total or partial cease of the activity, either due to lack of supply or lack of orders or reservations depending on the activity;

⁃ Companies in which there has been an abrupt fall at least 40% in their invoicing, in the period of 30 days prior to the application to Social Security, in comparison with the two months prior to that period.

All entities in this situation are naturally subject to supervision and may, in this circumstance, have to provide the competent authorities with documentary evidence of this business crisis situation.

The supports to which the employer is entitled under this Decree Law are:

⁃  Extra financial support for the maintenance of an employment contract - support of 2/3 of the salary with a minimum limit of a national minimum wage paid in 70% by Social Security;

⁃  Extraordinary training support – not cumulative with the financial support for the maintenance of an employment contract:

⁃  Extraordinary financial incentive with a view to normalizing the activity in the company – a minimum monthly remuneration per employee covered;

⁃  Temporary exemption of contributions’ payment by the employer to Social Security services.

⁃  The companies that have not requested financial support to maintain their employment contracts may still have access to support for part-time vocational training, also for one month, a plan that will be articulated with IEFP, I.P., with up to 50% of the employees’ monthly salary up to a maximum of one national minimum wage.

Companies receiving the above-mentioned support may also benefit from an extraordinary support provided to ensure the normalization of the activity, which is paid in one lump sum, in the amount of one national minimum wage per employee.

These measures can be combined with total exemption from payment of social security contributions while the measure is in force.

Both during the period of application and during the following 60 days, dismissals are not allowed and companies may not terminate the employment contracts of their employees neither by collective dismissal nor by individual redundancy.

Naturally, it is expected that companies will adopt a transparent and compliant stance in terms of compliance with this support package, under penalty of ceasing it and the consequent reimbursement of its payment, to the respective entities. The following are considered to be situations of non-compliance: dismissals, except for fair dismissals; non- compliance with legal, fiscal, administrative and other obligations assumed by the employer; distribution of profits by the company during the period of obligations arising from these incentives; false declarations; and also in the case of work in the event of suspension of the employment contract or the provision of work that exceeds the established time when the working period is reduced.

Cláudia Vaz Póvoa
Employment Department
27th March 2020

April 13, 2020 - Comments Off on Golden Visa Portugal
Appointments at SEF offices

Golden Visa Portugal
Appointments at SEF offices

In the context of COVID-19 pandemic, and after the State of Emergency having been declared in Portugal, the Portuguese Government has been passing legislation on multiple areas to assure the continuity of important services and the rights and obligations of all citizens during this period.

As part of the set of measures which have been implemented by the Portuguese Government, the authorities have decided to suspend attendances in person at the SEF offices until 1st July 2020.

This was determined by Government Resolution no. 3863-B/2020 of 27th march 2020, which also decided that the appointments that had been scheduled until 27th March will be re-scheduled from 1st July 2020 onwards in chronological order.

The above resolution also decides that all people with pending residency applications that are living in Portugal will be considered legal and will be able to access the public services such as hospital, schools, enter into work contracts and lease agreements, and others.

The Golden Visa programme has not been subject to specific legislation and it is important to mention that all applications, both initial ones and renewals, are being processed as usual. The standard timeframes for processing applications have not been affected by the current situation.

As any legislative is a continuous and complex process, we will be monitoring daily any regulations which may have implications on the Golden Visa Programme and we shall be updating our clients promptly.

Lisbon, 6th April 2020