What has turned Portugal into a hotspot for investors over the past few years and what are the benefits? This brief guide will help you understand the country’s Golden Residence Permit Program and also look into other investment opportunities available in Portugal.
For its third consecutive year, Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program has been announced yet again as the best residence-by-investment program around the world by the Investment Migration Insider. The program achieved a score of 79 out of 100 after being assessed on ten indicators: citizenship requirements, compliance, financial requirements, processing time and quality of processing, quality of life, reputation, taxation, time to citizenship, total costs, and visa-free access.
Released with the 3rd edition of Henley & Partners’ Global Residence and Citizenship Programs report, the Portuguese Golden Residence Permit Program has acquired the title yet again. The question is, what's so great about this program and how can it benefit you?
What is the Golden Residence Permit Program?
Basically, the Golden Residence Permit Program is only available to those who live outside of Portugal, the European Union and European Economic Area, such as US and Canadian residents — they can then gain Portuguese residency through investment. This doesn’t currently include British citizens, but may do after Brexit. This contributes towards their eligibility for a citizenship application following six years as a legal resident.
Those who gain a residential permit will be entitled to:
- Benefit from family reunification. They may also gain access to a permanent residency permit and Portuguese citizenship;
- Enter Portugal without the need for a residential visa;
- Live and work in Portugal — remember that the minimum residence requirement to qualify for the renewal of a Golden Visa is seven days in the first year of residence for entitlement to the first renewal, and then 14 days over the two subsequent two-years required for the next renewals;
- Apply for Portuguese nationality, via naturalisation, in compliance with Nationality Law requirements;
- Travel visa-free within the Schengen Area.
After the program was initially introduced, the high demand for it only increased. Since the scheme began in 2012 it has generated millions of euros through property sales, investment in capital, and the creation of new jobs across Portugal.
Conditions for obtaining a Golden Visa in Portugal
Anyone who is not a European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) national can apply for a Golden Visa in Portugal or a Portuguese investor visa as an individual business person or through a business that has been set up in Portugal or another EU member state. However, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Capital transfer of at least 1 million euro into Portugal;
- Creation of at least ten job positions in Portugal;
- Purchasing of real-estate property in Portugal worth a minimum of 500,000 euro;
- Purchasing of real-estate property in Portuguese urban regeneration areas at least 30 years old to the value of a minimum of 350,000 euro;
- Investment of a minimum of 350,000 euro into scientific research in Portugal;
- Investment of a minimum of 250,000 euro into Portuguese arts, culture and heritage;
- Investment of a minimum of 500,000 euro into a small- or medium-sized business in Portugal.
Note that any investments that have been made must be maintained for a minimum of five years in total from the date when the Portuguese Golden Visa has been established.
The reasons behind investments in Portugal
There are so many advantages to investing in Portugal, and you don’t need a Golden Residence Permit to do so.
Portugal is currently looking over its tax policies and comparing them to other EU nations — but does have some of the lowest living costs in Europe, which can be beneficial to any investor. Its business-related costs and labour costs are both considerably lower when compared to many other Western European nations too, while the country also has one of the lowest crime rates throughout all of Europe.
Why should you invest in Portugal?
As well as good relations with Europe, Portugal also has strategic relationships with Africa and the Americas. Not only is the nation an EU member state, but it also still has close ties with Angola, Brazil, Macau, and Mozambique and can be a gateway to other Portuguese-speaking markets.
The country has a great IT and physical infrastructure, perfect for those who want to run a business. Another positive aspect is that property investors will have many appealing locations to choose from; Portugal plays host to many sites of natural beauty, with various rivers, mountains, and clean sandy beaches.
Investing in property in Portugal will allow clientele to cover a diverse number of people from different walks of life. For instance, it is very appealing to tourists and has a quality of life that is favourable anyone looking for a peaceful destination to retire to. And don’t forget about sports fans, who are likely to find Portugal attractive for being the largest area covered by golf courses in the whole of southern Europe.
However, when it comes to making investments, the variety of locations can be a challenge. The capital city, Lisbon, is a cultural melting pot, helped along by the fact that the annual Web Summit conference attracts tens of thousands of business people to the district every year. Meanwhile, the island of Madeira was shown in a recent INE report to have the second highest rate of recent property value growth and the Algarve is an area of Portugal that is regularly in high demand.
Just think about it and prepare to invest in Portugal!