Why investors are flocking to Portugal's Golden Visa program

Contributed by Global Citizen Solutions, 28 August, 2019

An extra passport can be an asset to any investor, particularly a European one. The benefits that come with the added ease of travel and the freedom to reside within Europe are immeasurable, and in times of political instability, residency in an economically stable country in Europe is not just a sensible idea, but also be an excellent financial investment.

Citizenship by investment programs, or "Golden Visas" as they are also known, allow investors from all over the world to obtain residency in certain countries through making investments which fulfil a specific set of requirements. Many programs also offer family members the same benefits, and in the case of some countries, there is no stay requirement. Depending on the program and the country, the investment can be made as a transfer of capital to the state, investment in property or an investment into a new business.

The best program in Europe

Those who enlist the help of financial advisors or do their research into citizenship by investment programs in Europe are likely to realise that Portugal's Golden Visa program is the best in Europe. According to Patricia Casaburi, CEO of Global Citizen Solutions, a company which specializes in assisting with citizenship by investment, "many are rushing to invest in Golden Visa programs as a second citizenship can provide security in times of political instability. Portugal's program is incredibly popular with investors precisely because it provides so many benefits".

What is it about Portugal's Golden Visa program that is bringing in so much investment? Well, it comes down to a combination of favourable market conditions, generous incentives from the Portuguese government and the ease of which citizenship can be obtained by investors.

Portugal's Golden Visa has resulted in over EUR 4bn worth of investment

Statistics released by the Portuguese border control SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) show that in 2019 investment in Portugal's Golden Visa has reached almost EUR 4.5 bn and that more than 12,000 residency permits have been granted, a massive success for a program which has largely helped lift the country out of recession. There have been big increases particularly from investors from the US, Turkey and Vietnam.

Portugal's Golden Visa is a particularly attractive option as the country is a participant in the European Economic Area (EEA), and residency guarantees applicants freedom of movement across the 26 countries in the Schengen Area, as well as visa-free travel to over a hundred nations worldwide. Portugal's program also allows dependents to benefit from the same rights and has a stay requirement of just 7 days in the first year. There are also no age restrictions on children who are included as dependents, so long as they are registered as full-time students.

The fastest and easiest route to citizenship

One of the aspects of the Portuguese Golden Visa that makes it stand out against other similar programs is in the length of time it takes to obtain citizenship. Whereas other Golden Visas in Europe can require up to ten years of continued investment, Portugal's Golden Visa allows investors to obtain citizenship after just five years.

Dynamic investment opportunities

Portugal offers the opportunity to invest in a dynamic housing market in a country with a stable market. There are many enticing investment opportunities available in cities such as Lisbon and Porto, which boast some of the highest rental yields in Europe, in terms of both long- and short-term leases, as well as a stable market which is forecast to have continued growth over the next 5 years.

Tax efficiency

An added bonus to investing in Portugal is the generous tax benefits which can be applied to both overseas and Portuguese income. The non-habitual tax status can in some circumstances result in significant tax reductions, and in some cases a complete exemption. Those residents in Portugal are also largely exempt from inheritance, gift and wealth tax.

Now is the time to invest in Portugal

Once these various factors have been taken into account, the Portuguese Golden Visa can quite easily be considered the best scheme of its kind in Europe, particularly when it comes to returns on investment, benefits and tax reduction. The western European country also boasts one of the best standards of living in the world for expats and is frequently cited as one of the safest nations in the world.

Tags: Immigration | Investment | Europe | Invest | Immigration | Investment | Visas and Passports | European Union (EU) | Portugal |



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