Published on 20th March 2020
Foreign buyers interested in Portugal’s real estate must act now!
Currently, Portugal has a Golden Visa program which allows foreign property investors to gain residency in the country. However, this is about to change.
Change in legislation
On 5 February 2020, the Portuguese parliament approved a measure limiting the issuance of ‘Golden Visas’ for real estate investments made across the coastline, including major cities. This doesn’t mean that there are changes being implemented right away, but that discussions over possible changes have started. On the table of discussions, there are many issues, like buying properties in major cities such as Lisbon and Porto may no longer qualify buyers for the Golden Visa and drive investors to purchase outside of these locations such as the country’s interior regions and the Azores and Madeira islands. The time frame for enforcement of the new legislation has yet to be announced but it is unlikely to be implemented before the end of 2020.
For foreign buyers who wish to invest in Lisbon or Porto in order to qualify for the Golden Visa before the law changes, they will need to act fast to beat the deadline. Purchases of property and their visa status prior to the deadline are not affected.
Portugal Homes’ Co-Founder and CEO, David Poston, wrote a message about these changes to the program here. Furthermore, you can also view our video on the Portuguese Golden Visa changes.
What is Portugal’s Golden Visa Scheme?
Portugal’s Golden Visa schemes offer residency in exchange for substantial investment in one or several sectors designated by the government. Applicants have various investment options, including putting €250,000 euros (USD273,000) into arts and culture, €350,000 into scientific research, or simply creating 10 jobs in Portugal through investing in a local company. Amongst these options, the easiest route to Portuguese residency seems to be an investment in real estate worth at least €500,000, or, if it is over 30 years old, €350,000 to encourage urban regeneration.
Portugal Homes’ website has plenty of information on the Portuguese Golden Visa. There are three references for the Golden Visa investment in Portugal, as we explained before. And some investors are beginning to realise the investment alternatives for the 350k Golden Visa option.
Until the changes to the program take effect, the lowest investment you can make to get the Portuguese citizenship is 280k. However, this investment has some counter-measures to take in consideration.
Advantages of Portugal residency
Portugal is regarded as a highly developed European country. It boasts state-of-the-art medical facilities and plenty of world-class universities that offer some of the best education in the world. It is a part of the European Union thus getting residency in Portugal means being eligible to live and work in many more countries that share the Schengen area. Moreover, a Portuguese passport allows access to 164 countries without a visa. Portugal also does not tax foreign income, which is good news for foreign investors. Dependent children and parents will also qualify for the same benefits.
Is Portugal’s Golden Visa a good option in 2020?
Portugal has almost completely recovered from its crisis back in 2008. Portuguese real estate market is still a booming one and real estate professionals argue that it will remain so in 2020.
Portuguese economy shows signs of continuous and stable growth giving confidence to investors. Investors realize that there are still several types of real estate investments available in sectors such as Hotels, Residential and Retail. Adding to this, Lisbon has an advantage and much lower occupation costs when compared with other European cities.
Read more about the present Portuguese economy status in our article “Portugal’s bright outlook offers Europe some hope”.
Lisbon offers some of the best returns on investment in Europe right now, due to the touristic boom witnessed in the later years. It is wise to know the best places to invest in Lisbon.
Besides also being at the top of the list of countries with a high level of English, Portugal holds the 5th most powerful passport in the world. In recent years the Portuguese passport has served as a gateway to almost 185 countries and it is as powerful as a passport stamped with Austria or the Netherlands.
As such, buying a property in Portugal now can yield a lot of benefits to its investor. It would be wise to make use of the Golden Visa program while it still exists, say industry watchers.
- Why is Portugal Europe’s new trendy spot?
- What are the living preferences of foreign citizens?
- Residency by Investment VS Citizenship by Investment: What’s the best option?
- How many square meters of property do residency by investment programs buy you in Europe?