The Global Peace Index – published by the Institute for Economics and Peace – ranked Portugal as the third most peaceful country in the world in 2019.
This was just the official confirmation of something that more than 15.000 High Net Worth Individuals and their family members since 2009 have already discovered, making Portugal the new California where entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, movie stars (like Monica Bellucci and Michael Fassbender), singers (like Madonna), and designers (like Christian Louboutin) have found a piece of heaven on earth.
Tax advantages, top-notch lifestyle make Portugal the place to be
It is fair to say that Portugal is the place to be these days, a fact several international publications like Forbes, CNN, BBC and the Financial Times – just to mention a few – have already attested to. But take it from the families who have moved to Portugal, also attracted by the personal tax program (the Non-Habitual Resident Program) or by the residency visa program (Portugal Golden Visa), who can be seen exploring and discovering Lisbon, Porto or the Algarve throughout the year.
Portugal has also “stepped up its game”, not only in providing exceptional relocation conditions for families but also for businesses, by reforming its Corporate Tax Code to meet international standards in 2014.
The Portuguese Golden Visa Program
Naturally, the Portugal Golden Visa program played a crucial part in this global interest in the country, since it enables non-EU individuals to obtain the right to reside in the country for at least five years. This also allows them and their family members to travel freely to and from the majority of European countries.
A Portuguese Golden Visa program can lead to permanent residence and/or Portuguese citizenship by investment and the right to an EU passport at the end of the fifth year of being classified as a resident in Portugal, all of this flowing from just one investment.
To qualify for a residency visa, an individual must meet and maintain one of a number of qualifying investment options (financial investments, real estate acquisition, donations, or creation of jobs in the country), as specified by the Portuguese Government.
The Golden Visa, in order to be renewed, mandates the family members to be in Portugal an average of only seven days a year during the five years of the program, potentially never triggering Portuguese tax residency.
Portugal’s Golden Visa is more than property investment
One of the most popular investment routes is the acquisition of real estate with a value of at least €500k.
While the Portuguese Golden Visa €500k program is still very popular between investors, the residency visa €350k is gaining more and more popularity over time, attracting more and more attention.
In 2016, the Portuguese Golden Visa €350k program takes only 1% of total investment in Portugal. In 2017 this Portugal property investment program took 6% of total investment while during 2018, Golden Visa €350k program reached 12%, or in other words - doubled.
Until the end of this year it is expected that the €350k citizenship by investment option takes at least 17-20% of total investments into the Portugal real estate.
This popularity has led to an increase in the value per square meter for Portugal's real estate. House prices in Portugal rose 3.3% in the first three months of 2019, compared to the last quarter of 2018; settling at €1.849 per square meter. This is an increase of 17% year-on-year, driving investors and families to look at other citizenship by investment options. The investment route that is “taking off” in the statistics is the investment into Venture Capital Funds.
In the same period of time, Golden Visa through the Capital transfer is not exceeding 6% of total investments, confirming that obtaining residency visa by investing into Portuguese real estate is still the most popular model, gaining more and more popularity over time.
In seven years in the Portuguese Golden visa program history, only 17 investors have chosen the job creation option, which mandates the generation of ten full-time positions, which is less than 0.1% of total Portugal Golden visa issued to investors.
This citizenship by investment program has some unique advantages compared to other investment routes – depending on the client’s investment appetite, of course. If you wish to know more about the Portuguese Golden Visa, please visit our Golden Visa page, with extended information about the residency visa program.
As already stated, €350k Portugal Golden Visa investments have become more and more popular over time, however investors can also look into purchasing away the city bustle. Citizenship by investment enables third-country citizens to obtain residency visa by investing €280k in low-density areas. Investing inland has a multitude of advantages, such as buying more than one property with the same money you would spend buying one property only in city centres.
If you’re planning to retire, Portugal was elected as a top country for retirees as you can benefit from Portugal Golden Visa program, attractive tax conditions as well as affordable cost of living.
If you need personalized guidance, please submit an enquiry and one of our Golden Visa experts will contact you with all the information you need to know.