It has recently been discovered after the release of the 2017-2018 Global Residence and Citizenship Programs report that Portugal has the greatest residence-by-investment program.
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. Not only that, but it was named the best for the third year running alongside the release of Henley & Partners’ Global Residence and Citizenship Program.
“The Global Residence and Citizenship Programs report is an indispensable tool, not only for all those interested in alternative residence or citizenship but also for professionals such as private client advisors, private bankers, and lawyers, as well as for governments operating investment migration programs.” Dr. Christian H. Kälin, an international immigration and citizenship law expert and Group Chairman of Henley & Partners pointed out.
However, the last few years have made Portugal more appealing than ever — but how? This brief guide will shine the spotlight on the country’s Golden Residence Permit Program and also look into other investment opportunities available within the nation.
Describing the Golden Residence Permit Program
It’s important to understand that this program is only available to those who meet a certain criteria — you can’t be Portuguese and must be from a nation that is not part of the European Union or European Economic Area. This provides them with the opportunity to obtain residence status and contributes towards their eligibility for a citizenship application following six years as a legal resident.
If you have a permit, you are entitled to:
- Benefit from family reunification. They — may also gain access to a permanent residence permit and Portuguese citizenship in accordance with the current legal provisions.
- Enter Portugal without the need for a residential visa.
- Live and work in Portugal — bearing in mind that the minimum residencee requirement to qualify for the renewal of a Golden Residence Permit is seven days in the first year of residence for entitlement to the first renewal and then 14 days over the two subsequent two-year periods required for the next renewals.
- Apply for Portuguese nationality, via naturalization, in compliance with Nationality Law requirements.
- Travel visa-free within the Schengen Area.
Immediately after its introduction, there was a high demand for the program itself. Between the scheme beginning in 2012 and BBC News spotlighting the program on March 19th 2014, the Portuguese government stated that 734 permits had been issued — generating over EUR 440 million in the process through property sales, investment in capital, and the creation of new jobs across Portugal.
The reasons to invest in Portugal
However, if you’re not eligible for the permit — there are other reasons why you should invest in this country if you’re looking to gain something back.
Portugal is known to have one of the lowest living costs in the European Union — however, prices are increasing with tax policies under investigation. Its business-related costs and labor 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.
The country also has brilliant relationships with both Africa and the Americas, showing that they’re more than just a member of the European Union. Not only is the nation an EU member, but it also still has close ties with Angola, Brazil, Macau, and Mozambique and can be a gateway to other Portuguese-speaking markets.
Overlooked by my investors, Portugal has a great IT infrastructure. Meanwhile, property investors will have many appealing locations to choose from; Portugal plays host to many sites of natural beauty, owing to its various rivers, mountains, and clean sandy beaches.
The clientele of those looking to invest in property will cover a range of different people. For instance, Portugal proves very appealing to tourists — surely helped by the fact that the nation enjoys over 300 days of sunshine each year — and has a quality of life that is favorable to those looking for a peaceful destination to retire to. This is not forgetting the sports fans, who are likely to find Portugal attractive for being the largest area covered by golf courses in the whole of southern Europe.
There’s so much going on in Portugal too, so it can be difficult to choose where to invest in. 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 demand.
The reasons are clear as to why Portugal has become a lucrative market for investors around the world. Will you be next to invest in the country?