Among the countries offering citizenship by investment, Portugal is very well known for its excellent residency by investment program, namely, Golden Visa. Being a member of the European Union has also made this country a desirable choice for foreign investors. Recently, Portugal’s citizenship’s five-year permanent residency requirement changed to a thirty-five-day stay. Citizenship applicants do not have to move to Portugal to obtain citizenship. Besides, the short period of staying in this country to maintain and legalize its citizenship is a huge advantage for people in business who are not willing to move out of their home country. Only seven days per year and thirty-five in total are the requirements of obtaining Portugal citizenship. This is different from other European Union members, requiring their applicants to stay in their target country for most of the year. Thus, Portugal citizenship applicants have to acquire a valid residence permit for five years, although they do not have to reside in the country during this period.
Another aspect that makes investing in Portugal rather attractive is the diverse and inexpensive investment options the government has provided for the applicants. The stable economy and various real estate markets have paved the way for relatively small investments to enter international real estate markets quickly. Portugal Golden Visa requires a starting investment of a minimum of USD 350,000. Investors can choose between investing in Portuguese real estate or Portuguese investment funds. This latter option has gained significant attention recently for multiple reasons:
- Emerging startups and medium-sized businesses.
- Solidifying the economy of the country.
- More funds imply more profit-making organizations, etc.
These, in turn, signify that investors can expect higher returns for their investments and shares in the long term.
The real estate market of Portugal is flourishing due to its tourism industry growth. In 2019, Lisbon was the most attractive European city for property investment. In the same year, more than twenty-seven million tourists visited Portugal. This is mainly due to foreign property ownership conditions and reasonable mortgage rates. Investments in Portugal’s real estate market cover 90% of all the assets made in the country. Investors can buy properties directly or make a mixed property and renovation investment.
The advantages of investing in Portugal’s real estate market are:
- Easy trading
- Booming tourism and surging rental requests
- Five-year guarantee by Portugues officials
- Higher returns (up to 30%) in comparison with members of the European Union
On top of these, tax waiver/reduction programs included in the Portugal Golden Visa lead to the total investment tax exemption over ten years. This has become possible through the Non-Habitual Tax Regime (NHR) program offered by the Portugal government exclusively.
The benefits of investing in Portugal markets are:
- Five years to qualify for holding a European passport
- Visa-free travel to a total of 183 countries
- Children and parents of investors qualify for the same benefits
- Little tax to-tax-waiver programs offered by NHR
- Short stay requirement for each year
It is also possible to obtain Portugal’s permanent citizenship, considering the qualifying investment is maintained for over five years. In summary, the Golden Visa requirements are as follows:
- Seven days stay in the country each year, and a total of thirty-five days in five years. During this period, the applicants should hold a valid stay permit issued by the Portugal government (issued by Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras or SEF).
- Applicants should make a starting investment of a minimum of USD 350,000 – this can be through different routes.
- Anyone outside the European Union can apply for the Golden Visa with a clean criminal record.
- Not committing crimes punishable by law in the five years of maintaining investment.
- Filling out the correct forms issued by the government
- Providing birth certificate
- Passing the Portugal proficiency test