PORTUGAL

Find out why Portugal is attracting a growing number of investors, retirees, and expats from around the world. 

A year-round Mediterranean climate. Dune-covered beaches with crystal blue waves. Irresistibly flaky pastel de nata tarts oozing with egg custard.

From its diverse landscapes to its fresh seafood-packed cooking, there’s a lot to love about Portugal. And as the sunny, seaside nation attracts international travelers at record-high rates, Portugal is also catching the eyes of savvy investors.

Touted as Europe’s best-kept secret, Portugal has become increasingly popular among investors, retirees, and expats from around the world.

Here are three reasons why Portugal stands out among European countries as a place to invest, live, and retire.

Portugal’s Golden Visa program

In an effort to attract foreign investors and property buyers, Portugal rolled out Europe’s first Golden Visa program in 2012.

By all accounts, the residency by investment program was a success – Portugal has since issued more than 6,000 Golden Visas to applicants and more than 10,000 to their family members. Since inception, the investor visa program has generated more than €3.7 billion.

So how exactly does Portugal’s Golden Visa work? 

The residence by investment program allows any third-country national – essentially anyone who is not a Portuguese or EU/EFTA citizen – to gain residency in Portugal with a qualifying investment in the country.
  • Transferring at least €1,000,000 to Portugal
  • Creating 10 or more jobs
  • Investing at least €500,000 in Portuguese real estate
  • Investing at least €350,000 in Portuguese real estate that is at least 30 years old or situated in an area the government has targeted for rehabilitation or gentrification
  • Transferring €350,000 to be invested in qualifying public or private scientific research
  • Transferring at least €250,000 to be invested in or used to support an artistic production or the renovation of national cultural heritage
As a Golden Visa holder, you and your direct family members qualify for permanent residency after five years of maintaining your investment. After six years, you qualify for Portuguese citizenship.

To obtain residency and citizenship, you and your family aren’t even required to reside in Portugal – you only need to spend at least seven days in Portugal during the first year, and at least 14 days in each of the following two-year periods.

As a silver lining, with Portuguese residency, you enjoy visa-free travel to all 26 European countries in the Schengen area.
Note that capital gains from the sale of securities are not exempt from taxation under NHR policies. 

In addition to the opportunity to legitimately reduce your overall income tax, non-habitual residents enjoy a number of other tax benefits, including a tax exemption for gifts or inheritance to direct family and free remittance of funds to Portugal. 
As a non-habitual resident, you also have the opportunity to earn Portuguese income taxed at a special flat rate of 20 percent.
You can apply for non-habitual resident status after achieving tax residency in Portugal. Residency can be established through the Golden Visa program.
To qualify for non-habitual resident status, you must not have been a Portuguese tax resident in the last five years. In addition, you must currently reside in Portugal and own or rent property in the country. 

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