Are you stuck stateside, wondering whether you could be living your best life in Europe?
But with so many attractive locations packed into a relatively small continent, where would you choose to spend more time, or even move permanently?
Portugal is a pretty good pick for several good reasons.
First up, it’s one of the most popular property investment locations in Europe. Whether you want to explore a laid-back new lifestyle, or you’re a serious investor seeking to capitalise on Portugal’s strong economy and bustling tourist trade, the country has many fantastic opportunities and is a popular location for those picking out holiday homes and rental properties.
Plus, through the Golden Visa scheme, you can move there permanently and enjoy all the benefits of Portuguese residency or citizenship, as well as EU citizenship. Read on for more information on this life-enhancing opportunity.
What’s the Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa program is a citizenship by investment scheme which confers permanent residency after five years or citizenship after six.
Furthermore, the conditions during the five years of qualification aren’t onerous – there’s no need to move to Portugal permanently and you only need to spend short time periods there each year to meet requirements, so you can spend your time as you please on both sides of the Atlantic.
Golden Visa makes Portugal a highly attractive prospect for investors from across the globe, and it’s increasingly popular with US emigrants attracted by the country’s reasonably low cost of living, free healthcare and natural beauty.
If you’re considering leaving the US, read on to find out why you should consider Portugal, and why the Golden Visa program is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss out on.
Why Choose Portugal?
When it comes to holidaymaking, relocation or investment, Portugal ranks high on the list of desirable locations for a number of reasons:
- First (and foremost for many) comes the country’s warm climate, which is conducive to a sociable outdoor lifestyle where you can dine al fresco every evening and take a cathartic dip in the pool or sea to refresh yourself whenever the mood takes you. Portuguese summers tend to hit highs of 24 degrees, while its winters are extremely mild and rarely measure lower than 14 degrees. The sunny climate enhances the country’s picturesque beauty, which includes a number of beautiful sandy beaches and crystalline waters. Many coastline hotspots are also surrounded by a beautiful rugged terrain of limestone cliffs, and caves that are perfect for the curious explorer, or simple beachside walks with unique views. The countryside is also popular amongst locals and tourists alike, with its spellbinding verdant landscapes.
- Portugal also boasts some of the best cuisine in Europe, making it a gastronome’s paradise. Seafood is almost always on the menu and, particularly in coastal regions, the restaurants pride themselves on local sourcing. Red meats, fresh vegetables and lots of bread also adorn Portuguese dinner tables, while Madeira and Port wine are some of their proudest culinary exports.
- Residents in Portugal also tend to have a fantastic quality of life – in fact, in 2019 it was ranked by ex-pats in first place for ‘feeling at home’ in the Expat Insider survey and the third-best expat destination in the world overall. There are a number of reasons for this. In addition to the country’s beauty, it boasts a great healthcare system, low crime rates, a welcoming atmosphere amongst the locals and great opportunities for leisure activities – golfers will find themselves at home, and Lisbon is just one of many locations with perfect local fishing hotspots that are perfect for an aspiring angler.
- Golden Visas holders may also become eligible for the non-habitual residency program (NHTR). This has a number of tax-related benefits that will spare you from the iron fist of the Internal Revenue Service. Certain professions, including the self-employed, may qualify for the scheme, and it can include exemptions from foreign income sources like pensions, exemptions from wealth taxes, tax gifts to family members and direct inheritances.
Property investment is a major commitment to make, as is relocation. But as stated, the Golden Visa program is a flexible option for those who aren’t ready to make the move permanent straight away. The program’s minimum stay requirements average at one week a year and the permit grants free movement at all times in and out of Portugal.
Furthermore, the program also accommodates investors’ families. This includes your spouse, and any children you may have – provided they are under 18 and/or in fulltime education. If you have parents or in-laws who are financially dependent, they may also be eligible for the program too!
How to apply for a Golden Visa
The Portugal Golden Visa program is one of a number of citizenship by investment programs around the world and is widely recognised as being of the best.
The program encourages foreign investment into the Portuguese economy and is available to anyone who is not a resident of the EU, EEA or EFTA. It gifts investors a fast-track to Portuguese residency, which also allows them to benefit from the country’s EU membership – Golden Visa holders are able to travel freely between all 26 Schengen States, find out more about the costs of the Golden Visa in Portugal here.
If you’re looking to leave the U.S. for Portugal, then property investment is your perfect route to the Golden Visa. Any real estate investment of Є500,000 will automatically qualify you for the scheme – Lisbon, Porto and Silver Coast are amongst some of the most popular regions.
Alternatively, an investment of Є350,000 might be your golden ticket if you’re looking to spend a little less. Investments in this category must be located in one of Portugal’s more urban areas and should be at least thirty years old or requiring renovation, which has seen a huge increase in enquiries from places like Hong Kong.
And that’s not all, because there’s also an investment option of Є280,000 which applies to low-density regions and could be an affordable choice when it comes to finding a great investment outside of the main cities.
Once you’ve chosen your investment, the process is smooth and simple, and Property Lisbon can support you all the way.
If you want an exciting new lifestyle in on of Europe’s most eclectic and exciting countries, the Portugal Golden Visa could be your ticket to success!