Portugal has recently lowered the investment requirements and implemented new options in its citizenship by investment program. Thus, it is the best time to consider obtaining the Portuguese government’s globally well-known golden visa.
The main advantages of acquiring the Golden Visa are:
- Accessing the Schengen area: According to the Schengen agreement signed in 1985, Portuguese citizens have visa-free access to the Schengen area.
- Minimum stay requirements: Citizenship applicants only need to spend seven days in Portugal to acquire citizenship.
- EU citizenship: Temporary citizenship, granted relatively fast, can be changed into full citizenship. After six years of residency, temporary citizenship can be transformed into European Union citizenship if the eligibility criteria are met. This will allow the residents to work and live freely across the EU and have visa-free access to 172 countries.
- Lucrative investment: Although foreign investors contribute to Portugal’s economic growth by investing in this country, the booming real estate and thriving economy are mutually beneficial investments. The investment program alone has generated EUR 2bn for the country, providing more infrastructure for a promising economic future.
- Unique tax offers: Most foreign investors qualify to apply to a Non-Habitual Residence program (NHR) tax-exemption program – if they have not been living in Portugal for five years. This program includes several tax-exemption opportunities, such as foreign-source income tax waiver, including pension, capital gains, and employment tax. Any income earned from Portuguese resources is subject to a fixed tax rate of only 20%, which is relatively low compared to rates amounting to even 48% in some cases for non-NHRs.
- High-quality lifestyle: Due to the country’s stable political situation and unique infrastructure, Portugal’s quality of life has improved in recent years. It is also ranked the 12th most globalized country in the world. Lisbon and Porto are famous for their growing tourism industry and the culture and history of international visitors.
There are various options to apply for citizenship through investment programs:
- Real estate investment: At least USD 350,000 should be invested in a piece of real estate for this option, and this property should be older than 30 years within an area of urban regeneration. The possible renovations are included in the investment; thus, it is unlikely that the total investment amount will change significantly. As this program is flexible, one can purchase a property from the above criteria for at least USD 350,000. Citizenship can be obtained in as short as two months through investment in real estate. The basic qualifications for applicants are i) a clean criminal record and ii) not being listed in the Portuguese Immigration and Schengen Services registry.
- Capital funds: Investors can wire EUR 1M into a Portuguese bank account and freely spend their money on any business or invest in any shares or companies they would like to.
- Investing in artistic or cultural activities: A minimum of EUR 250,000 is required for this option.
- Investing in scientific or technological research: At least EUR 350,000 should be invested in a scientific or technical project conducted in Portugal.
- Investing in small and medium companies: At least EUR 500,000 should be invested in any small or medium-sized Portuguese firm or company.
The EU residency card will be issued as soon as the application has been approved and renewed after one year, three years, and five years. After six years of maintaining EU residency, investors will become eligible to apply for full Portuguese/EU citizenship. This allows investors to choose where to live and work across the European Union. A Portuguese language test and a clean criminal record are required at this stage.
For more details about Portugal’s Citizenship by Investment, talk to one of iKonnect Citizens‘ Citizenship and Residency Specialists today. Call +971 50 152 4200 or email info@localhost.