What makes Portugal attractive to investors?
Henley & Partners’ Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2017–2018 report states that Portugal currently has the world’s top residence-by-investment program. But why?
It’s Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program that was named the best residence-by-investment program for the third year in a row. 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.
An international immigration and citizenship law expert, Dr. Christian H. Kälin, points out: ‘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.’
What exactly makes Portugal an appealing country for investors? And, what benefits do Portuguese residents get? 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
What is Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program?
The program is not available to Portuguese nationals or nationals of the EU and the European Economic Area. Non-EU nationals have the opportunity to obtain residence status and contributes towards their eligibility for a citizenship application following six years as a legal resident.
When a permit is granted, the owner is 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 residence 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.
The Golden Residence Permit Program proved popular soon after it was introduced. 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 appeal to Portuguese investment
Are you an investor? Whether you are eligible for a Golden Residence Permit or not, there are so many reasons Portugal should appeal to you.
The cost of living in Portugal is something that is sought after. In fact, it’s one of the lowest in the EU today. 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.
In terms of geopolitics, Portugal is well-situated with relations with Africa and the Americas on top of those with Europe. 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.
The country is not short of IT and physical 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.
For investors of property, they must bear in mind that their customers will cover many walks of life. 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.
Wondering where in Portugal to invest? 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.
Considering these reasons, it is no surprise that Portugal is a nation that catches the eye and attention of so many investors. Will you be next to invest in the country?
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