The low-cost and high-standard of living in Portugal is one of the reasons why the Golden Visa scheme has been the most popular of the investment migration programmes.
It is designed for non-European Union citizens and is a fast track for investors to obtain a residency permit in Portugal. The qualifying investment in property ranges from €280,000 to €500,000 depending on location and property type.
From January 1 2022 applicants will no longer be able to invest in properties in high-density areas such as Lisbon, Oporto and some parts of the Algarve, however, other areas do offer attractive investment potential such as the Douro Valley, Aljezur, Peneda-Gerês, Madeira and the Azores. There are still numerous options for investors looking to the Algarve as there are many hidden gems rather than the obvious geographical hot spots.
Applicants have the right to apply for a year's residency for themselves and their family. During this period they will be able to enjoy visa-free travel within the Schengen area and do not need to be tax resident. The scheme allows applicants to convert to citizenship after five years if they have spent a week each year in Portugal.
The 2022 changes will not be applied retrospectively – if an application is submitted before December 31 2021 the current rules will apply. The renewal of Golden Visa permits granted before January 1 2022, will not be affected by the changes.
The Portuguese Government has announced Golden Visa applications will now be digitalised which should result in a faster application process.
The advantages of the Portuguese Golden Visa are:
• Right to live, work and study in Portugal
• The residency card affords visa free travel within the Schengen area
• Only seven days of residence is required per year to maintain residence status
• Permanent residency available after five years
• Eligibility to apply for citizenship after five years while keeping other citizenships
• Citizens of Portugal have the right to live, work and study anywhere in the European Union
• Excellent international and Portuguese schools and universities
• International quality health care clinics and hospitals
• Variety of qualifying investment options available
• Efficient process
• Attractive taxation system
• Portuguese is the official language but English is widely spoken, particularly by younger people
• Portugal has a rich history and culture, exceptional cuisine, mild climate, stunning beaches and beautiful countryside
• Portugal offers a high quality of living and security.
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