Even fancied living a slower life on the continent? Portugal is presenting itself as one of the new hot places to invest and live.
A recent report has named Portugal as the best residence-by-investment program across the globe for the third year running. 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. Dr. Christian H. Kälin, an international immigration and citizenship law expert and Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, was also keen to point 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.”
Why are people turning to Portugal? We take a brief look at the benefits and explain why you may be interested in joining too!
Detailing Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program
Non-EU nationals can gain access to Portuguese residence permits through investment. This provides them with the opportunity to obtain residence status and contributes towards their eligibility for a citizenship application following six years as a legal resident. Note that the program is not available to Portuguese nationals or nationals of the EU and the European Economic Area.
Once residence holders have possession of a permit, they will be 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 to be in high demand soon after it was introduced. Between the scheme beginning in 2012 and BBC News spotlighting the program on March 19th 2014, a total of 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.
Why is it appealing to invest in Portugal?
Whether you are eligible for a Golden Residence Permit or not, there are so many reasons Portugal should appeal to you if you’re an investor:
Portugal boasts one of the lowest costs of living in the EU today. Its business-related and labour costs are both considerably lower when compared to many other Western European nations, while the country also has one of the lowest crime rates throughout all of Europe.
Portugal is perfectly placed as well with strategic geopolitical 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. Therefore, the country can be a gateway to other Portuguese-speaking markets.
Those interested in conducting business throughout Portugal will be pleased to know that the country has well-developed 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.
People who are looking to invest in property should also take note that their clientele 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. The country has a quality of life that is favourable 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.
Variety is the spice of life when it comes to choosing where in Portugal to invest in. 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.
Looking at all of these reasons, it is little wonder that Portugal is a nation that catches the eye and attention of so many investors. Will you be next to invest in the country?