Did you know that you can become a Portuguese resident by investing in the country? A total of 9,444 investors have already obtained residency in Portugal between 2012 January 2021. If you wonder how, read on to learn more about the process.
Property investment is the most popular way to get residency in Portugal
The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) releases updates regularly regarding foreign residents. According to that, 8,881 out of 9,444 investors chose to buy real estate to get residency in Portugal. This means more than 90% of the total investors.
Investors can both have a place to stay and benefit from other rights through this type of investment. Also, the real estate market is very promising and buying properties in Portugal are quite affordable.
Can UK citizens become Portuguese residents through Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa program aims at non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss citizens. Following the Brexit taking effect, UK citizens can also apply for this program. In fact, it will be quite useful because they can regain their EU citizenship rights in the long run.
So, it is a residence by investment in the first place. Make an eligible investment first, and then apply for your Golden Visa. When this is approved, you first get a temporary residency right. Portugal Golden Visa requires you to stay in the country for at least seven days each year. When you fulfill this following a period of five years, you can apply for citizenship and permanent residency as well.
Portuguese citizenship through investment will grant you EU citizenship too. This means that you can live and work in any EU country as long as you want, like before. Furthermore, Golden Visa includes your dependent family members as well. So, your children can also study in any EU country. In this way, you don’t need to separate from your family either.
Where the British citizens prefer to live in Portugal
Another 2019 data from SEF indicate that around 35,000 UK citizens live in Portugal as residents. UK citizens are attracted to this country due to the various benefits and charms it offers. The tourist places, beautiful coasts, high education standards, and healthcare services are among these charms.
Lisbon is one of the cities that UK expats prefer to live in most. Like many other Portuguese cities, Lisbon has almost a year-long sunny climate and many natural beauties such as coasts. Expats wishing to live in a more urban environment choose to live in this capital city of Portugal. Furthermore, if you want to move there with your children too, you can easily find high-quality international schools. Some schools with an English curriculum are also available, especially in Lisbon and Porto.
The Algarve is another preferred destination for the British people. It is home to many beautiful and idyllic coasts as well as tourist areas. Especially Faro, in this region is a very well-known destination for expats from the UK.
It is no doubt that another significant criterium for the British is the almost year-long sunny and mild climate. They enjoy the constant sunshine as much as they want. Furthermore, activities like surfing are also available for them. Especially Peniche, Ericeira, and the Lisbon coast are very popular surfing destinations. International surf events and festivals are also being held in many parts of surfing destinations.
Less crowd means more tranquility
Compared to the UK, Portugal is quite a less crowded country. While it is around 67 million in the UK, the population of Portugal is only a bit more than 10 million. The tranquil lifestyle of the country is in direct proportion to its small population. People do not rush for anything, and they enjoy each moment of their life to the fullest.
Property investment can be made in different amounts
There are four different property investment options to apply for Golden Visa. The minimum amount starts from €280,000. The amount differs mainly according to the location and the age of the property. Other options include:
€500,000 and €400,000 option
- Purchase of real estate at a minimum amount of €500,000, or
- Purchase of a real estate worth at least €400,000, if the real estate is in a low-density area
Note that the recent regulation requires you to buy property in the interior areas. The reason is that there is already a huge interest in Lisbon and Porto, which can be regarded as the centers of the country. So, as of 2021, you cannot buy real estate in Porto and Lisbon.
€350,000 and €280,000 option
- Purchase of real estate at a minimum amount of €350,000, if the property is at least 30 years, or if it is located in an urban rehabilitation area (though with less than 30 years), or
- Purchase of real estate at a minimum amount of €280,000 if the above mentioned property is also in a low-density area.
Tax exemptions are possible through shifting your tax residency
The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) schedule is the most well-known taxation program for foreigners. Through NHR, you will become exempt from taxation on most of your foreign income.
The requirements include shifting your tax residency to Portugal. Also, you need to have the right to residency in Portugal. So, your Portugal Golden Visa will be of quite help to gain this benefit.
As UHY (Urbach Hacker Young International Limited) indicates in its 2019 study, the income tax rates are higher than the European average. For example, “UK taxpayers on the same salary would pay a 46.1% tax rate, less than in Ireland, Belgium or the US, but above the European average tax rate of 44.2%”. So, NHR will lift the tax burden from your shoulders for a long time. Note that the NHR schedule is valid for ten years.
So, you don’t need to be discouraged by the Brexit issue as a UK citizen. A Golden Visa investment in Portugal can again grant you EU citizenship and many more rights along with it. Many great destinations in Portugal are waiting for you to buy a property and let yourself go to this amazing country.