Over the past few years, Portugal’s economy has gone from strength to strength. In 2017, Portugal registered a GDP growth rate of 2.7%, the country’s highest since the beginning of the new millennium, and in March 2020, the government announced that it had a budget surplus of 0.2%. This was the first surplus recorded since Portugal became a democracy and the first time a southern European nation achieved a surplus since records began.
In addition to these figures, and despite the unique challenges that the global economy has faced this year, Portugal remains resilient, with strong rebound growth in Q3 of 2020. The simple fact is, for investors looking for good returns after the pandemic is over, Portugal is still a promising opportunity, with benefits that go way beyond a simple return on your investment!
At Planeur, we specialise in securing visas for investors and entrepreneurs looking to gain access to the EU. With the right visa, not only can you invest in the Portuguese economy, you can also gain residency in the EU and open up all of the opportunities the continent offers. Here, we take a look at which type of investment visa is right for you.
Is There an Equivalent to the E-2 visa in the EU?
The E-2 visa is available to businesspeople who want to invest in the US. It’s valid for three months to five years and allows investors to live in the US in order to run their business and control their investment. It also allows dependents of the visa holder to apply to live in the country for the duration of the visa period.
While there’s no exact equivalent to the E-2 visa in the EU, there are visas readily available for US nationals who want to live, work or invest in Portugal and the Schengen area. Selecting the right visa for your needs will ensure you’re able to get the most out of the opportunities on offer.
Investment Visa Vs. Golden Visa
The main visa designed for investment in Portugal is the Golden Visa. This visa was created specifically to attract high-value investors looking to gain access to the EU while taking advantage of the many opportunities offered by the Portuguese economy. The Golden Visa, Citizen by Investment or Golden Passport (as it is otherwise known) all fall into the category of immigrant investor programs that are designed to attract foreign capital and business people by providing the right of residence and citizenship in return.
The Golden Visa offers considerable advantages over other visa options, particularly when it comes to flexibility, residency requirements and citizenship. The main benefits of a Golden Visa for US nationals are:
Golden Visa holders have a huge amount of flexibility when it comes to investing in Portugal. The Golden Visa allows holders to put their money in private equity funds or venture capital funds. Holders can also open businesses in Portugal and benefit from the country’s favourable fiscal system.
The amount that applicants are required to invest varies depending on their chosen fund, but opportunities are available from €350,000. All Golden Visa investments made in Portugal must be maintained for the full 5-year period of the visa.
Access to the EU
Golden Visa holders are able to travel freely within the Schengen area. At the end of their 5-year visa, they will be able to apply for full Portuguese citizenship. This will give Golden Visa holders access to a Portuguese passport and the right to live, work and study anywhere in the Schengen area.
Golden Visa benefits apply to both dependent parents and dependent children. This means that all of the holder’s immediate family can enjoy the many advantages of the visa scheme.
A major benefit of the Golden Visa scheme is the minimum residency requirements it imposes on the holder. Once you’ve obtained your golden visa, you’ll need to spend 7 days in Portugal in the first year and just 14 days in the country each subsequent year in order to maintain your eligibility
This gives investors a huge amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing their country of permanent residence. It also allows US nationals the freedom to focus on business interests both in their own country and the wider EU area.
Other Investment Visa Options
Another option for US nationals looking to move to Portugal is the Type 1 visa. Unlike the golden visa, this visa has not been designed to cater to investors and does not specifically serve the needs of individuals putting their money into Portuguese funds and businesses.
Instead, it’s aimed at individuals who have their own independent funds and are able to support themselves financially. It’s often known as the ‘Retirement Visa’. The Type 1 visa allows you to live and work in Portugal and gives you the ability to buy property, start a business, or invest in an existing venture.
One of the most important differences between the Type 1 and Portuguese Golden Visa is the residency requirements. Type 1 visas are designed for people who want to live in Portugal full time and become tax residents in the country. The Golden Visa allows the holder to live full time in their home country and maintain their existing tax status. This gives Golden Visa holders the opportunity to use the fiscal system that’s most beneficial to their financial position.
If you’re looking for a visa that offers maximum flexibility on investments and residency, as well as a wide range of other benefits, the Golden Visa is the ideal choice. Find out more about this specially designed investment visa and learn how we can help you secure a Golden Visa, by exploring our site today.