Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme has long been a popular choice for non-EU citizens looking to gain access to professional, educational, financial and cultural benefits. One of the most attractive schemes of its type has already allowed thousands of people to live, work, invest and benefit from everything the country has to offer, such as tax benefits, safety to name but a few.
Over the past few months, the demand for the Portuguese Golden Visa keeps increasing. Recent figures show that Portugal is on track to reach a 10,000 Golden Visa investor milestone in Q3. This is a considerable achievement considering the economic challenges the world is facing since last year, demonstrating Portugal is gaining preference over other countries when it comes to choosing the country to invest in when looking to acquire a Golden Visa.
So why exactly has Portugal become a Golden Visa hotspot? We’re taking a closer look to find out.
One of the main reasons Golden Visa applicants have been drawn to Portugal is the
country’s vibrant economy. In the third quarter of 2020, the Portuguese economy expanded by an impressive 13.2%. This strong recovery is evident across the board, with investor confidence growing across all sectors and industries. However, sectors with particular interest to investors include real estate, technology, and eco- and agri-tourism.
For example, a dynamic real estate sector has seen property across the country increasing in value by an average of around 5.9%. Reflecting and following the trend across the Iberian peninsula as a whole, and despite the continued COVID-19 crisis, investor perception of the market has remained positive. According to Francisco Sottomayor, CEO of investment manager Norfin:
“Iberia used to be a market in which you chose to invest, but now it’s a market in which you have to invest,”
In some parts of the country, the rate of growth has hit double figures. Vila Real in northern Portugal has seen property prices rise by an incredible 16.6%, while Aveiro and Viseu, in the centre of the country, have both seen an average increase of just over 14%. Other areas that have experienced double digit property price rises include Porto (11.6%), Coimbra (11.3%), Braga (10.5%) and Setúbal (10%).
Golden Visa applicants investing in venture capital (VC) funds are able to benefit from new exciting investment opportunities arising across the country. A number of VC funds, including the Planeur Portugal Fund, invest in real estate development projects as well as tech, manufacturing, eco-tourism and agriculture. Adapting and maintaining a good balance of asset diversification to mitigate risk during these uncertain times.
Safety and Stability
Another important factor for the increase of Golden Visa applications issued in Portugal mostçy for its safety and for being recognised as one of the most stable countries in the world. This stability has attracted large numbers of applicants away from other traditionally popular Golden Visa destinations like Cyprus, Greece and even Spain.
In part, this is due to comprehensive governmental support for the scheme, and the investments associated with it. Not only are real estate investments through VC funds supported by the government, but interest rates have also remained low. This stability in financial investment is also supported by wider political stability and a real commitment to growing the Portuguese economy from the government.
Investors applying for a Portuguese Golden Visa only need to spend 7 days in Portugal in the first year, and 14 days in each of the subsequent two year, in order to meet residency requirements. After maintaining your investment for the required period of five years, Golden Visa holders are able to apply for citizenship and gain permanent access to the EU and all it has to offer.
These generous residency requirements allow applicants to continue to live and work in their country of origin while benefiting from their investment in Portugal and able to access the remaining countries within the Schengen area. For professionals who run businesses in multiple countries, and those looking for a visa with maximum flexibility, these residency requirements make the Portuguese Golden Visa the perfect choice.
Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, a new way of doing business has arisen, investors are scheduling meetings through online channels and businesses have adapted to this new way of working. You can even open a bank account or acquire your tax number remotely from the comfort of your home.
This flexibility in residency requirements, alongside the fast adoption of investing from afar, has, of course, allowed many to apply for the Golden Visa despite travel restrictions—meaning that, at least from the investment perspective, there is no difference between being a domestic investor or a foreign investor, and Golden Visa applications have continued to grow thanks to this.
Another huge bonus is that while the applicant has the chance to live, work and invest in Europe, the Portuguese Golden Visa also extends to the immediate family of the applicant. Dependent children (as well as those aged up to 26 that are still in full-time education) will also be able to access the EU through the program. The same goes
for spouses and dependent parents. For non-EU citizens that want to secure the future of their entire immediate family,
Unlike other EU countries, Portugal offers a range of investment options to those
applying for the Golden Visa. While some of these options require an investment
of €500,000, applicants investing in VC funds are only required €350,000 to secure their visa. What’s more, VC funds provide investors with a good ROI, allowing them to benefit financially from their visa application. This makes Portugal one of the most affordable destinations for Golden Visa applicants and is another reason more and more are being drawn to the country.
If you’d like to secure access to the EU, and the many benefits it has to offer, a Golden Visa could be the perfect solution. Find out more and learn how Planeur can help you every step of the way, by taking a look at our website or contacting a member of our team today.