Portugal is amongst the top ten most attractive countries to invest in Europe due to its quality of life, many tech hubs and great social stability. The country’s residence by investment scheme, commonly known as Golden Visa, is also currently the most attractive one in Europe according to the annual index published by Henley and Partners. However, it may be coming to an end.
This November, the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa announced that the program could have accomplished its mission. At this time, the program is still under appreciation, so it is still possible to apply for residency in Portugal through a Golden Visa. In this article we highlight some of the other advantages of the program:
Portugal’s Golden visa allows access to the Schengen Area
Portugal’s EU passport ranks 6th globally according to the annual passport index published by Henley and Partners.
A Golden Visa gives people the right to work and study in Portugal for five years. During this period, it is also possible to travel freely within the Schengen Area without a visa. After just five years, whoever is in possession of a Golden Visa can apply for a Portuguese citizenship and passport. The Portuguese passport allows people to travel to more than 185 countries in the world without the need for a visa.
Health and education
The health care system in Portugal is extremely affordable – in addition, children and elderly people receive free health care. Education, through public schools, is free for all foreign residents and Portuguese citizens.
Safety and low crime rates
According to the Global Peace Index 2022, Portugal is amongst the six most peaceful countries in the world, behind Iceland, New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark, and Austria. The country also has some of the lowest crime rates in Europe.
Low physical presence requirement
To maintain a Portuguese Golden Visa one only needs to reside in Portugal for seven days during the first year of residence and for 14 days during the two subsequent years.
The ARI includes the right to family reunification. This means that the rights of a Golden Visa holder extend to direct family members and/or dependents.
High English Proficiency
Portugal is the seventh country in the world with the best English proficiency level, according to the 2022 ranking by Education First (EF). Portugal is also amongst the few countries with a “high proficiency level” score. As such, most people living in Portugal can read advanced texts in English and negotiate contracts with native English speakers.
Portugal has Double Taxation Agreements (DTA) with many countries, including the USA. If a US citizen with a Golden Visa earns income outside Portugal and pays taxes for that income in the US, he or she does not have to do it again in Portugal. The protocol extends to pensions from abroad.
Recognized as number one
In March, Portugal’s residence by investment program won first place in the annual index published by Henley and Partners, an investment migration consultancy firm based in Lisbon. The result is based on the investment requirements, processing time, tax costs, reputation and quality of life. The country also occupies the top place in the Global Residence Index ranking.
Home to several tech hubs
Portugal has become an attractive hub for startups, with several incubators and investment funds accessible in the country. The capital, Lisbon, is home to the Web Summit, which is one of the largest international fairs that brings together investors and creators of startups from all around the world.
International Schools with a US Curriculum
Expats with children from English speaking countries can easily find schools that follow the US or the UK curriculum. The Carlucci American International School of Lisbon, in Lisbon, is one of the schools following the US curriculum. St Peter’s International School (Setúbal) follows the UK curriculum.
Several investment routes
There are several investment routes to obtain a Portuguese Golden Visa. One of the most common ones is investing at least €500.000 in a venture capital company. Venture capital firms, such as Lince, are public companies with the objective of investing in projects with strong growth and development potential.
Other ways to obtain an ARI is purchasing real estate property, investing in scientific and research projects or creating new jobs.
Since the start of the project, in 2012, Golden Visas ‘gave’ the country almost seven billion euros of investment. In exchange, Portugal has granted 11.384 residence permits for investment. The people that most apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa come from China (5222), Brazil (1158), Turkey (540), USA (513) and South Africa (493).
About Lince Capital
One of Lince Capital’s strengths is diversification. We work simultaneously in several business sectors such as real estate, healthcare, technology, and retail. We also balance different business maturities, with several investments made in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups. If you require more information about Portugal’s Golden Visa, feel free to contact us.