Portugal is a beautiful country with a rich culture, a pleasant climate, and a high quality of life. It is also a member of the European Union, meaning its residents can enjoy free movement and access to the common market. But what if you are not a citizen of Portugal or any other EU country? How can you benefit from living in Portugal and being part of the EU?
The answer is the Portugal golden visa, a special residence permit that grants you and your family the right to live, work, and study in Portugal and travel visa-free within the Schengen Area. It is designed to attract foreign investors willing to contribute significantly to the Portuguese economy. In exchange for your investment, you can enjoy various benefits that make Portugal an attractive destination for relocation and retirement.
Here we explore some of the main benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa and why you should consider applying.
What Is The Portugal Golden Visa?
The Portugal Golden Visa is a residence-by-investment program that was launched in 2012 to attract foreign investors to the country. It allows non-EU citizens who invest in Portugal to obtain a temporary residence permit that can be renewed every two years until they become eligible for permanent residence or citizenship.
The minimum investment required for the Portugal Golden Visa varies depending on the type and location of the investment. The most common options are:
- Buying real estate worth at least €500,000, or €350,000 if the property is over 30 years old or located in an urban regeneration area.
- Creating at least ten jobs in Portugal.
- Transferring at least €1 million to a Portuguese bank account or investing in Portuguese public debt or equity.
- Investing at least €350,000 in scientific research, cultural heritage, or social projects in Portugal.
- Investing at least €250,000 in artistic production or cultural activities in Portugal.
The Portugal Golden Visa is valid for one year and can be renewed every two years if the investment is maintained and the applicant meets the minimum stay requirements. The minimum stay requirement is only seven days per year for the first year and 14 days per year for the subsequent years.
After five years of holding the Portugal Golden Visa, the applicant can apply for permanent residence or citizenship, provided they pass a basic Portuguese language test and have no criminal record. Portuguese citizenship grants the applicant full access to the rights and benefits of being an EU citizen, such as freedom of movement, education, health care, and voting.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Portugal Golden Visa?
The Portugal Golden Visa offers many advantages for investors who want to live, work, study, or travel in Portugal and Europe. Some of the main benefits are:
It grants you and your family (spouse, children under 18 or dependent adults, parents, and siblings) the right to live in Portugal without restrictions or limitations. You can also work or study in Portugal if you wish, as long as you comply with the minimum stay requirements of the program.
It allows you to travel visa-free within the Schengen Area, which comprises 26 European countries that have abolished border controls. This means that you can move freely across most of Europe without applying for a visa or going through immigration checks. You can also visit countries with visa waiver agreements with Portugal or the EU.
Quality of life
Portugal is a country that offers a high standard of living for its residents and visitors. It ranks among the top countries in the world for safety, health care, education, environment, culture, and happiness. You can also experience the diverse and vibrant Portuguese culture, cuisine, music, art, and history.
It offers you the opportunity to earn income from your investment in Portugal. You can choose from different investment options, such as real estate, capital transfer, job creation, research and development, cultural heritage, or environmental projects. You can generate income from rental income, capital gains, dividends, interest, or other sources depending on your investment choice.
What Are The Tax Benefits And Implications Of Having A Golden Visa In Europe?
One of the main attractions of having a golden visa in Europe is the possibility of benefiting from a favorable tax regime in Portugal. Portugal offers tax incentives and exemptions for foreign residents and investors who qualify as non-habitual residents (NHRs).
A non-habitual resident is someone who has not been taxed as a resident in Portugal for the previous five years and who meets one of the following conditions:
- They become tax residents in Portugal by spending more than 183 days per year in the country or having their main residence there.
- They hold a golden visa or another type of residence permit that allows them to stay in Portugal for more than 183 days per year.
As an NHR, you can enjoy the following tax benefits for ten years:
- A flat income tax rate of 20% on certain types of income derived from Portugal, such as salaries, business profits, royalties, and fees from high-value-added activities (e.g., engineering, architecture, medicine, arts, etc.).
- A full exemption from income tax on certain types of income derived from outside Portugal, such as pensions, dividends, interest, capital gains, rental income, and royalties (subject to meeting certain criteria and avoiding double taxation).
- A full exemption from wealth tax and inheritance tax in Portugal.
However, having a golden visa in Europe also implies some tax obligations and considerations, such as:
- Paying taxes on your global income and assets to Portugal (unless exempt or covered by a treaty).
- Complying with your country of origin’s tax rules and regulations and any other country where you have income or assets (unless you renounce your original citizenship or residency).
- Knowing that the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) may share your financial information with other countries where you owe taxes.
The Portugal Golden Visa is a great opportunity for investors who want to secure a second residence or citizenship in Europe. It offers many benefits and advantages that can enhance your personal and professional life. If you are interested in applying for the Portugal Golden Visa, you should contact a qualified lawyer or agent who can guide you through the process and help you make the best decision for your situation.