Citizenship planning is also unique for every investor. An investor needs to consult with their immigration expert, Tax Lawyer, accountant, or wealth advisor to establish a financial plan that will meet all their personal, family and business objectives.
One of the most sought after citizenship and residency solutions is the Portugal Golden Visa. Portugal is a beautiful country in southern Europe bordering Spain, one of your gate ways into the EU. Portugal has been voted one of the best countries to live in by expats due to its great climate, sunny summer days and mild winters, and not to mention the beautiful beaches that stretch out for days. It is predominately a Roman Catholic country with Celtic, Lusitanian, Phoenician, Germanic, Visigoth, Viking, Sephardic, Jewish and Moorish influence, the official language in Portugal is Portuguese and many of the citizens can speak English, French, and Spanish.
The Portuguese culture creates a vibrant atmosphere as it involves so many different aspects such as art, religion, literature and even soccer. Portugal has great opportunities for foreigners that are looking in acquiring and additional residency.
South Africans seeking to emigrate or simply acquire an additional residency, who are unable to meet the skills points criteria to move to the more traditionally popular destinations, are now increasingly seeking out alternative global locations that offer both the lifestyle and security that they desire for their families, hence Portugal has become a popular choice.
Different Pathways to the Portugal Golden Residence Permit:
The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program is a minimum of 5 years residence investment program for non-EU-Citizens. The Golden visa rewards applicants with residence permits. As of April 2020, the initial residence permits became valid for two years (used to be one year) and the subsequent permits became valid for three years each. After 5 years, the applicant will be able to apply for both their permanent residency and citizenship otherwise the Golden Visa will need to be renewed.
There are currently numerous investment pathways to acquire the Portugal Golden Visa, the most popular are the below:
- Real Estate Investment (280,000 Euros – 500,000 EUR)
- Starting a new business (350, 000 EUR & creating 5-10 jobs)
- Private Equity fund investment (350,000 EUR)
The private equity option has become very popular in 2021 due to its simplicity. Due to it’s popularity, the Portuguese government has confirmed that the amount for the fund option will be increased to 500,000 EUR in January 2022. For those interested it is now the time to invest.
Basil Mohr-Elzeki, VP Global sales at Stuart International, mentions the following benefits of the fund option:
- Risk: By investing in a fund, you have access to different asset classes which provides diversification, stability & in turn, lower risk.
- Cost: The fund option is more affordable with an amount of 350,000 EUR, which will increase in 2022 to 500,000 EUR.
- Time: When compared to starting a business or buying a property, there is much less work involved, it is one of the most passive ways to come to Portugal.
Overall if risk, cost or time is a criteria, private equity can be a viable option for your pathway to Portugal. Keep in mind, the clock is ticking as the minimum will increase in 2022 – by starting the process now you save over 40% on the investment amount.
The Golden visa for Portugal processing time can take anywhere from 8 to 10 months.
- Family members can be included on the Golden visa for spouse/legal partner, children under the age of 18 years, dependent children that are under the age of 26 years and are able to prove that the dependent will be studying or that the dependent is continually dependent on the parents, parents of either spouse if over 66 years of age (or 55 years and dependent) and siblings under the age of 18 years from either spouse or partner if they are legal guardians as determined by the courts.
- Access to the Schengen countries and visa free travel to 183 nations.
- Attractive tax regime for non-habitual residence.
- Grants the right to live, work and study in the country.
- If you are a holder of the Golden Visa in Portugal and are residing in the country, where you spend more than 183 days every year in the country, you are covered by Portugal’s healthcare system, with amazing discount rates. If you are not living in Portugal, you need private health insurance in Portugal to cover you.