International Finance
Investment July - August 2018 Magazine

Portugal is Europe’s go-to business hub

The world’s top residence-by-investment program resides with Portugal, after the Global Residence and Citizenship Program 2017/18 report was released

According to information released by the Investment Migration Insider, the Golden Residence Permit Program in Portugal has been listed as the best residence-by-investment in the world — for a consecutive third year running. The program achieved a score of 79 out of 100 after being assessed on ten indicators: citizenship requirements, compliance, financial requirements, processing time and quality of processing, quality of life, reputation, taxation, time to citizenship, total costs, and visa-free access.

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, an international immigration and citizenship law expert and Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, was keen to point out: “The Global Residence and Citizenship Programs report is an indispensable tool, not only for all those interested in alternative residence or citizenship but also for professionals such as private client advisors, private bankers, and lawyers, as well as for governments operating investment migration programs.”

Why does Portugal have such an appeal to investors around the world and what are the benefits of a Portuguese residence? This brief guide will shine the spotlight on the country’s Golden Residence Permit Program and also look into other investment opportunities available within the nation.

An insight to Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program

Those who live outside of the EU and European Economic Area are eligible for Portuguese residence permits via investments. This provides them with the opportunity to obtain residence status and contributes towards their eligibility for a citizenship application following six years as a legal resident.

A residence in Portugal entitles an investor to:

Benefit from family reunification. They may also gain access to a permanent residence permit and Portuguese citizenship in accordance with the current legal provisions.

Enter Portugal without the need for a residential visa.

Live and work in Portugal bearing in mind that the minimum residencee requirement to qualify for the renewal of a Golden Residence Permit is seven days in the first year of residence for entitlement to the first renewal and then 14 days over the two subsequent two-year periods required for the next renewals.

Apply for Portuguese nationality, via naturalization, in compliance with Nationality Law requirements.

Travel visa-free within the Schengen Area.

It was evident that once the Golden Residence Permit Program was introduced there would be a higher demand. Between the scheme beginning in 2012 and BBC News spotlighting the program on March 19th 2014, the Portuguese government stated that 734 permits had been issued — generating over EUR 440 million in the process through property sales, investment in capital, and the creation of new jobs across Portugal.

Why are investors investing in Portugal?

Regardless whether you can gain a Golden Residence Permit or not, there’s a lot of benefits to investing in Portugal.

However, it’s known that the prices in Portugal are rising due to the amendments in tax policies — yet Portugal remains one of the countries with the lowing living costs. Its business-related costs and labor costs are both considerably lower when compared to many other Western European nations too, while the country also has one of the lowest crime rates throughout all of Europe.

Above all of that, Portugal has great geopolitical relationships with both Africa and the Americas, as well as Europe. Not only is the nation an EU member, but it also still has close ties with Angola, Brazil, Macau, and Mozambique and can be a gateway to other Portuguese-speaking markets.

If you’re looking to conduct business activity within this country, it’s also worth knowing that it has a great IT and physical infrastructure in place. Meanwhile, property investors will have many appealing locations to choose from; Portugal plays host to many sites of natural beauty, owing to its various rivers, mountains, and clean sandy beaches.

When it comes to investing in property, clientele can cover all types of people. For instance, Portugal proves very appealing to tourists — surely helped by the fact that the nation enjoys over 300 days of sunshine each year — and has a quality of life that is favorable to those looking for a peaceful destination to retire to. This is not forgetting the sports fans, who are likely to find Portugal attractive for being the largest area covered by golf courses in the whole of southern Europe.

It can sometimes prove difficult when choosing where to invest in around Portugal. The capital city, Lisbon, is a cultural melting pot, helped along by the fact that the annual Web Summit conference attracts tens of thousands of business people to the district every year. Meanwhile, the island of Madeira was shown in a recent INE report to have the second highest rate of recent property value growth and the Algarve is an area of Portugal that is regularly in demand.

With all stated above, Portugal is undoubtedly a great place to invest in. Will you be next to invest in the country?


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