Are you interested in getting second citizenship in an EU country? Did you know that Portugal has provided residency for almost 16,000 people since 2012? If you wonder how, let’s look at the details. Golden Visa programs are basically residency by investment schemes. This means that for example, you buy a property worth at least €500,000 in Portugal.
You can then apply for a Portugal Golden Visa and get residency in a short time. If you fulfill other requirements, you can even get citizenship at the end of a certain period. Is this all about the Golden Visa? Well, no. There are many other benefits you can enjoy once you have this special type of visa. Let’s take a look at what other benefits a Golden Visa offers.
Increased Mobility And Potential EU Citizenship
Covid-19 has struck all parts of the world without any exception. For sure, this affected investors’ priorities as well. The Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Index 2020 indicated the pandemic’s influence on investors. “Before the Covid-19 crisis, investors looked to second citizenship as a platform from which to dive head-on into a world of greater interaction, travel, and globalization. Mobility rights took … center-stage.
However, by blocking international travel, the Covid-19 pandemic has had the effect of reminding investors and the wider world of the fundamental importance of ‘home’. In other words, Covid-19 has shifted investor priorities, refocusing them on places that are healthy, pleasant, and welcoming.” In this sense, investors have become more concerned about the environment they live in.
So, how can Golden Visa programs help you extend your mobility in such a time of turmoil? There are two stages to this. Firstly, you and your family will immediately have a right to visa-free travel within Schengen countries.
Because you have a residency right even temporarily, you can easily travel between the two countries without much effort. The second stage is when you obtain citizenship. In this case, you’ll officially become a citizen of a European country. This means that you can live, work, or study in any EU country you want.
No Permanent Stay Requirement
Another advantage of Golden Visa programs is that they involve a very low stay requirement. For Portugal Golden Visa, it is sufficient to stay in the country for seven days on average per year. On the other hand, Greece Golden Visa does not involve a minimum stay requirement at all. This will allow you to maintain your usual lifestyle as before.
Furthermore, at the end of five years of successful residency, you can apply for permanent residency and citizenship in Portugal. You can read more about Portugal’s Golden Visa program or Greece’s Golden Visa program for additional details on the eligibility, investment types, and requirements.
Generous Tax Benefits For Foreign Investors And Retirees
Portugal is especially well-known for its tax regulations for foreigners. The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program is an example of this. This allows you to be exempt from most of your foreign income for ten years. The requirement is that you need to stay in Portugal for at least six months a year.
Also, you should not be a tax resident of Portugal within the past five years. The NHR is also quite advantageous for retirees as well. If you want to retire in Portugal, you can be subject to only 10% taxation for your foreign pension. This will also last for ten years.
Interest From American Citizens
American citizens are quite interested in Portugal in terms of cost of living and stability as well. According to numbeo.com, the overall cost of living in Portugal is 30% less than it is in the US. Also, the 2020 Global Peace Index indicates the gap between the two countries in terms of safety. Portugal is the third most peaceful country globally according to the index, while the US ranks 121st.
As a result, many of them consider Portugal as one of the best countries for Americans to move. The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) released data about it. According to this, around 4,200 registered US citizens were living in Portugal in 2019.
What Is The Process To Get A Golden Visa?
You first need to make an eligible investment in the country. Depending on the country, investments generally include property purchase or capital transfer to certain funds or authorities in the related country.
Following this, you prepare your documentation and apply for the Golden Visa. Each country has different waiting times to get a Golden Visa. For Portugal, it is roughly between 6-8 months. For Greece, it may take up to around three months.
After you get your Golden Visa, you will have a temporary residency in the country. As stated above, if you fulfill the related stay requirement, you can eventually become a citizen of the country as well. Not to mention that your dependent family members can benefit from all the rights of this program as you do.
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