According to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service, around 9,400 investors received a residency permit in Portugal between October 2012 and November 2020. The top countries include China, Brazil, and Turkey. Many factors are determinant for investors’ choice of these programs. Let’s look at some of them.
Investors can expand their mobility by basically obtaining a residency in another country. In this way, they can easily move between the two countries. Especially in the time of the pandemic, this has been very important for investors.
As the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Index indicated: “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’ … Covid-19 has shifted investor priorities, refocusing them on places that are healthy, pleasant, and welcoming.”
Other than easily leaving your country, you can also travel visa-free within the Schengen countries. You can obtain this right as soon as you obtain your Golden Visa. In Portugal’s case, if you obtain Portugal citizenship by investment at a later stage, you can also travel visa-freely to 186 countries. Also, you can live, work, or study in any EU country.
It is important to note that Golden Visa investment is a way to expand your mobility without a permanent stay requirement. For example, Greece’s Golden Visa does not require you to stay in the country at all.
Portugal, on the other hand, requires only seven days per year on average. So, you can stay wherever you want after you receive your Golden Visa. Expansion of mobility is an advantage for investors who want to expand their business. You can expand your network in another country and eventually conduct business there.
Favorable Tax Options
In terms of taxation, Portugal has gained much ground. It offers the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program for its new tax residents. Through this program, you will be exempt from most of your foreign income for a duration of ten years.
The NHR program requires that you have not been a tax resident in Portugal within the last five years. As a tax resident, you need to stay in Portugal for at least six months. So, you need to have a residency in Portugal if you are considering an NHR application. Golden Visa may be the solution for you as a non-EU citizen to obtain a residence permit in Portugal.
NHR is also quite advantageous for retirees too. As a retiree, you will be only subject to a 10% taxation on your foreign pension for a duration of ten years. Retirees can also consider Greece’s recent tax regulation. If you shift your tax residency to Greece as a retiree, you will be subject to a fixed 7% taxation on your foreign income. Also, this will be valid for ten years.
Not to mention that the Golden Visa countries have double taxation agreements with many countries. So, you may not be taxed on the same income in both countries if your country of origin is one of them.
Low Cost Of Living And A Better Lifestyle
Portugal and Greece have a very low cost of living compared to the rest of Western Europe. In this regard, US citizens have become more interested in Portugal. In 2019, a total of 65 US citizens obtained residency in Portugal. By November 2020, an additional 60 US citizens have been added. The reason for this interest is quite obvious. According to numbeo.com, the cost of living in Portugal is 30% lower than it is in the US.
Furthermore, Portugal ranks the third safest country in the world while the US ranks 121st, according to the recent Global Peace Index. We know that in recent years, security and stability are among the factors that shape global investors’ investment decisions, including American citizens moving to Portugal.
More than 4,000 US citizens have already been living as residents of Portugal, according to SEF statistics. Forbes elected Portugal as one of the top countries to visit after the pandemic. It stated that the country’s healthcare system had managed quite well in terms of handling the pandemic.
Certainly, being an EU citizen brings many advantages, especially if you are from a non-EU country. This is why Golden Visa programs are for. They let you be a part of their country as well as benefiting from your investment. In this way, you become an EU citizen and benefit from the same rights as a normal EU citizen does.
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