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According to the US Department of State, “Portugal Golden Visa attracted €9.2 billion in FDI inflows, including €122 million from the United States”, only in 2019. Investors from the US are highly interested in Portugal due to various reasons. Flexibility regarding foreign investment and tax treaties are only a few of them.
European citizenship becomes easier and faster via Portugal Golden Visa
The Golden Visa program offers many investment options for international investors like US citizens. Furthermore, they are quite affordable and promising compared to many other investment schedules. Qualified investments range from buying property in Portugal to capital transfer into investment funds.
Following the completion of the investment, the residency period starts. A minimum stay of seven days is necessary each year. When you complete it after five years, citizenship will be available to apply. For sure, this means European citizenship as well, because Portugal is an EU member state.
With EU citizenship, you will get extended rights such as living and working in any EU member state. Your spouse, parents, and children can also become citizens like you, through this Portuguese citizenship by investment program.
Tax breaks are possible for US citizens
According to the US State Department, Portugal and the US have had an Income Tax Treaty since 1994. The aim was to avoid tax evasion and double taxation. Also, “In 2015, Portugal signed an agreement with the United States to improve international tax compliance and implement the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).” So, US citizens have been on the safe side regarding taxation issues.
Through the Portuguese golden visa program, however, they attain much more exemptions from taxes. For example, Portugal provides a non-habitual tax resident (NHR) program since 2009. It directly aims to attract non-tax-residents to Portugal. It is sufficient to have residency right in Portugal. Also, you cannot be a tax resident of Portugal in the previous five years. As a result of this NHR status, your income outside of Portugal becomes tax-exempt for ten years. This means saving a lot of money and tax relief during this whole time. For sure, you need to stay for at least 183 days each year in Portugal, to benefit from the taxation schedule.
NHR is only an alternative borne out of your Golden Visa status. It totally depends on you to choose this schedule or not.
Fast-track EU residency
Portugal Golden Visa provides a relatively fast residency. Following your application, you can obtain your Portuguese residency within up to six months. Depending on the workload of the immigration service (SEF), the duration may even be less than that.
So, if you consider shifting places in a short time, the Golden Visa can speed up the process. Also, you can easily shift your place whenever you need to. It becomes easier to move to your second country even in times of pandemics.
Portugal has been working on reducing the bureaucratic workload for its investors for years. It also follows EU law for both foreign and Portuguese investors’ equal treatment. It even has a website called Simplex to reduce the long bureaucratic process. The country is very open to foreign investment. This is why it does not discriminate between a Portuguese or a foreign investor when establishing a business in the country.
Affordable investment options
You can find a wide range of investment options while applying for the Portugal Golden Visa. Find some options below:
- Real estate purchase: You have options of €280,000, €350,000, €400,000, and €500,000. These are the minimum values you need to invest in. These options differ in terms of the location and condition of the property. An important note: the €500,000 option will not be available for properties in Lisbon and Porto as of 2022.
- Investing in investment funds: A relatively recent schedule compared to the real estate option. They gained ground in the last two years. Investing in a venture capital fund or investment fund is necessary. The minimum amount is €350,000. Yet, it will also reach €500,000 after January 1st, 2022.
These two are the most popular options among overseas investors to get Portugal Golden Visa.
Safety in terms of politics and economy
Political and economic stability in Portugal is well-known worldwide. As the US Department of State also indicates, Portugal follows the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and UN Convention against Corruption. So, the country provides a safe environment for its foreign investors as well.
Also, even labor protests and demonstrations occur peacefully in Portugal. The Labor Courts and Arbitration Centers serve well to settle conflicts regarding workers. The state department also notes, “labor laws are not waived to attract or retain investment.”
Other than workers, residents in general also live in a peaceful environment in Portugal. So much so that Portugal is ranking as the 3rd safest country according to the Global Peace Index. The study was held in 2020, and it included a total of 163 countries worldwide.