Why should you buy a property in Lisbon or Porto before January 2022?
Getting a residence right in Portugal has become an easier process thanks to the Golden Visa program. The national immigration and borders service (SEF) approves this fact. Since 2012, more than 9,800 international investors obtained this right through a qualified investment. Find more about the process and benefits of this program below.
Overseas investors have got more than residency
Portugal’s Golden Visa program does not only provide a residency right. It can evolve into European citizenship as well. Let’s look at the other benefits one by one.
As a first step, you can travel within the Schengen area without a visa. In the meantime, you’ll have the right to visit Portugal any time as a temporary resident. Note that in the first two years, you need to stay in Portugal for a minimum of 14 days. After renewing your residence card, you must stay for at least 14 days for each two year period.
So, when does citizenship become an option? When the first five years are over. Of course, you must complete the above mentioned minimum stay requirement. Permanent residency in Portugal will also become an option as well at that time.
You can start the process by buying real estate in Portugal
While there is more than one investment option, real estate purchase is the most common one. Data from SEF shows that 9,230 of the investors preferred this choice. Of 9,230, more than 8,356 of them have chosen to buy real estate worth at least €500,000. This is one of the options. You can also choose to buy real estate at a minimum amount of €400,000 if it is located in a low-density region.
The government aims to revive the urban rehabilitation areas as well. This is why the €350,000 option is also available. This option requires the property to be at least 30 years of age, or be in an urban rehabilitation region. The last option entails the property being in a low-density area as well.
You’ll not be able to buy real estate in Portugal or Lisbon as of 2021
There have been some changes in the regulation regarding the Golden Visa investment options. The Portuguese government indicated that as of January 2022, there will be some restrictions while buying property in Portugal. For example, it will not be possible to buy a property in Lisbon or Porto. The interest in these areas has been quite high during this time. So, the Portuguese government decided to canalize these investments into the less in-demand areas. This rule applies to real estate used for housing purposes. However, if your aim is to buy a property except for housing purposes, properties will keep being available anywhere you want even after 2022.
Note that you can still apply for the program until December 2021. Your Golden Visa investment will not be affected even if it is approved after January 2022.
Is it worth getting a Golden Visa in Portugal?
Residency and citizenship in the EU are some of the most important benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa program. Yet, the program’s advantages are not limited to these.
186 countries will be available to travel to without a visa requirement, for instance. This will apply when you get EU citizenship or permanent residency.
Let’s not forget the tax breaks
Portugal Golden Visa indirectly leads to a serious tax break in your foreign income. This is possible through the Non-habitual resident program (NHR). NHR requires you to have a residency right in Portugal. Because Golden Visa grants residency, application for NHR becomes quite easy.
The NHR program is valid for ten years. During this time, much of your foreign income will be exempt from taxation in Portugal. Of course, the program expects you to become a tax resident in Portugal. This means that you must live in Portugal for at least 183 days a year. When you buy a property in Portugal for housing purposes, it may be easier to benefit from the NHR as well.
If you have doubts about living in Portugal for a long time, let’s check some statistics about this country:
- The Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks Portugal 3rd safest country in the world, among the other 163 countries.
- Big international companies have recently launched their offices and branches, especially in Lisbon and Porto. Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Huawei, and Xing are only a few examples. This can be an opportunity for the extension of your business as well.
- The EY Attractiveness Survey of 2020 proved the increasing demand by investors. The FDI (foreign direct investment) in 2019 reached more than double the rate of 2018.
- Many international surfing festivals take place each year. This is also an indicator of how beautiful the coasts, beaches, and holiday destinations in Portugal are.