INTERNATIONS, an international community for expatriates and immigrants, conducted a research study around the best countries in the world for immigrants, and Portugal jumped from 28th place to ranking 5th. It is evident that this country is growing in popularity, with the numbers exceeding 500 000 foreigners who are residing within Portugal, according to Eduardo Cabrita, Portugal’s Minister of Internal Administration.
The life you’re after
Located in the South of Europe, Portugal embraces its deep-rooted history and celebrates its diverse cultures. The world is looking at this country as they lead in sustainable green movements, provide spacious property options and enjoy a Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures reaching 24-degrees Celsius. Many South Africans have opted to immigrate to this country for its benefits including the diverse business landscape and safe, family-friendly cities.
“What Portugal offers in bucket loads, and always has and always will, is quality of life. Your cost of living is relatively low, and your standard of living is high. People often emphasise the sunshine and the great beaches, which of course we do have, but in reality, you are dealing with a country that is rated as one of the top 15 healthcare systems, ranked 11th in the world for infrastructure, and has phenomenal education – all of which is very accessible. There is no pollution or traffic, and we are the 4th safest country in the world. This lifestyle, along with the Golden Visa benefits and non-habitual residence, is what makes Portugal so attractive,” explains Michael Maxwell, Head of Business Development at EQTY.
What about other EU countries?
As an investor, you may be wondering why the Golden Visa is the best option. In comparison to other European investment programmes in countries like Spain and Ireland, Portugal stands out as the best option. The advantages lie in the following comparisons:
• You are allowed to travel, work and study freely within the country.
• Portugal requires the investor to be in the country only 7 days per year in comparison to other European countries that require 183 days per day.
• Portugal holds a strong tax incentive programme with a myriad of benefits like 0% on international passive income, and a non-Habitual Residents Tax which allows for a 10 year tax ‘holiday’.
Golden Visa 101
Launched by the Portuguese Government in 2012, the Golden Visa programme is aimed at encouraging investment into the country. By investing between €350 000 - €500 000 into Portugal, you can qualify to apply for this sought-after visa.
As a Golden Visa holder, you will become a member of the European Union and will therefore have access to the all-inclusive Portugal way of life and can travel visa-free into Schengen countries. You will also have the ability to work and study throughout the EU and EEA.
“We have been monitoring the interest that the Portugal Golden Visa has had. What makes Portugal so attractive is that it is an alternative residency that leads to citizenship. We are seeing a massive surge of South Africans looking for a possible ‘Plan B’, where the requirements are not so onerous. With regard to the Golden Visa, you only have to prove that you have been in the country for 7 days in the first year or 14 days in the first two years. After 5 years, you are eligible to transition from residency to citizenship,” explains Stuart Ferguson, Director of 12 Star Capital.
Golden Visa updates
Portugal’s Council of Ministers announced changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa programme towards the end of 2020. The council has now introduced a new decree-law that states that this programme will focus on property inland, shifting away from the densely populated, metropolitan cities of Lisbon and Porto to name a few.
The objective of this decree is to expand investment across the country to redistribute the country’s wealth and increase property development in high growth parts of Portugal. These areas include the island municipalities of Azores and Madeira that provide beautiful Mediterranean ambiance and views. This will assist in creating equality and opportunity across the country.
This decree will be enforced by January 2022, leaving investors less than 100 days window period to start the application process and move to the bustling, more established cities within Portugal.
In partnership with EQTY Capital, 12 Star Capital will help you get the process started and facilitate each step. This is your moment to secure your alternative residency, explore the world and capitalise on a first-world economy.