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Portugal golden visa benefits for cosmopolitans

Portugal golden visa program allows investors to live in the country or not live there and get citizenship after five years. Cosmopolitans with a Portugal residence permit travel without visas to the Schengen countries, optimise taxation and open accounts in EU banks without any problems.

Benefits of Portugal residency and how to get it

About Portugal

Portugal's golden visa gives residents the right to live permanently in Portugal. Here they can study, work and start a business.

Safety. Portugal ranks fourth in the world in terms of security. Residents are not afraid to walk late at night and let their children go outside alone.

Beautiful nature and places of interest. There are clean beaches, picturesque parks, and attractions — for example, pieces of mediaeval architecture. The country was recognised as the best tourist destination in Europe: it collected 26 World Travel Awards.

Good quality of life. Portugal has a developed economy and a high standard of living. The country ranks 39th on the IMF list regarding GDP per capita with $36,246. The citizens of Portugal are law-abiding. It is easy to live here — the country takes 4th place in the Global Peace Index 2021.

Visa-free Schengen countries with Portugal residency

A Portugal golden visa allows people to visit the states of the Schengen Area without a visa. It's one of the main advantages of a golden visa. With a residence permit card, it's possible to stay there for 90 days out of 180 — like with a Schengen visa.

Countries of the Schengen Area 

Austria Liechtenstein
Belgium Lithuania
Czech Republic Luxembourg
Denmark Malta
Estonia Netherlands
Finland Norway
France Poland
Germany Portugal
Greece Slovakia
Hungary Slovenia
Iceland Spain
Italy Sweden
Latvia Switzerland

Portugal's benefits for families

Portugal is child friendly. Most beaches, restaurants, parks, and trade centres are equipped for visiting families with kids.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, ranks second in ranking the best cities for living with children. Lisbon hosts about 500 outdoor family events every year.

Local vegetables and fruits are available all year round. Most often, they are delivered from the island of Madeira, which has a unique microclimate. Portugal is very fond of seafood and fish. In a good restaurant, there is always a showcase or an aquarium, where the assortment is presented, so that the guest can be sure of the freshness of fish and seafood.

Portugal golden visa for safety
and children’s education

Alejandro, his wife Isabella and their children lived in Lima. The investor worried about his family’s safety in the last few years, so the couple considered moving abroad. 

An old friend invited the investor’s family to Cascais, a town in Portugal. The couple fell in love with the place: it seemed pretty safe and comfortable and offered plenty of opportunities for children’s education.

Alejandro and Isabella bought an apartment in Cascais, got a golden visa and relocated to Portugal. Now they live in a safe place, and their children may have an opportunity to study in European, British and American universities after finishing school.

Case

Portugal golden visa tax benefits

Moving to Portugal helps to reduce the tax burden. A resident can receive a special tax status, Non-habitual resident (NHR) for 10 years.

With NHR status, highly qualified specialists pay a tax of 20% on the salary or self-employed income that they receive in Portugal. Without special tax status, the rate can be as high as 48%.

Preferential tax status can only be obtained if a person becomes a tax resident in Portugal. The investor needs to spend at least 183 days a year in the country to do this.

General tax system benefits in Portugal:

  1. No inheritance tax. When entering into an inheritance, a stamp duty of 10% must be paid. 
  2. No wealth tax. Portugal is distinct from these countries in having no form of wealth tax and no popular demand for introducing one.
  3. Low property taxes. In the case of buying property in Portugal, the real estate taxes are set between 0,3% to 0,8%, with a range of exemptions depending on what you do with the profit and where the house is based.
  4. No cryptocurrency tax. Portugal's government doesn't regulate cryptocurrency operations. At the same time, there are no restrictions on a crypto transaction. So, people investing in cryptocurrencies will not have to pay any tax should they make a profit.

Additional tax benefits of NHR tax status:

  1. A flat 20% tax on domestic income. Investors will only have to pay a flat rate of 20%. This applies to employment and business income, provided that the activity is a "high-value activity".
  2. Worldwide income is not taxed at all. Any interest, dividends, profits or salaries earned in another country won’t be taxed a second time in Portugal if a double tax agreement exists.
  3. A flat-rate Capital Gains tax. Capital gains taxes are fixed at a flat rate of 28%. This provides investors with a competitive and stable background for their investment activities.
  4. A flat-rate pension tax. Taxes on pension-based income are subject to a flat-rate 10% tax.

Affordable and prestigious education

Not only citizens of the country but also foreigners who have residence permits can send their children to a free public kindergarten or school. Babies are admitted to the nursery from the age of three months, enrolling in school from six.

There are no queues in paid kindergartens, and children study in small groups of up to 10 people. You can send your child to a kindergarten with English-speaking teachers or choose mixed types of education — English and Portuguese.

Public schools are free for citizens and residents of the country. A Portuguese school's secondary education certificate is recognised in all EU countries. Parents can choose a private school or a boarding school where their children study and live throughout the year. 

Unlike public schools, where they teach in Portuguese, in private schools, lessons are conducted in English, German, French and other languages.

In Portugal, you can get a prestigious higher education: four universities are included in the list of the best in the world.

High-quality healthcare

Portugal's healthcare system ranks 22nd out of 89 countries and earns particularly good marks for the quality of infrastructure. A different study by the World Health Organization rated Portugal 12th in terms of overall healthcare efficiency.

Medical care is available free of charge at public hospitals. It is available to citizens and Portugal golden visa residents.

In private clinics, you can get an appointment faster than in public ones, and there is also a higher level of service, including phone consultations with your doctor. Private health insurance policies cover part of the cost or the total cost of treatment.

Portugal golden visa benefits — medical help
Public health insurance in Portugal generally covers some of the costs of prescription drugs. However, you usually need to contribute a payment of 10 to 85% of medical expenses

Savings in Portugal and other EU banks

More than 150 banks operate in Portugal. They provide financial services to individuals and businesses. 

A Portugal golden visa opens access to the services of EU banks. Preliminary checks for residents of Portugal are not as strict as for third-country nationals, and the chance of being refused by a bank is lower.

Investors with a Portugal golden visa can freely use the services of European banks: open accounts, conduct foreign exchange transactions and keep savings. This helps to facilitate settlements and protect assets.

Portugal passport in 5 years

Investors with a Portugal golden visa apply for citizenship after five years. Portugal is a member of the European Union. Citizens of this country can stay in any EU country without time limits. No special permits are required for work and study.

With a Portuguese passport, an investor can move to any EU country to open a business, change tax residence or educate children.

To obtain citizenship, the applicant must meet five conditions:

  • to be of legal age;
  • maintain residence permit status for at least five years;
  • pass the Portuguese proficiency test at the elementary level (A2);
  • not to be convicted of crimes with a prison term of 3 years or more;
  • not to pose a threat to the country.

Newborn children of residents can become Portuguese citizens. There is a condition: one of the parents must live in the country for at least one year before the child’s birth. There are no clear rules for applicants for the Portuguese residence permit program by investment. 

However, Immigrant Invest lawyers believe that to register newborn children of investors, it is enough that the residence permit was issued at least one year ago.

The amount of investment under the Portugal residence permit program is lower than for obtaining Malta citizenship for exceptional services, and the period for getting the status is 2—3 times shorter. A residence permit is suitable for cosmopolitans who want to obtain EU citizenship but are ready to wait a few years.

It is not necessary to obtain citizenship: you can apply for permanent residence or continue to use a residence card benefits.

Other Portugal temporary residence permit benefits

Comfortable climate. The climate of Portugal is subtropical, with mild winters and warm summers. Portugal has 300 days of sunshine a year. The average temperature is +22 °C.

300
The number of sunny days in Portugal a year

Temperatures are almost always comfortable in Lisbon. In winter, it rains periodically; during the day, it is about +10 °C. Winters are colder in the centre and north of Portugal. The thermometer usually does not fall below 0. 

In summer, about +29 ° C. On the coast, the heat is softened by the sea breeze.

Friendly locals. Portugal is recognised as the most hospitable and foreigner-friendly country. A warm welcome helps you quickly adapt to a new place.

Geographical position. Portugal is called the gateway to Europe because of its location. It is located at the crossroads of sea routes between Europe, Africa, and North and South America.

From Portugal, it is convenient to get to other European countries.

Time of flight from Lisbon to other European capitals by plane

1
✈️ 1,5 hours
Madrid
2
✈️ 2,5 hours
Paris, London
3
✈️ 3 hours
Rome
4
✈️ 3,5 hours
Berlin

Fans of sea cruises can go on a transatlantic journey from the port of Lisbon to New York, with stops in European and American cities.

How to get Portugal golden visa

Portugal residence permit is obtained in different ways: you can get a job in a local company, become a student of a Portuguese educational institution, or marry a citizen of the country. But the fastest and easiest way to get a residence permit is to participate in Portugal's golden visa program.

To obtain a Portugal golden visa, applicants choose one of seven investment options. The minimum investment amount is €250,000. But since the program’s launch in 2012, the more expensive option has been popular — purchasing a real estate property for €500,000 or more.

€250,000+
Minimum investment amount to obtain a Portugal golden visa

The investment condition does not change depending on the family's composition: one applicant and a large family will contribute the same amount. But for a family, a Portugal residence permit costs more due to fees.

Investors' spouses, children under 26 years old and parents over 65 can also participate in the Portugal golden visa program. However, children over 18 must be financially dependent on the main applicant.

Portuguese golden visa for a large family

Ayzere and Amir wanted to move to a European country. At the same time, it was important for them to optimise taxes: Amir received dividends, and Ayzere wanted to open a clinic in a new location and not pay taxes in two countries at once. And she also needed the opportunity to drive a car to the EU countries without applying for a visa.

The Portugal golden visa program fitted the tasks of the family. The couple bought a house in Cascais and received residence permit cards along with their three children.

Case

A Portugal golden visa is usually issued in 6 months. Investors do not need to take a language test. They are not required to live permanently in Portugal — it is enough to spend seven days a year in the country.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of Portugal's golden visa program?

Portugal’s golden visa gives an investor and their family the right to live permanently in Portugal. Here they can study, work and start a business.

A Portugal golden visa allows people to visit the Schengen Area states without a visa. With a residence permit card, it’s possible to stay there for 90 days out of 180 — like with a Schengen visa.

Is Portugal suitable for living with children?

Lisbon ranked second among the best cities globally for living with children. Indicators such as the number of schools, outdoor activities, the level of safety and quality of life were taken into account.

How is the tax system operated in Portugal?

The general tax system in Portugal has some benefits, such as no inheritance and wealth tax, low property rates and no cryptocurrency taxation. Plus, residents can receive a special tax status, Non-habitual resident (NHR) for 10 years with additional preferences.

With the NHR status, highly qualified specialists pay a tax of 20% on the salary or self-employed income that they receive in Portugal. Without special tax status, the rate can be as high as 48%.

What is the level of medical care in Portugal?

Portugal’s healthcare system ranks 22nd out of 89 countries and earns particularly good marks for the quality of infrastructure. A different study by the World Health Organization rated Portugal 12th in terms of overall healthcare efficiency.

Medical care is available free of charge at public hospitals. It is available to citizens and Portugal golden visa residents.

In private clinics, you can get an appointment faster than in public ones, and there is also a higher level of service, including phone consultations with your doctor. Private health insurance policies cover part of the cost or the total cost of treatment.

How to get Portugal golden visa?

Participate in Portugal’s golden visa program.

To obtain a Portugal golden visa, applicants choose one of seven investment options. The minimum investment amount is €250,000. But since the program’s launch in 2012, the more expensive option has been the most popular — purchasing a real estate for €500,000 or more.

Is it difficult to get Portuguese citizenship?

To obtain Portugal citizenship, you first need to get a residence permit. In five years, it will be possible to apply for citizenship.

The grounds for obtaining a residence permit are naturalisation, marriage, and family reunification.

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Portugal golden visa benefits for cosmopolitans