The second citizenship and residency by investment markets are booming right now, with virtually every country on the globe putting forth their own program. While the majority are solid and workable, there are several standout programs include Malta’s Citizenship by Investment package, the Canadian Investor Visa program, and Portugal’s world-renowned and hugely popular Golden Visa program.
Portugal is enjoying an economic boom right now, but there was a time not too long ago when the nation – after decades of struggle – plunged into its deepest ever financial crisis, on a par with those that hit Greece and Ireland around the same time. Despite a bulletproof tourism industry that has guaranteed billions of euros entering the Portuguese economy, for many decades Portugal was one of the weaker relations of the Western European family, but the “Great Recession” in Portugal of 2010 saw the country unable to repay its government debt to the EU. Portugal were forced to apply for a bailout program, and the result was some €79.0 billion in financial aid, courtesy of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism (EFSM), and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).
The EU and China Aid Portugal’s Economic Recovery
The a combination of this massive European bailout, a period of austerity, and the start of what has been a significant investment strategy into the country begum by China, a turnaround began in 2013, and each year subsequently has seen the Portuguese economy on the rise. It’s a well-documented fact that the Chinese government has particularly taken with Portugal, no doubt for strategic reasons as well as economic, and China have invested literally billions of euros into every level of the economy from banking to transportation to construction. This, combined with EU help, has seen Portugal literally go from strength to strength in the last five years, and are now enjoying a period of stability and growth.
Interestingly, it is estimated that as many as 80% of the purchasers of Portugal’s Golden Visa Residency Program are Chinese, and are partly responsible for what has been the biggest selling second citizenship/investor visa program by far within the European Union. Since the introduction of Portugal’s Golden Visa program in 2012, over 5000 programs have been sold, with as many as an estimated 50,000 approved applicants waiting to start the investment/residency program.
The Republic of Portugal is located on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula, which itself is situated in southwestern Europe. It is a little known fact that unlike many other famed European holiday hotspots including Spain, Italy, France and the Greek islands, Portugal shares no Mediterranean coastline with those countries, nor with any other.
Portugal’s only coastlines are to the North Atlantic Ocean. Despite that, Portugal actually enjoys more hours of sunshine than any other country in Europe, and the Atlantic ensures that even at the height of summer, the country enjoys a California-style breeze, whereas holiday makers visiting southern Spain, Italy and France will invariably complain about the unbearable heat.
Although not large, Portugal is a spacious country, and its population of 10.3 million have more than 92,000 km of land to enjoy. Portugal shares a 1,214 km border with neighbors Spain, which is the longest uninterrupted border in Western Europe. Portugal’s capital Lisbon is home to 550,000 people, and is a blend of modern construction plus some of the most ornate and artistic architecture found anywhere in Europe.
While the Portuguese economy is still in essence based around traditional industries like fishing, agriculture and mining, it is increasingly dependent on its thriving tourism and its ever-expanding services sector. Portugal attracts seven million tourists each year, and the money they spend accounts for 5% of the country’s economy per annum. The most popular Portuguese tourist destinations are the Algarve, Lisbon, Porto and the islands of Madeira, Azores and Alentejo.
Portugal’s services sector (retail, banking and finance, hotels and catering, real estate, education and healthcare, social services, technology, computer services and technology, recreation, media etc) now accounts for 74% of the economy, and employs 68% of its workforce.
Portugal Golden Visa Residency Permit
In 2012, the Portuguese government unveiled their Golden Visa Residency Permit program, designed to give foreign (i.e., non-EU) investors the chance to gain residency – and eventually citizenship – of an EU country, in return for the commitment of a five-year investment. At a time the move was viewed as a desperate measure to bring investors and money into a then crisis-torn country, but is now seen as an excellent way of increasing the nation’s profile with high net-worth foreign investors.
To be eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa, and the right to live and work in Portugal for five years, an applicant must be willing to do one of the following:
- invest a minimum of €500,000 in Portuguese real estate
- transfer funds to the value of at least €1 million into Portuguese bonds
- create a business that can sustain a minimum of 10 Portuguese jobs
Benefits of Portuguese Golden Visa
Portugal is a beautiful country full of warm friendly people, so it’s no great surprise it has proved very popular in the second citizenship/residency by investment market. Here are just some of the benefits of the Golden Visa program:
- A Golden Visa application includes family members; spouse, children under the age of 21, elderly parents, dependent or handicapped relatives
- After five years of residency in which all investments are maintained, an applicant can obtain permanent residency and then apply for full Portuguese citizenship and passport
- If an investor spends less than 180 days per calendar year in Portugal, they are not eligible for taxation
- The Golden Visa grants applicants the right to live and work in Portugal for 5 years
- The Golden Visa permit allows for visa-free travel within the Schengen Zone
- Once Portuguese citizenship is granted, the investor is free to live and work without time limitation anywhere in the European Union
- The Portuguese passport has visa-free access to 171 countries, making it the joint-sixth most powerful passport in the world
At 2ndPassports.com our commitment to finding the perfect citizenship or residency program for every individual who seeks ours services remains unwavering. Over the past five years, literally thousands of people have asked our advice on the Portugal Golden Visa program, and many of those followed up by employing us to help them become Portuguese residents, and eventually, citizens.
We tell them what we tell you now, Portugal’s Golden Visa is an excellent program, both in terms of value and professionalism, and Portugal is almost unique in being a stunningly beautiful country full of happy, helpful people, and to top it all, are currently riding the wave of an economic boom. If you want EU citizenship, and you are prepared to wait a few years to achieve it, there aren’t many better places to wait than Portugal’s Algarve, for instance.
For more information on Portugal’s Golden Visa program, contact 2ndPassports.com today. Feel free to contact us via email, WhatsApp or Telegram. If you prefer you can chat to one of our expert representatives directly – you can call us using our encrypted phone and Skype lines. All of our contact details are listed at the top of the 2ndPassports.com homepage.
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