Everything you need to know about one of the most popular residency options
Every day, people are deciding to leave their home country and start a new life abroad. Many are fed up with high taxes, high costs of living, or are just ready for a change. By expatriating, a whole new world opened up, both financially and in terms of your lifestyle.
You have the opportunity to achieve both personal and financial liberation overseas by tapping into new and developing sectors, and developed areas of investment, allowing and encouraging you to diversify your portfolio. Many are finding that by expatriating, moving your life to a new country can be a financially responsible move, one that brings your retirement plans or financial goals to fruition.
If you don’t want to work abroad, take into consideration your retirement years. When financial planning, expatriating can be a lucrative step in a fiscally responsible retirement. Cost of living, tax benefits, and quality of life are all reasons to spend your retirement years abroad. At Alpen Partners, we are well-versed in the financial planning that goes into retirement. A good retirement plan takes years of careful saving and sound investing in order to live a carefree life after paid work. By spending your retirement abroad, you are allowing yourself to obtain the most out of all the work you put into saving.
There are many countries that offer investor visas grant those who place a certain amount of money into approved sectors residency. Each has their own rules and regulations.
Portugal is one country that many are flocking to for the ideal climate, beautiful coastline, and great people. The economy is improving and the real estate market is only getting stronger. If this sounds appealing to you, you are in luck. The Golden Visa of Portugal grants residency to investors with little regulation and simple requirements.
This visa is ideal for anyone who wants to live abroad or just diversify their portfolio with the added benefit of the visa.
What is the Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa program in Portugal is a popular route to citizenship in Europe. This visa offers investors flexibility and benefits. The program, launched in 2012, grants residency to those who invest €500,000 in Portuguese real estate. The residency is also extended to family members including spouse and dependent children. The visa needs to be renewed every two years and only requires holders to stay in the country two weeks in the country every two years.
Another route to the Golden Visa is through job creation. With job creation, there is no minimum investment amount. It does, however, require investors to create full-time jobs in the country. The jobs need to be maintained throughout the investor’s residency period and have to employ at least ten people for six years.
A third way to obtain the Golden Visa is through capital investment by one of four ways: Placing 1 million euros in a bank in Portugal, investing or donating 350,000 euros to an approved research area, investing or donating 250,000 euros to an artistic or cultural activity, or investing 500,000 euros to fund a small business in Portugal. The first of these four options is the most popular.
After five years, Golden Visa holders can apply for permanent residency and citizenship after six years. One of the biggest appeals to the visa is that the applicant never even has to have lived in the country to gain citizenship.
There aren’t many requirements for the program. First, you must keep the investment during the term of your residency. Second, the money that you are placing into the investment needs to come from a source outside of Portugal’s. You must also enter Portugal legally.
Portuguese Real Estate Market
For individuals that are using the Golden Visa to live in Portugal, investing in property is popular because not only do you meet the investment visa requirements, but you also acquire a place to live.
Currently, the Portuguese real estate market is performing well. The strength of the market is backed by a demand that is rising due to improved economic conditions. In November of 2017, it was recorded that the property prices have risen by 4.84% from the year before to around 1,144 euro per square meter.
Lisbon, a popular metropolitan area saw a 4.9% price increase, and urban area Amadora saw a 12.88% increase in 2017.
Luckily, for international buyers, there are no restrictions on foreign property ownership in the country and transaction fees are moderate.
Where We Come In
Together with respected law firms in various regions of the world, Alpen Partners is advising its clients on expatriation issues. In a world of increasing tax pressure and professional mobility, expatriation has become one of the most efficient tools for asset protection and estate planning. Moving abroad can come along with an abundance of benefits that can affect your taxes, your investment portfolio, cost of living, and your lifestyle. As the cost of traveling becomes cheaper, the benefits of expatriation for financial reasons are more easily obtained.
Taking the leap and leaving your home country can be a big decision with tons of personal and legal steps. The hassle of navigating the legal process of expatriation can be reduced with the guidance of Alpen Partners. Each step requires assistance, including getting the passport, making sure everything is completed correctly regarding taxes, acquiring work permits, making investments, and more. No matter which expatriation route is chosen, it can be a powerful tactic to allow clients to gain better control of their financial and personal lives.