5 reasons to apply for Portugal Golden Visa

2 min


The data from the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) show that 9,389 investors gained residency through investment. The data belong to the years between 2012 and December 2020.

If you wonder about these investors’ motivation, here are 5 reasons why.

Ultimate EU citizenship

Portugal Golden Visa provides temporary residency in the first place. You need to stay in Portugal for at least seven days on average per year. At the end of five years, you can apply for citizenship and permanent residency. You can include your family members and they can get the same rights as you do. 

Citizenship by investment in Portugal allows your children to study in any EU country as well. As an EU citizen, you will benefit from all the rights same as a European citizen. You can also travel to a total of 186 countries without any visa requirement.

Tax breaks or total tax exemptions

The Non-habitual resident (NHR) program in Portugal provides a tax exemption on most of your foreign income. For your Portuguese income, it is a flat rate of 20%. Note that the rate can be up to as high as 48% for normal residents. 

To avail yourself of this benefit, you need to stay in Portugal for at least 183 days a year. Also, you need to have the right to residency in Portugal as well. If you already plan to stay in Portugal, you can definitely apply for NHR.

Highly growing tech and start-up sectors

If you want to expand your business in Portugal, the developing tech and start-up sector can be a good option. Let’s explore why.

According to the 2020 EY Attractiveness Survey: “Foreign Direct Investment projects in the digital sector nearly tripled in 2019…  with the sector retaining its leadership position.” 

The start-up sector has also gained ground like the tech sector. “In 2018 alone, Porto was noted as the “Best Startup-Friendly City of Europe” by the World Business Angels Investment Forum as well as Europe’s third fastest-growing tech hub, in Atomico’s State of European Tech report for that year.” 

The EY survey also demonstrates that: “According to … the State of European Tech report for 2019, the number of tech job searches per capita in Portugal grew 45% between the first half of 2017 and the first half of 2019. This was the second-highest growth rate in Europe, only surpassed by Belgium.” Furthermore, the Digitalization Index 2020 shows that Portugal ranks 8th among 30 other countries. 

Some international companies have recently established their branches in Portugal as well. According to the EY Attractiveness Survey: “Qualitest, a large services provider of QA and testing solutions, announced they were opening their first Portuguese office in Lisbon. Oracle opened a new internet data center. After having opened its first office in Lisbon in 2018, Amazon Web Services chose the country to open a new CloudFront location in 2019. Huawei opened a network optimization center in Lisbon. In Matosinhos, Xing established an R&D center, which would be followed by a second office in Porto.” 

You can benefit much from such a dynamic market environment. An expanded network is a side benefit of this environment as well.

3rd safest country in the world

Another reason foreign investors are attracted to Portugal is the overall stability in the country. The Global Peace Index indicates that Portugal is the 3rd safest country in the world among 163 countries. Political stability makes a huge contribution to this.

The healthcare system in Portugal has been ranking high in various reports and indexes in the last years. Forbes also elected the Alentejo region as one of the must-visit places to go after the pandemic. The main reason for this is the strong healthcare system and the low case numbers. 

A tranquil lifestyle, pristine beaches, great surfing destinations… You can find all of them at the same place.

Return on investment is possible 

One of the distinguishing features of Portugal’s Golden Visa is the right to return on investment. What does it mean? If you choose to be a permanent resident or a Portuguese citizen, you can sell or liquidate your investment as you wish. If you want to continue with the temporary residence, you will maintain your investment though. 

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