US relocaters triple in 10 years
The number of US citizens choosing to move to Portugal to retire or work has tripled over the past decade with 6,932 making the move in 2021 alone — a 45% increase on 2020.
Pensioners, millennials and digital nomads are the main groups of Americans who have headed out east to Portugal according to the Wall Street Journal in an article published on Tuesday.
Tax incentives, a lower cost of living, and climate are some of the main reasons that have led Americans to choose Portugal as a country in which to live.
Another relevant aspect for Americans making the move is Portugal’s safety, with the Institute for Economy and Peace, a non-profit-making organisation, believing Portugal to be the forth safest country in the world in 2021.
“Americans have been moving to Portugal over the past three years” says Louise Hudson, co-author of the book ‘A Worldwide Guide to Retirement Destinations”.
The author moved to Portugal herself with her husband in 2014 to retire having bought a house with four bedrooms, a pool and seaward views at Praia da Luz in the Algarve for €212,000.
Another incentive in attracting overseas citizens is the government ’s Non-Habitual Residents programme (NHR) which enables some overseas residents to enjoy tax exemptions for a period of 10 years.
Another programme to attract overseas residents to Portugal is the Golden Visa scheme, where in certain parts of the Algarve (the interior and low-density population areas), most Portuguese cities except Lisbon and Porto and the coastlines near them, can get a renewable residency permit in Portugal for an investment of €500,000 in property.
On the negative side, red tape is still one of the problems that overseas citizens have to deal with in Portugal, something that has resulted in a growing number of visa consultants that promise to take the pain out of visa applications in return for a fee.
That said, the overseas borders and immigration authority SEF has advised caution when hiring such consultants. “We’ve got various investigations underway into consultants and lawyers who may be defrauding applicants”, says a spokesperson for SEF.