Portugal’s Golden Visa changes continue to bring investment to Portugal

 In Golden Visa, Investment Visas, News, NHR Regime, Relocating

Portugal’s allure for affluent investors seeking its Golden Visa remains undimmed with demand set to increase by 20% in 2024, according to experts, even with real estate no longer available.

The regulation changes have actually brought more security and oversight as well as a more varied investment pool of regulated funds approved for Golden Visa residency by investment to consider.

As Spain ends its own Golden Visa residency by investment programme, Portugal’s changes to their Golden Visa residency by investment has ensured it continues to drive inward investment in businesses and Portugal’s economy through investing in one of the approved regulated funds, start-ups and investments established businesses in Portugal.

The ability to obtain dual-residency and unhindered access to the EU continues to be hugely popular with high-net-worth individuals and their families from countries such as the US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Israel.

These Golden Visa residency by investment channels include regulated approved Portuguese investment funds — among them technology, commodities, start-ups, vineyards, healthcare, listed Portuguese stocks and sustainable energy projects. However, there are as many as 40 different options now available to international investors looking at Portugal for their Golden Visa.

In addition, there is an option to invest in existing or new businesses that demonstrate job creation, a business plan and productivity that benefits the country.

But, perhaps most significantly, is the demand for dual-residency options — reflecting a global trend toward seeking out and securing personal economic stability and safety amidst geopolitical uncertainties.

By offering flexible residency — those taking advantage need only reside in Portugal for seven days a year during the first five years before they get permanent residency — and unhindered access to the 29 Schengen countries, Portugal has long established itself as a prime destination for discerning investors.

The option to retain choice in where they are tax domiciled remains, but some Golden Visa applications are still coming through the grandfathering conditions for joining the NHR regime in 2024.

Paul Stannard is founder of Portugal Pathways, an organisation which produces an index listing of more than 40 regulated funds, approved by the Portugal government for the Golden Visa residency-by-investment route.

He explained: “The appeal of Portugal’s Golden Visa transcends mere investment; it embodies a gateway to unparalleled lifestyle safety and security as well as access to all that Portugal and the EU has to offer. Plus, it offers world class healthcare, a growing luxury real estate market and 300 days of sunshine.

“In addition, it brings inward investment into Portugal and demonstrates commitment to the country’s future,” Stannard adds.

Adds Nunos Santos, a Lisbon-based immigration lawyer specialising in Golden Visa applications: “Portugal’s Golden Visa residency-by-investment epitomises a convergence of investment opportunity and societal enrichment.

“The changes to the regulations have now brought greater security and choice and we will still see a constant flow of applications coming through.

“Many are investing in €500,000 to secure dual-residency and in our experience they are looking for security with their money invested and looking for a long-term commitment to citizenship after 5 years.”

According to Portugal Pathways, there has been a 20% surge in Golden Visa applications during he first quarter of 2024 and they cannot see any reason why this will not continue.

Portugal was recently named the best place to relocate in the world due to its climate, security, and cost-of-living, according to International Living.

Adds Paul Stannard, of Portugal Pathways: “In relation to the impact on local housing — one of the key reasons property investment was dropped from the qualifying criteria of Portugal’s Golden Visa – the reality is that Portugal only built 20,000 homes last year.

“Some 20 years ago, the number of new homes being built stood at 200,000 per annum.

“Investment by affluent expats in luxury real estate has little impact on the domestic need while, of course, those high-net-worth individuals invest in local economies which buoys employment and commercial opportunities. Not to mention the addition benefit to the Portuguese government of the tax and VAT they pay.”