portugal

Country Spotlight: Portugal

 Portugal at a glance
Portugal calls itself home to over 10.5 million of its citizens and can be found on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. The capital city is named Lisbon and has a population of 552,700. The fact that the country faces ocean side has influenced many aspects of its culture – its beautiful beaches prove to be a very popular tourist destination and in fact much of the countries architecture is rooted in its rich history which harkens back to as early as the 1500s when Portugal had a maritime empire.Culturally, Portugal is extremely refined, and features a unique mixture of tradition and modernity which you will struggle to find in any other location. Its breath taking landscape, fine cuisine and even finer wines are the perfect medicine for all holiday goers suffering from the dreariness of everyday life. The climate could be described as mild, but the 3000 hours of sunshine a year and 850kms of beaches that these sun rays visit are great for those looking for an increase in Vitamin D.

Although Portugal is great for some mindless relaxation, do not mistake it for a country without substance. It’s history is one of ups and downs, as in in the 15th and 16th centuries is grew to become what was the first global empire, becoming one of the world’s major economic, political and military powers and expanding Western influence across the globe. However, as with all great empires, it was met with many setbacks and finally with the destruction of its capital city, Lisbon, in 1755 at the hands of an earthquake, Portugal lost much of its power. Perhaps this history can be reflected in the spirit of the Portugal’s people who are known to celebrate what they have as they know that at any moment, life can throw a curveball and everything can be taken away. There is a real communal sense that one should live for today and it leads to a very pleasant atmosphere which is infectious – it is difficult to worry when you are in the company of Portuguese citizens.

A large majority of Portugal’s citizens are Roman Catholic but it is home to a large number of small communities representing different faiths and so it gives off a welcoming impression to all who grace its borders. The official language of the natives is Portuguese and it derives itself from early Latin. Although if Portuguese is not your first language, you should not fear as according to International English Proficiency Index, Portugal has a high proficiency level in English, proficiency higher than in countries like Italy, France or Greece.

Citizenship by Investment in Portugal

Many people, after spending time in Portugal, come to the conclusion that they would like to live there permanently. To these people, there is some good news, citizenship by investment is entirely possible in Portugal, but you will need to invest a minimum of EURO 500,000 in order to qualify for a “golden visa”.

Once you have acquired a golden visa, it is then possible to apply to become a citizen of Portugal after six years. In comparison to other some other EU countries, the minimum cost of investment is a little higher, but there are many benefits to Portuguese citizenship, including low tax rates, low minimum stay periods and, of course, the benefits of a climate and culture that are in-line with each other – easy going, with hot periods.

Routes to CBI in Portugal 

  • Property Investments:
    • Acquisition of property above EUR 500,000.
    • Acquisition of property above EUR 350,000 – for properties more than 30 years old or located in areas of urban renovation.
  • Capital Investments:
    • Transfer of Funds above EUR 1,000,000.
    • Transfer of Funds above EUR 350,000 for research activities.
    • Transfer of Funds above EUR 250,000 for artistic or cultural activities.
    • Transfer of Funds above EUR 500,000 for capitalization of small and medium size companies.
  • Job creation:
    • Creation of a minimum of 10 jobs.

It should be noted that only investments effectively made after 8th October 2012 are eligible for the Golden Visa programme.

Once issued, the Golden Visa will be valid for an initial period of 1 (one) year and then will be renewed for subsequent periods of 2 (two) years.

The simplicity of the Golden Visa Programme implies an extremely reduced amount of requirements being asked from the investor. The Golden Visa Programme sets out that the investor must comply with general requirements applicable to all types of qualifying investments and also with the specific requirements of each type of qualifying investment.

In general, all investors have to comply with the following requirements:

  • Keep the investment for a minimum period of 5 years
  • Funds for investment should come from abroad
  • Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa
  • Absence of references in the Portuguese Immigration and the Schengen services
  • Absence of conviction of relevant crime
  • Minimum stay in Portugal: 7 (seven) days during the first year and 14 (fourteen) days during each subsequent period of two years

Portugal in Summary

While being a more expensive option than some of its neighbors, Portugal offers investors a warm and friendly climate, gorgeous coastlines and vibrant cities in which to seek residence. Diverse, beautiful and culturally arresting, Portugal, in many ways, offers bits of the best of all of Europe.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Country Spotlights.

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