The Portuguese Golden Visa grants the residency right in Portugal to the investor, as well as the right to live, work and study. The program also allows family reunification of two generations subject to some conditions (parents, underage and overage sons) without further investments. It works as a Schengen visa for all of the family, allowing them to travel on the Schengen Area for 90 days. All the family members will be entitled to their own resident card and the law expressly states that without prejudice to the application of special provisions and other rights provided for by law or by an international convention to which Portugal is a party, the holder of a residence permit shall be entitled, without the need for special authorization regarding his or her foreign status, namely: education and training; to exercise a subordinate professional activity; to exercise an independent professional activity; vocational guidance, training, further training and retraining; access to health care; access to law and the courts. The law also states that it is guaranteed the application of the provisions ensuring equal treatment of foreign nationals, including social security, tax benefits, trade union membership, recognition of diplomas, certificates and other professional qualifications, or access to goods and services available to the public under the terms of the correspondent laws and regulations. Besides that the country offers a high quality of life, this is easily verified by the position the country occupies in the international rankings regarding, for instance: birth care, number of sunny days, security, pollution, innovation, educational system, health quality, cultural influence, ease in starting a business, entrepreneurship, different landscapes in short distances, and uncrowded cities, all with a very reasonable daily life costs.
What public benefits are available to me as a Portuguese Golden Visa holder?
I am interested in buying property in Europe and relocating there. I see countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal as options, but have a hard time deciding which one to choose. What public benefits does Portugal have?
If you want to get a Golden Visa in Portugal and live here (or spend a period of no less than six months), you can benefit from a very attractive tax regime: non-habitual residency. The Portuguese non-habitual residency status enables those who become a tax resident in Portugal, and are accepted as NHR, the opportunity to receive qualifying income tax-free both in Portugal and in the country of source of the income. The NHR regime represents a major step forward in making Portugal a tax-free jurisdiction for individuals upon receipt of qualifying non-resident income. Qualifying income includes pension, dividend, royalty and interest income. This attractive option also covers professional income from high value-added activities, which benefit from a special flat tax rate of 20 percent. The sole requirement to benefit from this preferential treatment is to become a Portuguese tax resident, not having been a tax resident in Portugal in the previous five years. This status is granted for 10 years. On the other hand, it is important to know that the Portuguese real state has had an appreciation, particularly in Lisbon, of 15 percent per year, which will be very interesting for any investor even because it guarantees investment security that probably will not be verified in other countries.
Portuguese is a very welcoming country with stable geopolitics, a stable political situation and it is very liberal toward individual liberties. Our country is one of the oldest countries in Europe and our map did not change for almost 1,000 years. This created a strong Portuguese unity and identity. Since Portuguese people used to emigrate to other countries along with their families, they receive foreigners very well. Plus, a Portuguese person usually speaks two or more foreign languages, like English, French or Spanish. Our constitution foresees a lot of fundamental rights which implies that we have an universal public health care system accessible to all citizens and one of the best in the world, our educational public system is also universal and of good quality, and Portugal is very friendly toward foreign investment. This means that foreigners can easily set up a company there and enjoy tax benefits. Apart of it, our gastronomy, mostly seafood, is very famous worldwide. We have a continental temperate climate, which means that the temperatures do not significantly change during the year.
The beneficiaries of ARI / Golden Visa are entitled to: residence visa waiver for entering Portugal; living and working in Portugal, on condition that they stay in Portugal for a period of seven or more days in the first year, and 14 or more days in the subsequent years; visa exemption for travelling within the Schengen Area; family reunification; applying for permanent residency; applying for Portuguese citizenship by naturalization, provided all other requirements set out by the Nationality Act are fulfilled. In terms of public benefits, the holder of a temporary residency has access to the health system and education system. The holder can work in Portuguese territory, and for that he must be registered in the social security system which involves the corresponding deductions and access to pensions. Furthermore, the purchase of a property for a Golden Visa application is not relevant in terms of tax treatment and the fact of applying for a Golden Visa does not reduce any liabilities for the owner of the property. What is relevant, however, is if the person who purchases a property in Portugal is a tax resident in Portugal or not.