Portugal: One of the best European countries for residency and citizenship
Portugal is one of Europe’s top tourism destinations. Good weather all year round, delicious cuisine and amazing landscapes are this country’s ex-libris. But this is not all. In recent years, Portugal has reinvented itself as a great foreign investment hub, offering very enticing programs designed to attract foreigners who seek to invest and settle in this beautiful country.
Being one of the oldest countries in Europe, Portugal has a huge number of culturally and historically significant sites. You can travel through time in the opulent and colorful Royal Palace of Pena (in Lisbon) or visit the country’s birthplace – Guimarães Castle. If you are a fan of Ancient Roman history, you cannot miss Conínbriga (near Coimbra), one of largest Roman settlements excavated in the country.
Portugal has, however, a lot more to offer. A member of the European Union (EU) since 1986, it has a modern, developed economy which has been steadily expanding since the end of 2014. It is the third-safest country in the world according to the 2020 Global Peace Index. English is widely spoken, and the cost of living and crime rate are some of the lowest in Europe. Quality of life is among the best in the world. Furthermore, this country is one of the better positioned in the fight against Covid-19, being one of the first to announce effective measures to control the pandemic, and planning to introduce a vaccination plan in the very near future.
In recent years, the Portuguese government has increasingly facilitated foreign investment throughout two main platforms: Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program (Golden Visa) and Non-Habitual Residence (NHR) program. Sephardic Jews can also apply for Portuguese citizenship through this program.
Golden Residence Permit Program (Golden Visa)
This program is directed at non-EU citizens and grants a special residential permit (allowing free travel in the entire Schengen area), in exchange for a 5-year investment. There are several reasonably priced investment options that make it possible to apply for permanent residence and citizenship within a 5/6-year period. The applicant is only required to spend an average of 7 days in the country. After becoming a citizen, you will have access to one of the world’s best passports, granting access to 180+ countries.
Non-Habitual Residence (NHR)
The Non-Habitual Resident statute was created in 2009 as a collection of incentives, offering tax reductions and exemptions for foreigners who wish to settle in Portugal. These include a reduced flat tax rate for highly qualified workers and tax exemptions for some categories of income earned abroad, and a special tax (10%) on pensions earned abroad. The applicant must be over 18 years old, have a Portuguese fiscal identity and cannot have been a resident of the country for the previous 5-year period. After receiving NHR status, the individual can benefit from it for a 10-year period. For a more detailed and comprehensive guide to this program check our NHR Guide.
You can find more information relating these and other residential permits in Portugal, by clicking here.