19 Apr Invest in Portugal and get your family EU citizenship
There are many reasons you may be considering investment immigration.
Fewer travel and trade restrictions, for instance, and the personal and business opportunities attached. Fairer taxation allowing you to better provide for your family. Or perhaps better education, or wider distribution of essential medical services. In reality, you want a more prosperous, safer future.
Many countries worldwide offer such investment programs but Europe is considered by many as the undisputed champion.
Keep reading to find out why, and discover which European program makes the most sense if you’re looking for affordable citizenship with guaranteed financial returns.
Why European citizenship is so desirable?
Every year many international passport ranking systems ranks the best (and worst) passports in the world, generally according to five factors: visa-free travel; taxation; perception; dual citizenship rules and personal freedom.
In 2019, all ten of the top ten – and 80% of the top thirty – were European.
That’s testament to Europe’s enduring popularity as a place to live, work and raise a family. Education and healthcare systems across Europe are typically top-tier, and citizens enjoy high levels of personal freedom and a fantastic quality of life.
Europe is also the ideal base for global travellers and businesspeople. Exceptional global links make Europe a productive business hub and European passport holders find doors open to them, with few visa issues and minimal bureaucracy.
Some of the most popular European investment immigration programs include:
· The Irish Permanent Residency Program. For a non-refundable donation of EUR500,000, or an investment of EUR1,000,000, global investors can take advantage of Ireland’s exceptional educational facilities, tax landscape and preferential trade conditions.
· The Cypriot citizenship-by-investment Program. Investment into Cyprus starts from EUR2.15M held for at least five years. There are various investment vehicles including Cypriot business and government bonds, but the real estate option is enduringly popular. It’s a high capital outlay, but citizenship can be approved in 6 months.
· The Malta Residence and Visa Program. Investors gain Maltese residency by giving non-refundable donation of EUR30,000 to the Maltese government, plus EUR250,000 into government stocks or bonds, and EUR300,000 into real estate. (Malta also has a citizenship program which comes to about EUR1.2m including a EUR650k donation to the Maltese Government).
· The Greek residency-by-investment Program. Investors secure super-fast permanent residency through a EUR250,000 investment into government-approved real estate. While the Greek real estate sector isn’t as well-developed as counterparts across Europe, early indications suggest strong similar growth. One to keep an eye on.
Of all the European immigration investor programs though, there has been one clear standout over the last 7 years : the Portuguese Golden Visa program.
Portugal’s Golden Visa program
Portugal is one of the most popular European countries. Ranked as the 6th best passport in the world in 2019, Portuguese citizens are welcomed the world-over, able to travel to 170 countries visa-free or on visa-on-arrival terms.
Portugal is also an EU member country, so Portuguese passport holders can also work, live and travel across any of the 28 EU countries without restriction. It’s also a Schengen area member, which grants free travel across the Schengen bloc.
Another big draw for global investors is the ease of gaining citizenship in Portugal.
Portugal’s Golden Visa program is a well-trodden path, seeing you first gain residency and then, after only five years, the ability to apply for full citizenship. That’s impressive because the Irish, Greek and Maltese residency programs offer no route to securing full citizenship.
The Cypriot program is comparable as it offers investors full citizenship – but the required investment is many times higher in Cyprus.
By far the most popular path to citizenship in Portugal is investment into real estate. The Portuguese real estate market is booming, and has been delivering typically excellent returns. To such an extent, that investment in both Lisbon and Porto real estate has been restricted from January 2021.
Portugal’s fast-growth construction sector means there are various good options for investment through the Golden Visa program. One of the most attractive has only just been announced – the Marriott LAPA hotel in Porto.
Six weeks ago, Marriott announced 160 spaces for investors to gain citizenship through investing into their new government-approved 4-star MICE hotel in the UNESCO area of Porto. Proof of the project’s popularity, Marriott have already filled half their investment slots, so investors do need to move fast if interested.
The deal is, investors invest EUR350,000 into the project for five years. Once the hotel’s completed, you’re guaranteed a 3% annual return on your investment – plus Portuguese residence cards for your family (so you can live and work in Portugal if you choose, and travel freely across the Schengen area) within 8 to 10 months.
After five years, provided you’ve maintained your investment, stayed in Portugal for a minimum of 35 days over the five-year period and can understand basic Portuguese, you and your entire family will gain Portuguese passports.
It’s also an extremely low-risk opportunity, as there’s a guaranteed buy-back on your investment after five years. Plus, if you do need your money out earlier, there’s an staggered early exit plan that sees you regain the large majority of your investment.
In all, Portugal’s Golden Visa program is the fastest, most affordable and lowest-risk route to full citizenship in Europe.
Find out more about Marriott’s call for investors HERE.