Following the UK’s departure from the EU, Cluttons’ Portugal have seen a spike in interest from UK citizens looking to take advantage of the country’s popular Golden Visa. The program is only available to non-EU citizens and so it’s only since the 1 January this year have Brits been able to combine a Portugal property investment with a Golden Visa.
The program grants residence status to non-EU investors who invest from 500,000 Euros in the property market allowing them to live and conduct business in Portugal, and travel freely in the Schengen area.
The residency can be extended to family members including spouse, children, parents and in-laws. Permanent residency and a passport can be applied for after 5 years.
Changes to the Golden Visa program
With Brexit implications restricting Brits from working, and limiting time allowed in the EU, the Golden Visa program is now on the radar of British buyers.
Changes to the program are due in January 2022 restricting the locations in which a property purchase will qualify for a Golden Visa, with city hubs Lisbon and Porto as well as the Algarve to be excluded. However British buyers seeking a Golden Visa should not be put off, Frederico Mendoça, head of Cluttons Portugal advises: “If the reason for your purchase is to secure a Golden Visa, then look to buy in one of the country’s many areas that will not be affected by the changes. This is the objective of the change in the rules - the government wants to encourage more investment to less developed areas of the country. Areas such as Alentejo and Alcacer, which are stunning and offer as much if not more than Lisbon and Porto and you get much more for your money. For example, 500,000 Euros in the Alentejo will buy you at least 60% sq footage more than in Lisbon. Furthermore, it is a lower entry point to secure a Golden Visa in these areas, 350,000 Euros if you buy an old property to refurbish, plus it can be 20% less in areas of low density - so 280,000 Euros.”
Below are some of Frederico’s top picks for British investors wanting to combine a holiday home purchase with securing a Golden Visa:
In the Alentejo
This is a 5* apart hotel leaseback development, with a guaranteed buy back option, and rental guarantee so an excellent investment and low entry point for the GV at 280,000 Euros.
Alcacer, which is just South of the River from Lisbon
Prices starting at 280,000 Euro
A condo style development with concierge, restaurant and pool, near to the trendy surf resorts of Comporta and Troia and one of the best golf courses in Portugal.
The Silver Coast
Prices starting at 675,000 Euro
Just a 55-minute drive from Lisbon airport, The Heights Private Condominium is a luxury development, with large seating areas, large terraces with panoramic sea views, private pools. elevator and landscaped gardens. Each house is built with high quality materials and workmanship, offering a modern and sophisticated standard of luxury.
Understanding Portugal's Golden Visa program for British buyers
Cluttons' Understanding Portugal's Golden Visa for British buyers virtual event took place on Tuesday 25 May 2021.
Watch Cluttons' virtual event where we, together with a panel of experts, examined the Golden Visa and non-habitual resident (NHR) program, how to qualify and apply, tax considerations, and implications for working, visiting and travel.
- Jo Leverett - Head of International Residential, Cluttons
- Frederico Mendoça – Head of Cluttons Portugal
- Renata Silva Alves – Associated Partners specialised in Golden Visa and NHR, Abreu Advogados
- Matthew Krystman - Partner, tax and investments, Blevins Franks
- João Hilário – EQTY Capital
Buying property without a Golden Visa
A Golden Visa is not a necessity - buyers who are happy to stick to the new 90-day limit on visiting since Brexit can still buy and visit their property within the 90-day limits. The Golden Visa just opens up the opportunities for staying, as well as taking advantage of working, education, healthcare and travel.
It is important to note that the Golden Visa is separate from tax residency, in fact there is an obligation to only stay in Portugal for 7 – 14 days a year.
Buyers looking to relocate more permanently to Portugal will need to consider their tax situation and should investigate the Non-Habitual Residents scheme (NHR) which offers a flat rate of tax on foreign sourced income, including pension, if applicants spend at least half the year in Portugal, another popular program, particularly for retirees.
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