Over the past 5 years, the Portuguese Golden Visa Program has become one of Europe’s most popular road-to-residency options. For South African passport holders in particular, the reduced investment option, costing as little €350,000, has become increasingly appealing.
It is anticipated that demand for this program is only going to increase given the ANC and EFF’s 2018 parliamentary bill paving the way for property expropriation without compensation.
Contact us now to find out more about how you can get a back-up plan in place for your family with an EU residency, or discover the benefits and potential pitfalls of the Portugal Golden Visa Programme below:
Launched in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa Programme is being actively being promoted by both the Portuguese government and by SA property companies such as Pam Golding. An eligible property investment can give you and your family a residency permit that also includes dependent children. It is important to note that the Golden Visa is a visa – it does not grant permanent residency rights.
The Portugal Golden Visa can be renewed on application every two years, provided that you and your family have spent 2 weeks in Portugal every two years.
What makes this option appealing, apart from the reduced investment requirement, is that fact that you could become eligible to apply for permanent residency after having maintained your Golden Visa status for a period of 5 years. Citizenship can subsequently be obtained without the need to reside in Portugal. You would, however, need to be able to adequately prove ties to the country and pass a basic language proficiency assessment.
Portuguese citizenship, once obtained, would grant you the rights to live, work and study anywhere in Schengen Europe. The Portuguese residency card, obtained through the Golden Visa Investment Programme and sometimes also erroneously referred to as an EU citizenship card, grants the holder freedom of travel within the EU.
The Portuguese Golden Visa program has had some very positive upshots for the country’s property market. In places like Lisbon and Algarve, property prices have climbed steadily, driven in large part by foreign buyer demand.
It is important to note that the reduced cost option can be complex; a higher value property investment tends to have lower operational and residency outcomes risks associated with it.
As a single example, the €350,000 investment option will likely see you acquiring a property in an old run-down neighborhood, with significant renovations being a pre-condition for obtaining your Golden Visa. This means having to deal with local contractors who only speak Portuguese, and could also mean buying a property with regulatory complexities and lower potential capital growth potential.
Portugal is not the only country in Europe offering Golden Visa programs, and there are a number of jurisdictions where you could make a business visa investment and achieve actual permanent residency, rather than just merely a long stay visa (which is basically what Golden Visa is).
We highly recommend that you contact us for a free consultation to find out more about your options when it comes to Golden Visas, Investment Visas and Business Residency permits.