With the landscape of the Atlantic Ocean, the century-old rustic architectural backdrop and wooden trams are frequent sights in this ancient city of Portugal. Perched on the edge of Europe, the capital city of Lisbon boasts an average of 2,799 hours of sun and earned its nickname as the sunniest city. Portugal’s national drink, “porto wine,” and the freshly baked pastel de natas, better known as the infamous “egg tarts,” are particularly popular among the locals and worldwide audience. The record-breaking bridge Vascos da Gama, exquisite coastline of sandy beaches and the delicious Portuguese food culture are enough reasons to explore the country. Better yet, Portugal remains the most affordable destination on the continent for luxury vacations and even residency.
Portugal started 2018 with a renewed confidence, showing a growing forecast and strong dynamism in several sectors, such as real estate and tourism. Sales have increased hugely in 2017 and the market has seen a significant shift in buyers’ profile as increasing numbers of investors realize the potential of the Portuguese real estate sector. €359 million were invested in commercial real estate during the first quarter of 2017. There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership in Portugal and transaction costs are generally low, which is one main reason why it’s catching interests of Filipino investors.
For the most part, income tax is usually low, and property prices are extremely competitive compared to Manila or other Southeast Asian capitals. Conservative yields vary from 3-7 percent per year. What has been known as the “Golden Visa” has been launched in October 2012 by the Portuguese Authorities in order to attract foreign investment to the country. This visa is now internationally recognized as being one of the most attractive residency programs for investors in the world in part due to its reduced and minimal residency requirement.
As of January 1, 2017, Portuguese citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to over 160 countries and territories, ranking the Portuguese passport third in the world in terms of mobility (tied countries such as Canada, Greece and Japan). So why not combine the Golden Visa with an interesting investment? The qualifying investment to obtain the Golden Visa consist in purchasing properties worth a minimum of €500,000 anywhere in Portugal. Once the visa is granted, the investor and their dependent family members will be entitled to apply for permanent residency after five years and citizenship after six.
The advantages of the Golden Visas are visibly convenient. The residency permit allows the holders to work, live or study in Portugal freely, as well as to travel in Schengen countries for three months per six months’ period, therefore making it extremely convenient for Filipino businessmen and businesswomen wanting to travel to Europe frequently to follow up on their investment or expansion plans on the European market. The permit is can be extended to qualifying family members without further investment requirements.
“Portugal has been a popular country for people who are looking to relocate themselves, their family, as well as their business into Europe. Portuguese are very friendly people, and furthermore welcomes migrants easily into their culture and society. The Golden Visa has made Portugal an accessible country to relocate more than ever, especially with the numerous advantages in being a permanent resident of the country,” says Bastien Trelcat, Managing Partner of Harvey Law Group, a leading multinational law firm specializing in corporate law and investment immigration with a worldwide reputation for representing high-profile clients and corporations, with over 19 offices worldwide.