4 Benefits of Portugal's Golden Visa for UK Nationals

Brexit has had a lasting impact on UK nationals, driving many to consider relocating to Portugal. With the UK's departure from the EU, UK citizens are actively seeking ways to preserve their freedom of movement within Europe. A popular solution gaining traction among UK citizens is the Golden Visa for UK citizens offered by Portugal.

This exceptional program provides a special residence permit, granting numerous advantages in return for a five-year investment commitment in Portugal. By embracing Portugal's Golden Visa, UK nationals can secure their ability to move freely within the EU while enjoying the benefits that come with this esteemed residency opportunity.

Portugal’s Golden Visa is a Golden Travel Ticket

Portugal's Golden Visa program offers UK nationals a unique opportunity to obtain a Portuguese citizenship, ensuring they maintain their pre-Brexit travel advantages. By becoming Portuguese citizens through the Golden Visa program, UK nationals can enjoy visa-free access to 186 countries worldwide. This "golden travel ticket" allows them to travel seamlessly without additional visas or restrictions, whether for business, leisure, or visiting loved ones.

The Portuguese passport obtained through the Golden Visa program opens doors to diverse destinations, enabling UK nationals to embrace the freedom and convenience of global mobility. With Portugal's EU membership, this program provides an appealing pathway for UK nationals to sustain their global connections and broaden their horizons.

The Right to Live, Work, and Study in EU/EEA Countries

With an Investment Visa in hand, UK nationals will not only benefit from extensive visa-free travel, but will also have the option to live, work, and study in any EU/EEA country if they choose to. Portugal’s Golden Visa program grants a temporary two-year residency. This can be renewed provided that the investor resides at least 7 days per year in Portugal during the first year of the investment, and at least 14 days during each subsequent two-year period. This also means that British nationals can opt to maintain their habitual lifestyle in the UK while waiting for their Portuguese permanent residency and citizenship, or they can choose to live in Portugal or explore other lifestyles in a host of other European countries. Whether you’re a UK national looking for a new job or if you’re considering moving to Portugal to enjoy retirement, after five years of living in Portugal you, along with your family, will become a Portuguese citizen. 

Stunning waterfront cityscape of Porto, Portugal, showcasing its vibrant real estate scene with a mix of modern high-rises and colorful historic buildings nestled along the Douro River.

Low Cost of Living, Safety and Healthcare

By applying for Portugal's Golden Visa program, individuals open the doors to a country renowned for its natural beauty, delightful climate (which our neighboring friends from the UK certainly appreciate!), and outstanding safety record. Portugal is widely regarded as one of the safest countries in the world. Additionally, the cost of living in Portugal is generally 23% lower than in the UK, with slight variations depending on the region. This translates to great value for money, regardless of the purpose of relocation, whether it be for investment, work, study, or retirement.

Not only does Portugal offer an affordable lifestyle, but it also boasts excellent healthcare services that provide comprehensive coverage for UK nationals, ensuring their well-being is taken care of. Through the Golden Visa program, UK nationals can access a premium healthcare system at an extremely affordable cost.

Favorable Tax Benefits in Portugal for UK Nationals

Filled with numerous advantages, the Golden Visa is a program that also presents great tax benefits for UK nationals. In addition to attractive returns when it comes to investment properties or investing in real estate, Portugal has a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with many countries, including the UK. The main goal is to prevent the payment of taxes regarding the same income in two different countries and this agreement ensures that taxes are exclusively paid in one country only.

In addition, it is also important to keep in mind that taxation in Portugal is favorable for expats, when compared to other European countries. According to the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime: 

  • Most foreign source income is exempt from taxation for ten consecutive years.
  • If the foreign income is from a country Portugal has a DTA with, then it will not be taxed.
  • If the person in question has a “high-added-value” profession, generous tax exemptions exist.
  • Even if income is not from a Portuguese source, taxation is still lower for expats.

What Will Change in the Golden Visa Program in 2022?

With initial changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa program scheduled to become effective on July 1, 2021, the government extended this period and announced a new date for these modifications. As of January 1, 2022, there will be two important changes that should be taken into account:

  1. The required investment fund option will increase from €350,000 to €500,000 and the required capital transfer option will increase from €1,000,000 to €1,500,000. Other available investment options will also be registering increases.
  2. Golden Visa applicants will no longer be allowed to buy real estate property in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve, nor on the coastline. Golden Visa applicants will be allowed to acquire properties in the country’s interior territories, as well as in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira. 

What Will Change in 2023?

The Portuguese Government has taken a significant step towards ending the Golden Visa program in Portugal, as a draft law determining its termination was approved on March 30, 2023. The draft law will now proceed to the Portuguese Parliament for further discussions and potential amendments. The Government has expressed its willingness to consider modifications to the initial proposal.

According to the Portuguese Prime Minister, the Golden Visa program has achieved its intended objectives, and it is now time to focus on promoting other types of immigration programs. Portugal offers various appealing residency programs, including the digital nomad visa designed for remote workers seeking to live and work in the country, the D7 visa tailored for individuals with passive income such as pensions or dividends, the D2 visa for entrepreneurs and freelancers, and the Start-up Visa, among others.

The Prime Minister emphasized that Portugal aims to maintain its appeal to foreign citizens and has made substantial investments in public services to expedite and digitize visa processing. The country remains committed to attracting new residents, entrepreneurs, and highly skilled workers, having introduced simplified and attractive conditions for accessing residence permits in recent months.

In addition to the available alternatives for those interested in residing in Portugal, there are also tax opportunities, such as the non-habitual resident regime, which can further enhance the appeal of living in the country.

If you're a UK national considering moving to Portugal from the UK in the post-Brexit era, we're here to assist you. Our team specializes in providing comprehensive guidance, contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in securing your future.

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