Ready to start a new chapter of your life in a post-pandemic world?
People will be raring to fly away for a break to their dream holiday destinations across the globe as the travel restrictions are eased.
But rather than opting for a couple of weeks away in the sun, why not consider relocating to a different country to begin the next chapter of your life.
Portugal is one of the treasures of the world. Boasting a dreamy landscape, beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, friendly locals and sunshine, the country’s appeal is clear to see.
And, through its Golden Visa Program, it offers the perfect opportunity for those seeking to begin a new life there.
What is the Golden Visa Program?
The scheme is one of the most popular across the globe, with good accessibility for people.
It is a fast-track initiative for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain residency in Portugal.
Launched in 2012 by the Portuguese Government to encourage investment, the program has been extremely popular.
It has encouraged several billion Euros in real estate investment and more than 2,000 family applications each year.
Portugal is the third safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index, coming behind only Iceland and New Zealand.
And compared to other European countries, it has a very affordable cost of living.
But the lower cost of living certainly does not mean lower standards of living – far from it.
Resilient economy bounced back from crisis
Economies across the world were destroyed by the 2008 global financial crisis, however, Portugal was among the countries to bounce back strongly.
The nation’s Golden Visa Program, real estate market and tourism all played a crucial role in this.
The coronavirus crisis has caused unprecedented disruption across the globe and crippled economies again.
But with nations preparing to fully reopen for business once again, there is a prime opportunity to set up a new life and capitalise on an enticing investment opportunity.
The residency by investment Golden Visa Program boasts a range of incentives for anyone seeking to begin a new chapter of their lives.
While the lure of moving to Portugal is clear to see, people are also required to make an investment into the country to qualify.
Options available for potential investors
There are a number of potential investment routes but the most popular is through real estate.
Those who embark on a real estate investment are offered a path to gaining residency and potential citizenship in the southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula and, hence, European citizenship.
While there are significant opportunities, it is imperative to plan properly and budget accordingly.
Investors purchasing real estate will need to be well aware of other charges that they will be met with. They will face taxes, stamp duty, legal costs and other fees.
Part of the reason for the introduction of the program was to attract international investment into the country.
Shifting attention to life after the coronavirus pandemic
While it has been a major success, nine years on, the importance of the scheme cannot be underestimated.
As society sets its sights on a post-pandemic world, Portugal will be looking to welcome international investors as it vows to kick-start its economy.
But, of course, this is not only of benefit to Portugal – this works both ways.
While the program aims to inject cash into the economy, it also opens up an exciting gateway for potential investors to gain residency in the stunning country.
It provides people with the opportunity to become a permanent resident in just five years.
Meanwhile, it only requires a potential investor to stay in Portugal for a minimum of seven to fourteen days per year.
For those looking to invest, the lowest real estate investment threshold with the program is €280,000 – although investments are usually higher.
If somebody wishes to invest at the lower end of the scale, they will need to meet a number of requirements, such as the property being in a low-density area.
While many will be keen to take advantage of the cheapest real estate investment option of €280,000, this may not always be the best choice.
Cheapest option might not always be the best choice
Yes, this will give you a short-term advantage and require you to allocate less funds towards the property.
However, by opting for a cheaper property you could be at risk of increasing the likelihood of limiting your financial returns.
Choosing an option which is more expensive, and in a more advantageous area, could give you a better chance of generating better returns.
As well as real estate, the program also allows people to consider a number of other investment options.
They include transferring capital totalling at least €1 million into a Portuguese bank account, or by creating at least 10 jobs in the country.
Preparation and research is crucial before making a decision
As well as allowing people to live, work and study in Portugal, the wide-ranging Golden Visa benefits also include visa-free travel across the Schengen member states.
Furthermore, it is important to note that a range of changes to the program are set to come into force in 2022.
The changes will include the minimum investment thresholds required to qualify increasing.
But applicants still have time to take advantage of the scheme in its current form.
Without a doubt, there is a lot of information to get your head around.
But with the right research, preparation and due diligence this could well be the opportunity of a lifetime.
Many people become accustomed to their comfortable, and repetitive, lifestyles and are afraid of change – even though they desire far more.
But you only live once and opportunities are there to be taken. So what are you waiting for?