Moving to Portugal: From Golden State to Golden Visa

Portugal has long been a top destination, especially for European expats. 

Its big cities are home to thriving expat communities, with people from all over the world moving to Portugal.

Now it seems like an increasing number of US expats are making the trip across the Atlantic and taking up residency in Portugal. The country’s capital, Lisbon, has even been called Europe’s answer to San Francisco.

Here, we look at why US residents are moving to Portugal and how you can benefit from the country’s golden visa program.

Silicon Valley 2.0?

It’s easy to see why comparisons are drawn between the Portuguese capital and Silicon Valley.

Some of the world’s leading tech companies such as Amazon, Siemens and Microsoft have chosen Lisbon as their European hub. Looking at the data, we can see why. 

A report by Startup Genome ranked Lisbon as the 12th best-emerging ecosystem worldwide. The research firm also awarded the capital city top marks for market reach.

Of course, the country offers more than just a place for tech start-ups to flourish.

In general, the cost of living can also be significantly lower when compared to major US cities. Here is a look at how the cost is living compares between Lisbon and Los Angeles.

Moving to Portugal

For those looking to take advantage of all the country offers, the Portuguese Golden Visa provides an efficient way to obtain residency.

About the Portuguese golden visa

Launched in 2012, the Portuguese golden visa is one of the world’s most trusted programs of its type.

The purpose of the program is to drive investment in Portugal, and it’s been a success. Since its launch, billions of euros have been invested, creating an even more robust economy.

In exchange, investors can obtain residency in Portugal. Residency gives you and your family the right to work, study and live in the country. It can also lead to permanent citizenship.

So, what are your options as an investor? There are actually three routes you can take.

Portugal residency by investment options

As an investor, there is a trio of options to choose from, making the program flexible.

Capital transfer
If you decide to go the capital transfer route, there are a few options. Here are some of the main options:
  • At least €350,000 ($406,000) to fund research activities
  • At least €250,000 ($290,000) to support artistic production
  • A capital transfer of €1,000,000 ($1,160,000) to a Portuguese bank
The property route

Investing in property valued at €500,000 ($579,000) or more is another way to obtain a golden visa.

If the property was built before 1990 or located in certain areas, the minimum investment amount drops to €350,000 ($406,000). There are also benefits to buying outside of big cities.

Properties in low-density areas receive a 20% reduction to the investment amount. Not only that, but property in Portugal often sees good returns with yields of 5-7%.

You should be aware that the rules around property investment are changing. If property is a route you are considering, speak with an expert first.

Create jobs

The third option is to create jobs. There are two main options here; either create 10 new job places or five jobs and invest €350,000 ($406,000) into a Portuguese business.

The application process

Here is a look at how the application process works. The graphic below shows the timeline from the initial application to citizenship.

Of course, this is a general overview. Speaking to an expert can help you understand how the process will look based on your circumstances.

Here to help

Changes to the Portuguese golden visa are imminent. For more information, our previous article covers the changes coming in 2022.

Despite these changes, moving to Portugal still provides numerous benefits for you and your family. For those looking to take advantage, Holborn Pass can help.

We provide clients with a bespoke service to secure residency and citizenship in countries worldwide. Our team of experts work with only the most trusted investment programs, so you can be sure that you and your family are in safe hands.

To find out how we can help you, book a free consultation. Complete the form on the right of this article, and we will be in touch.