It’s clear that people are flocking to this sunny, Mediterranean country. Here’s why so many South Africans are turning to Portugal for residency and retirement.
Portugal’s Golden Visa is renowned as one of the most popular investment migration solutions for South Africans. Recent figures showed that residence investments have tripled in May 2020 compared to the previous year.
A bit about Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme
The Golden Visa, or Golden Residence Permit Programme (GRPP) is a residency-by-investment programme that affords you residency rights in Portugal. With this visa, you and your family can live and work in Portugal and enjoy visa-free travel to many countries.
Golden Visa residency requirements are undemanding. You’re not required to move to Portugal once your visa has been granted. To meet the minimum residency requirement, you only need to spend seven days in the country per year. This makes this programme a sound offshore investment, which can secure your family’s future with minimum hassle.
After holding a Golden Visa for five years, you and your family could be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship and gain one of the world’s most powerful passports.
Why Portugal is attracting three times the investment in 2020
In the 2020 State Budget it was announced that there were to be changes to the Golden Visa Programme that some felt would reduce overall applications. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the government’s planned changes were halted indefinitely.
The Portuguese Association of Real Estate Promoters and Investors (APPII) has also now presented the “Programme to Relaunch”, which aims to attract foreign investment into the real estate sector and encourage economic recovery.
South Africans exploring options in Portugal
South Africans are one of the top five nationalities applying for and being approved for the Golden Visa. With a sensational climate, affordable cost of living and healthcare as well as great education facilities, it’s no wonder Portugal remains a top residency-by-investment (RBI) option for many South Africans looking for a “plan b”.
Portugal is a mere two hour flight from the UK, which has made it an increasingly popular holiday destination among British citizens. Portugal has also confirmed that British tourists will not need a visa even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Moving to Portugal will remain an incredibly attractive proposition for British citizens deal or no deal, which also means a bustling tourism industry long into the future.
South Africans should consider making their investment into high value houses in Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon. There is a large abundance of tourists which means English is widely spoken, making the city and all its culture easier to explore and, better yet, enjoy. Alternatively, you can choose between the coastal city of Porto with its picturesque Old Town on the Douro River or the hub of the port wine industry, Vila Nova de Gaia. Portugal is made up of historical cities, renowned cuisine and spectacular beaches, no matter where you choose to reside.
Benefits of Portuguese citizenship
Many people from across the world look to Portugal as the ideal destination for international migration as well as an excellent place to settle for retirement. Sought-after lifestyle and business locations include Cascais, Lisbon, Oporto, and Algarve.
A secure lifestyle
Portugal was recently ranked as the third safest country to live in in the world according to the Global Peace Index. This will no doubt speak to many South Africans concerned about the high level of crime in their home country.
Dependants also benefit
Portugal’s policy on dependants included on the Golden Visa is generous. It includes dependants over the age of 18 (who are enrolled in full-time education) as well as parents over the age of 66 if they are financially dependent on the primary applicant of the visa. Your dependants will receive the same rights as the primary visa holder and also may be eligible for both permanent residence and citizenship after five years on the Golden Visa.
Travelling in and around Europe is easy when you have a Golden Visa in hand. If you have ambitions of working within the EU, this is especially beneficial. If you are a Portuguese citizen, you also gain the right to live and work throughout the EU area.
Earn a passive income
Portugal being a popular holiday destination means demand for short-term accommodation. This opens the door to potentially earning a passive income from short-term leases during the holiday season if you are a property owner.
Pensioners fiscal benefits
Portugal is a prime destination for foreign retirees and, according to the Global retirement Index 2020, Portugal is on the top 10 list of best countries to retire to. This is largely due to the fiscal regime that’s integrated into the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) status with the level of taxation on pension income remaining relatively low at 10%.
Portugal has one of the most favourable tax regimes in the EU whether you’re a resident or citizen. If you are not a tax resident in Portugal (spend less than 183 days a year in the country), you are exempt from close to all foreign-sourced income tax. There’s also no tax on inheritance or gifts as well as no wealth tax.
South Africa’s leading Golden Visa experts
We’re the leading provider for assisting South Africans and their families in entering Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme. We’ve developed relationships with key players in Portugal because we know how important it is to have people on the ground who you can trust. Our consultants will ensure you choose the best investment solution for you.
We can assist with opening bank accounts, tax advice, fiscal applications, property selection management and your applications for Portuguese citizenship.
If you’d like to speak to a consultant about the Golden Visa programme in more detail please contact us on