Just voted the best tourist destination in the world by the World Travel Awards, Portugal is becoming the destination of choice for South Africans looking to live and invest their money elsewhere. The most popular route into the country is the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme, which gives Saffers a Plan B or the option to go and live in Portugal for a minimum €350,000 investment.
John Dunn, emigration specialist with Sable International, says South Africans are grabbing the opportunity with both hands: “The increase in enquiries and investments in Portugal has more than doubled in the past year for us as South Africans realise the benefits of basing themselves in Europe.”
“The Portugal Golden Visa allows people to live and work in Portugal with visa-free travel throughout the European Schengen Area. After five years, residents and their immediate families can qualify for permanent residence and potentially citizenship – it’s good Plan A or B for people considering emigrating,” says Dunn.
“Portugal is very comfortable for South Africans, English is widely spoken and the standard of living is really good, plus you’re well situated in Europe. And for people not ready to leave South Africa yet, but looking at setting up in Europe, Portugal has a very low minimum stay period of 35 days within five years.”
Routes to a Golden Visa
Dunn says there are four ways people can obtain a Golden Visa: “Firstly a €1 million capital investment – This can be in the form of a fund deposit into a Portuguese bank account, the purchase of Portuguese stocks and bonds or a company investment.
“Secondly, you could create 10 jobs – If you employ 10 workers at minimum wage and all employees pay social security you can qualify for a Golden Visa. There is no minimum investment for this route.
“Another route is by purchasing a property of €500,000 or €350,000 – This is a popular option among investors. You must purchase a property, or multiple properties, with a minimum value of €500,000. The property you purchase can be rented out.
The €350,000 category focuses on stimulating redevelopment of old, dilapidated buildings in what the government refers to as “regeneration zones”. You can invest in eligible properties that are over 30 years old or buildings located in an urban regeneration area. The property purchase price combined with the ex-VAT value of the rehabilitation work contract must equal at least €350,000.
Golden Visa investment options
According to Golden Visa requirements, a €350,000 investment can be made in a number of ways:
– Real estate rehabilitation: This category focuses on stimulating redevelopment of old, dilapidated buildings in what the government refers to as “regeneration zones”. You can invest in eligible properties that are over 30 years old or buildings located in an urban regeneration area. The property purchase price combined with the ex-VAT value of the rehabilitation work contract must equal at least €350,000.
– Invest in research: Invest capital of at least €350,000 in research conducted by accredited institutions that are part of the national scientific and technological system.
– Invest in an existing business: Invest in a business with a registered office in Portugal. A minimum amount of €350,000 must go to either incorporate or increase the share capital and create a minimum of five full-time permanent jobs for a minimum period of five years.
– Invest in private equity funds: This is one of our most popular investment options, and involves an investment of €350,000 in regulated private equity funds. This can be an easier option for some as it avoids the hassle of looking for property and subsequent management.
Speak to a professional
“Undergoing this type of process alone leaves you exposed to unnecessary risk. If you’re looking at buying a property for anywhere between R7 million and R10 million, there is a certain amount of risk involved in the real estate investment. To do this in a foreign country and currency adds to that potential risk,” says Dunn.
“Sable has key partnerships with legal advisors and consultants in Portugal across all critical areas, and we help people navigate the process.”
Sable International is offering a series of free and informative seminars in late February and early March to discuss global citizenship by investment, residency and offshore investment options & considerations.
For more information visit: https://www.sableinternational.com/l/global-citizenship-and-residency-roadshowNewsletter Sign Up