As the woes in the UK mount up, from the financial impact and the consequences of Brexit and the Covid lock-down, the damaging 40 day tenure of the previous Prime Minister and the strikes promised by essential services, it is not astonishing that many people in their later years are viewing retirement in an environment that has a warmer and more economical climate as an attractive option.

Portugal has always been a popular destination for British tourists and for those aiming to retire or relocate to Europe. Its culture, climate and cuisine alone provides an inviting haven for retirement. Additionally, Portugal's Golden Visa provides one of the best and most flexible investment visas with an extremely favourable tax structure extended to retiring foreign nationals.

Rute Lorenco, an associate in our Porto office, commented, "the Golden Visa is an excellent choice for retirees and provides many benefits for individuals relocating to Portugal and also for those considering Portugal as an investment objective. Unlike some other countries, you do not have to move to Portugal to retain your residence permit, a requirement of seven days' residence in Portugal per year will suffice which makes the Golden Visa an excellent option for investors and entrepreneurs. A Golden Visa also extends to dependent family members under family reunification, enabling your spouse, minor children, dependent children over the age of 18 and your parents to move to Portugal. Rute further commented "permanent residency or citizenship can be applied for after five years of holding a Golden Visa, or alternatively, an individual can continue to reside in Portugal under their Golden Visa"

Investment in Real Estate

There are two types of residential property investments:

Investment in a heritage property requires a minimum value of €350,000 in respect of a property that was built at least 30 years ago. The new owner of the property must commit to refurbishing the property.

A modern residential property will require an investment of €500,000 as the standard minimum investment. However, if the property is in a low-density area the value of the investment lowers to €400,000.

The opportunity to buy in high-density areas such as the Algarve, or in and around Lisbon (including Sintra) and Porto, is no longer available to foreign nationals as the Portuguese government continues its drive to build up and strengthen low density areas across the country. There are many other unspoiled attractive areas to consider where residential property will provide an extremely good return on investment over the years, such as Madeira or Peneda-Geres or even the Douro valley.

Capital Investment

The alternative investment routes are as follows:

  • Capital transfer for investment in research projects - €500,000
  • Capital transfer by means of venture capital funds, units of investment funds, or capitalisation of companies - €500,000
  • Capital transfer an existing commercial entity headquartered in Portugal which enables the creation of at least five permanent jobs will increase - €500,000
  • Capital transfer in support of artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage - €250,000

Giambrone & Partners' immigration lawyers have extensive experience in advising and guiding hundreds of clients to their successful stress-free retirement in Portugal. Our lawyers are adept at finding solutions for complex cases and will ensure your application proceeds without errors or omissions in the documentation that would hinder your application by delaying the process.

Giambrone & Partners' well regarded lawyers in our Porto office can also assist with all legal areas associated with your residency in Portugal including advising you on the significant tax advantages, under the highly advantageous tax regime and we can also advise you on how to protect your estate and ensure that your designated beneficiaries will be in receipt of your bequests.

Non-Habitual Tax Regime (NHR)

Individuals wishing to reside in Portugal can benefit from the NHR regime in several ways including:

  • Worldwide exemption from income tax
  • Portuguese source income (employment and self-employment) is liable to a flat 20% tax rate.
  • No inheritance tax or gift tax

Wills and Succession Planning

Succession planning is a key factor for anyone that has overseas assets. Today's families vary considerably from those in decades past, frequently, blended families include stepchildren, half-siblings and second spouses and unmarried partners, they are all important considerations.

Another consequence of society is the changing circumstances within the wider family as a consequence of divorce or bereavement. In the event of an adult child's divorce, you may no longer wish to benefit the former spouse of your adult child or you do not wish the heir of a deceased relative to inherit part of your estate.

Ensuring that your will is all-encompassing, valid and completely up-to-date is of vital importance. Expert legal expertise to navigate through more than one jurisdiction and to provide constant updates to your cast-iron unchallengeable will provides peace of mind.

Rute Lourenço is an associate based in the Porto office. Rute was admitted to the Portuguese Bar in 2021. Rute advises clients in immigration and a range of visa applications. She also provides valuable guidance and insight in corporate and commercial non-contentious matters as well as advice on real estate. Rute developed expertise with cross-border debt collection and drafting contracts.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.