South Africans have endured a volatile investment and currency landscape for the last few years. It’s no surprise that many people are looking for a safe investment haven, as well as offshore residency and alternative citizenship options. If you’re looking for the best bang for your bucks, Portugal’s Golden Residence Programme (GRRP) has a low-cost entry point and entitles you and your family to EU residency.
Since its start in 2012, the GRRP has become one of Europe’s most sought-after residency-by-investment programmes. Attaining a “Golden Visa” provides you and your family with EU residency, visa-free travel through the Schengen Area as well a solid “plan B” for your family’s security, education and lifestyle.
Onceyou have held residency for five years on the Golden Visa, you will be able to apply for permanent residence or citizenship. This can lead to Portuguese citizenship and one of the world’s best passports for you and your family.
What are the options?
There are several investment options for those interested in a Golden Visa. You can invest by:
- Purchasing real estate to the value of €350,000 (selected properties and areas)
- Making a capital investment of €350,000 in a private equity fund
- Purchasing real estate to the value of €500,000 or more
- Making a capital investment with the minimum value of €1 million
- Establishing a Portuguese company that employs at least 10 people
After entering the programme, you will only need to spend seven days in Portugal per year for the duration of your Golden visa. This gives you the flexibility to plan around your residence and investment goals. You can choose to be a full-time resident of Portugal, or you could just enjoy the benefits of visa-free travel throughout Schengen Europe while still living in South Africa.
Cost-conscious South Africans will be pleased to learn that some recent legislation changes have made the GRRP even more attractive for offshore investors. The cost entry point for the programme has been reduced to €350,000 and you can change your investment type at any time so as long as the value remains the same.
Residency requirements have also become more lenient and you don’t need to be a full-time resident to qualify for permanent residency. Even better, the path to citizenship and an EU passport has been reduced from six to five years.
How secure is the programme?
SEF, the Portuguese government’s immigration agency, is fully committed to the GRRP. All commitments made by the participants are honoured by the Portuguese government.
The GRRP was introduced in 2012 as way to attract non-European investors and boost Portugal’s economy, and has proven to be very successful as seen by Portugal’s massive property and tourism boom since its inception.
Portugal now has a very stable economy and has been recently upgraded by all the credit agencies, very much the opposite to what has been happening here in South Africa. It’s also has a very tax-friendly regime, making it particularly attractive for offshore investors.
How to get started
Our teams in South Africa and Portugal, as well as our trusted lawyer and real estate partners, are perfectly positioned to assist with every step of the investment process. From providing clarity and advice around the potential investment routes to setting up local bank accounts and giving tax advice.
We understand that this could one of the largest financial commitments that you may make. The programme has proven to be stable, well-run and can even potentially offer offshore returns through a yield-generating asset or investment.
SOURCE: Sable International
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