Portugal the place to be for SA investors and residents

Portugal is rapidly establishing itself as a destination of choice for South Africans looking for a path to European Union residency, with the country offering a range of residency programmes and efficient tax regimes to go with its famed quality of life and enviable climate.

The Portuguese government’s drive to attract investors to the country through its Golden Visa and Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) programmes has seen more than €5 billion flow into Portugal’s economy in recent years, and although the Golden Visa requirements are tightening significantly, it remains one of the most attractive destinations in Europe to live and invest.

The country was recently voted as Europe’s best tourist destination for the fourth successive year at the 2020 World Travel Awards and tops the Annual Global Retirement Index for 2020 published by International Living.

Portugal has a lot to offer for businesses, individuals, families, and retirees alike. It’s one of the world’s friendliest and safest countries, with good health care, low crime, and a favourable investment and residency landscape.

The past year has seen a boom in the number of South Africans looking to establish a business, invest, live, work or retire in Portugal. One of the major benefits of Portuguese residency schemes is the opportunity to qualify for permanent residency or citizenship in an EU member state after five years. Portugal is a full member of the EU, and legal residents can travel visa-free throughout the EU under Schengen arrangements.

However, it’s important that non-EU residents choose the correct pathway to residency for their own circumstances and are aware of the potential challenges and benefits of each programme. When implemented and utilised correctly, they provide a wide range of lifestyle, travel, business, investment, and tax efficient benefits, but it’s critical to be aware of the tax implications.

All options should be clearly investigated before you make decisions regarding which route is best for your personal circumstances and the tax implications thereof. Proper planning is necessary to prevent double taxation and to ensure that transactions are correctly structured to avoid high taxation in Portugal and elsewhere.

To unpack the benefits of living and investing in Portugal, Sovereign Group hosted a webinar on 18 November 2021 on what Portugal has to offer for individuals and business. To view a recording of the webinar click here.

South African clients can contact Sovereign Trust (SA) Limited regarding any query they might have regarding Portuguese residency and visa options as well as available property and investment opportunities.


Contact Ralph Wichtman
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