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The Portuguese government is taking steps to attract investment from overseas.
These include reducing tax for expatriates from 48 to 20 per cent, offering a "golden visa" – which converts to citizenship – to people buying properties worth €500,000 (£425,000) or more, and abolishing tax for retirees altogether.
"In the last budget we reformed the tax system to make it very advantageous for expatriates," says Álvaro Santos Pereira, Portugal's Minister for the Economy and Employment. "We are taking steps to streamline the level of bureaucracy, and our banks will happily lend at reasonable rates to people with a downpayment of 20 to 30 per cent".
Since 9 October 2012 Foreign citizens wishing to enter and reside in Portugal have been able to do so under a Golden Visa/Golden Residence Permit rule. It is a fast track for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain a fully valid residency permit in Portugal (“Golden Visa”).
Third country citizens attempting residency under the same laws were subject to vague regulations. As of October 2012, the acquisition of an immoveable Portugal asset entitles those individuals to a residency title.
Three well-defined relevant investment methods will grant legalization to foreign citizens from origin countries that are not European Union members:
1. Produce an investment operation with an operating period of at least five years and a minimum acquisition amount of € 500,000.
2. Transfer at least 1 million euro to Portugal.
3. Incorporate a company with at least 30 new job positions.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are in charge of regulating the above options. Any concerns, questions or matters of compliance will be resolved by a joint decision of those two ministries.
Since the scheme began in 2012, the Portuguese government has issued over 800 Golden Visas.