Non-Habitual resident program in Portugal – is it worth it? part 1 – Pros and Cons of living in Portugal

Non-Habitual resident program in Portugal – is it worth it? part 1 – that will be the topic of today’s article.

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The Portuguese Republic (Republica Portuguesa) is an economically developed European state. The country attracts tourists from all over the world with its warm climate, excellent service, and a variety of opportunities for a great holiday. Emigrants strive here for a decent standard of living, high wages, professional medicine.

Non-Habitual resident program in Portugal

How to become a citizen of the Republica Portuguesa? To appreciate life in Portugal, you need to become its resident or citizen. A visit to the country as a tourist will not reveal all the features and nuances. The local migration policy cannot be called rigid. There are several migration routes, but when choosing any foreigner, a foreigner will have to go through the following steps:

  • Get a national visa.
  • Get a residence permit.
  • Request permanent residence.
  • Apply for Portuguese citizenship.

To obtain a residence permit, there must be good reasons – the presence of Portuguese roots, marriage with a local citizen, employment in a local company, and more. Wealthy people can use an easier way – to get an investment residence permit. The so-called “golden visa” will allow you to move to the Republic and obtain citizenship in 6-7 years.

Pros of living in Portugal

Non-Habitual resident program in Portugal

Republica Portuguesa is an excellent solution for many Europeans who want to settle in a developed European state and obtain EU citizenship. There is a comfortable climate, high wages, excellent quality of life. The country ranks 21st in the world ranking in terms of life expectancy with an indicator of 81.9 years, which indicates the excellent quality of food, good ecology, and a high level of health care in Portugal.

Another indicator that speaks in favor of the Republic is the cost of living. According to the results of 2020, the Republic was in 1st place – it has the lowest cost of living among Western European countries. Although there are skeptics who will answer that the level of wages here is also lower than in other developed European countries.

The following advantages of living in the Iberian state can be distinguished:

  • After obtaining the status of a resident or citizen, you can get access to the economic, social and other benefits of the Republic and the European Union as a whole.
  • Free movement in 186 states (if you have a passport). The possibility of free movement within the Schengen area (it is enough to own a residence permit for this).
  • Low cost of living compared to other Western European countries.
  • Low crime rate.
  • Benefits and financial assistance for the development of start-ups in the field of IT technologies. Here entrepreneurs are offered information and financial support by the Innovation Agency.

In addition, the special geographical location of the country makes it convenient for doing business. Location on the edge of Europe makes America and Asia more accessible, in addition, the entire European market will be at the disposal of the entrepreneur.

Opening and running a business on the territory of the Portuguese Republic with the creation of new jobs is one of the migration routes that make it possible to obtain a residence permit for an entrepreneur. This method is not used as often as, for example, buying real estate, but it is very promising and does not put forward requirements to the investor for a specific amount of investment in the development of the company.

Cons of living in Portugal

The negative aspects of life in the southern European state on the Iberian Peninsula include a low-dynamic labor market. It is difficult to change or find a job here. The unemployment index is 7.1% (among young people 22.5%).

Another negative side is high taxes. The personal income tax rate reaches 48%. Despite the present deductions and possible benefits, the tax burden is very noticeable.

Another problem can be called the so-called “boom” of real estate. Yes, the price for it is not as high as in other Western European countries. Nevertheless, the strengthening of the Portuguese Republic in the international arena, the growth of the welfare of the population, and the standard of living attract foreign investors here, who can obtain a residence permit for the purchase of the real estate. As a result – a constant rise in housing prices, especially in central areas. Significantly increased prices per square meter in Lisbon and Porto.

Where is the best place to live in Portugal?

Non-Habitual resident program in Portugal

The choice of region for foreigners depends on many circumstances. For example, investors who seek to obtain a residence permit in Portugal through the purchase of real estate may prefer the Azores – the smallest region in Portugal. In accordance with the terms of the program, you can get a 20% discount when buying an object located in sparsely populated regions.

But if the purpose of the purchase is not only obtaining a residence permit but also making a profit from renting out premises, then coastal areas should be considered, as well as real estate in large cities – Lisbon, Porto. Here objects are in demand both for short-term and long-term leases. At the same time, the homeowner does not need to issue a tourist license, without which it is impossible to rent out premises in the central part of some cities.

If a foreigner wants to live in Portugal and relax, then you should look at the coast of the Central and Lisbon regions. The northern region is not suitable for a beach holiday; yachting infrastructure is developed here. You can pay attention to Alenjo – the largest region. But beach holidays are not very popular here, tourists and locals prefer surfing.

In the near future, real estate in the two most sought-after cities of Lisbon and Porto will not be available to investors. The government thus seeks to redirect foreign investment to the development of less popular regions.

The changes were to come into force on July 1, 2021. But taking into account the impact of the pandemic on the overall economic situation in the world and in the country, it was decided to apply the new conditions of the Golden visa Portugal program from January 1, 2022. It is also possible to increase the value of the passing qualification. Now the passing amount is 350 thousand euros (with the use of special conditions of the program – 280 thousand euros).

Non-Habitual resident program in Portugal

Therefore, if wealthy people want to buy Portuguese real estate for living or obtaining a residence permit, it is better to do it now, before the new rules come into force, and the investor is not limited in choosing regions.

The standard of living in Portugal is high, while there are affordable prices for quality food, clothing, and rental housing. For a family of 2 people, it is enough to have a total monthly income of 2,500 euros. The most expensive city to live in is the capital of Lisbon, here the basic expenses will be about 60% more expensive than in many other countries, but by the standards of the European Union, living in Portugal is inexpensive.

Let’s now understand one of the programs of Portugal, especially for foreign residents and investors, and find out is it a good one to be offered to expats.

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