Press Release: September 21, 2020
The United Kingdom (UK) has some investment projects going on in Portugal, and their number is increasing each year. According to Ernst & Young’s Attractiveness Survey, the UK “more than doubled the number of projects” in Portugal, from 6 to 15, in the year 2019.
The survey also demonstrates that the UK ranks the second top investor in Lisbon Area in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects. One of the main reasons for this situation is the high population of the UK expats investing in Portugal. According to The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service’s (SEF) 2019 data, there are around 35.000 registered residents in Portugal, mostly gathered in Lisbon, Algarve, and Porto. It is also known that the total number of UK expats are almost twice the resident population mentioned earlier.
So, why do so many UK expats choose to live in Portugal? The answer is clear: lower costs of living and favorable tax treatments for foreigners, including the Non-Habitual Residence (NHR) regime and the Double Taxation Agreement (DTA). Besides these, unlike the UK, the country has a mild climate and a smaller population, being the third most peaceful country globally, according to the 2020 Global Peace Index. Portugal also offers an investment program called Golden Visa, which enables you to invest in the country and obtain residency and citizenship in return.
The most important reason is the lower prices of services in Portugal. According to Numbeo.com, consumer prices in Portugal are 23.09% lower than in the United Kingdom. This includes the prices of rents, restaurants, groceries, and other basic costs.
The tax plans are namely the NHR Regime and the DTA. Starting with the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program in Portugal, it allows beneficiaries to get reduced tax treatments on some incomes for ten years and an exemption on almost all foreign incomes. The types of incomes include pensions, investments, rental income, and capital gains.
Antonio Rosa, who is the joint country manager of Portugal at Blacktower Financial Management, also states that: “NHR helps a great deal with higher levels of income… if you have a high net worth individual with a reasonable private pension, they won’t pay tax for ten years. That’s a remarkable improvement compared with if they were to stay in the UK.” For this reason, many UK expats prefer Portugal, while otherwise, they have to pay taxes on their income in the UK.
Another benefit of moving to Portugal is the Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) Portugal made with the UK. Thanks to this agreement, you don’t have to pay tax on the same income in both countries as an expat.
2020 Global Peace Index shows that Portugal is the third most peaceful country globally, and the second in Europe. Unlike the UK, France, or Germany, Portugal does not face outrages similar to those of the mentioned countries. So, this makes Portugal a safe country to live in.
As someone bored with the UK’s gloomy and rainy weather, Portugal is the best option with its constant sunshine, beaches, and mild climate even in winter. Furthermore, Portugal’s population is only around 10,2 million, unlike in the UK, which is around 68 million. In this case, you will find serenity and sunshine at the same time, in the same place.
Considering the above mentioned advantages Portugal has, the Golden Visa Program in Portugal may be a convenient option for UK citizens considering Brexit. The reason behind this is the dual citizenship that the program offers. So, the expats will also obtain an EU passport even after Brexit.
If you plan to live in Portugal not at the moment but in the future, it may be a good option to invest in the country now, and wait for the right of citizenship.
By this program, you make an investment in real estate properties, you do business in the country, or you transfer capital to the country. The amount for real estate starts from €280.000. The price differs according to the age and location of the property and the type of business you have. After you apply for the program, you will gain residency for five years. In these five years, you only have to spend a minimum of seven days each year. After five years, you can apply for permanent residency and citizenship.