The American interest in buying properties in Portugal is at all time high. For the first time since Q1 2022, American investors have topped the table in acquiring golden visas in Portugal above the long dominant chinese. (This particular trend observed since Feb 2022).

According to the latest report released for the month of July 2022 by SEF Portugal, out of 80 ARI golden visas, 11 went to american investors. A total of 37.6 million euros invested in portuguese properties for the latest month. From the start of program in 2012 until July 2022, a combined total of 456 US citizens invested in Portugal and secured residence permits under Golden visa program (GVP)

2012 – 2022 (Jul)

  • USA – 456
  • South  Africa – 466
  • Turkey – 523
  • Brazil – 1113
  • China – 5149

July 2022

  • United States – 11
  • CHINA- 10
  • BRASIL – 9
  • South Africa – 7
  • Turkey – 5

Source: SEF Report

US citizens can apply for golden visa investment under the following categories. More Americans prefer the fund category and hotels over other qualifying options for Golden Visa applications.

  • €280,000 property investment in inner regions (full title / buyback)
  • €280,000 to 350,000 in Hotels with buyback shares
  • €350,000 Capital transfer in Investment funds (w/ returns and investment withdrawan after 5 years)
  • €350,000 establishing a company with head office and creating five jobs.
  • €1,5 million in Bank deposit (with interest) for 5 years.
  • €1,5 million in Government bonds and securities (with returns) for 5 years.

It is important to note that Dual EU-US citizens cannot apply for golden visa program in Portugal

What makes Portugal attractive for americans?

Portugal is a top country to live, invest, study and work in Western Europe. Infact Portugal is picked among the top 10 countries for American expats to live in. Some 5,000 american expats live in Portugal in Lisbon, Porto and Algarve calling Portugal second home.

  • Proximity to North America with excellent flight connections from Lisbon/Porto.
  • Safety, low crime with good quality of life.
  • Retirement opportunity in Portugal
  • Coastal properties are super attractive with sun and sea. Algarve is popular for surfing and outdoor sports
  • Portugal as Second home in European shores
  • Second citizenship option in EU after 5 years with free movement in schengen
  • International schooling and best education system
  • World class Healthcare and medical facilities
  • Average property prices in Portugal cheaper compared to US cities
  • Tax breaks with Non habitual residency scheme
  • Attractive to American Crypto investors with tax breaks. Many Property developers accept bitcoin

The American beneficiaries of ARI / Golden Visa are entitled to:

  • Residence visa waiver for entering Portugal;
  • Living and working in Portugal, on condition that they stay in Portugal for a period of 7 or more days, in the first year, and 14 or more days, in the subsequent years;
  • Visa exemption for free movement within the Schengen Area (as EU resident)
  • Family reunification;
  • Permanent residence status after 5 years
  • Portuguese nationality by naturalization after 6 years.

Becoming a Portugal Resident

US citizens can travel to Portugal under the visa waiver agreement which limits stays to 90 days in 180 day period. If you want to stay more than this period, US citizens must apply for long term residency at the immigration office in Portugal.  One such route is buying a property will automatically entitle you to golden visa residency issued for 1-3 years depending on the investment made. From 2023, US citizens will be subjected to ETIAS electronic authorization to enter Portugal.

Social Security

There is an agreement between the United States and Portugal became effective August 1, 1989, to improve social security  protection for people who work or have worked in both countries. For Portugal, the agreement covers the laws
governing benefits paid on account of old-age, disability, and death under the different schemes governing social insurance in Portugal.

Both countries also have double taxation agreement.