In pursuit of summer all year round…
The aftermath of Brexit has led to a surge in the number of British nationals targeting Portugal in a bid to recover their lost EU rights. Portugal’s Golden Visa program – open to UK nationals from 1 January 2021 – plays an important role in this.
But just a year after Britons became eligible, the Portuguese government introduced major changes to the Golden Visa program, including the removal of several prime locations.
Here, I explore two great Golden Visa routes still available, and why they’re ideal for UK nationals (or anyone else) with Portuguese citizenship as their end goal.
The first way is real estate investment on the island of Madeira. Madeira is rapidly becoming one of the main real estate investment destinations in Portugal. Unlike artificially inflated low-density investment locations, such as Évora, Madeira has all the fundamentals of a strong and sustainable property market – while also being a fantastic place to live.
While prime real estate in Lisbon, Porto and part of the Algarve is no longer available for Golden Visa purposes, Funchal and surrounding towns have a growing number of new luxury developments ready for purchase at the level of €500,000.
If you want a lower investment threshold, Madeira also offers opportunities suitable for the €350,000 rehabilitation Golden Visa. Together with our knowledgeable local partners, we have already helped several UK investors secure properties at this affordable level.
For British investors, Madeira has a special appeal. For starters, it’s by far the southernmost place in Portugal, which means summer all year round. Most people in the big cities speak excellent English, a relic of Madeira’s brief colonial history with the UK.
Combine all of this with a strong British expat community and frequent direct flights to the UK, and you have a perfect destination for UK Golden Visa investors looking to relocate. For those who don’t, Madeira also offers healthy return on investment potential thanks to the island’s strong year-round tourist economy.
Madeira is also one of the safest destinations in Europe – a key concern for foreign investors in today’s increasingly volatile world.
For those who don’t want geographic restrictions, getting a Golden Visa through the venture capital fund route is another promising option. Changes to the 2022 program raised the minimum fund investment threshold from €350,000 to €500,000, comparable to the standard level of the property journey.
The funds have several key advantages over real estate for potential Golden Visa investors, particularly those considering a Portuguese passport. The first is speed. With any Golden Visa, the countdown to citizenship begins from the moment you receive your residence permit.
However, this requires the approval of your Golden Visa application, which in turn depends on the investment in place. Rather than wasting valuable time searching for the perfect property, the funds get you started with a quick investment – and a shorter time to obtain citizenship.
For those who want maximum flexibility – to continue living in the UK while their investment spends time in Portugal on their behalf – the funds route offers the potential for high returns, with your investment safe in professional hands , without the hassle of tenants, maintenance and associated legal issues.
Finally, investing in certain funds – such as those on the EQTY Capital platform – can provide a pathway to eventual ownership of prime real estate with savings in locations that are no longer directly eligible for the Golden Visa program, such as Lisbon and Porto.