In Portugal, as in Greece, it is the Chinese citizens who lead the number of Applicants for the Golden Visa Program. However, there are 5 advantages of the Golden Visa Program in Portugal that the Chinese still see as crucial in their choice over the Greek Golden Visa.
Both in Portugal and Greece, Golden Visa holders are entitled for five years: to enter and stay in the country where the investment was made; to move to the other countries that integrate the Schengen Area without the need for a visa; to family reunification; to access the permanent residence permit at the end of the five years of the Program; and to the nationality of the country where the investment was made, fulfilling the legal requirements for that purpose.
Portugal, however, has greater advantages than the Greek Golden Visa, the main reasons for Chinese citizens to prefer the Portuguese Golden Visa being the following:
Obtaining European citizenship
One of the main advantages of the Portuguese Golden Visa Program, compared to the Greek one, is the obtaining of the Portuguese nationality at the end of the 5 years of the Program. Even having stayed in the country for the minimum mandatory periods of the Program – 7 days, followed or interpolated in the first year; fourteen days, followed or interpolated in the subsequent two-year periods – investors will only have to demonstrate some basic knowledge of the Portuguese language. As for the Greek Program, investors can only obtain Greek nationality at the end of 7 years of actual residence in the country. The Greek Nationality Law requires that the investor proves he/she is a member of the Greek community and that he/she effectively and permanently resides in Greece.
Options and Investment Amount
While Greece has only two possible types of investment – real estate and business creation – Portugal, in addition to having those types of investment, also allows obtaining Golden Visa through the transfer of capital.
When analysing the possible types of investments as a whole, we come to the conclusion that the minimum possible investment in Portugal for acquiring Golden Visa is €200,000, unlike Greece, which minimum is €250,000.
Possibility of working
The Portuguese Golden Visa allows investors to work in Portugal during the five years of the Program, unlike the Greek Golden Visa which does not allow this possibility for investors who choose real estate investment. This is a great limitation, once we know that most of the investors in the Golden Visa Program are citizens who want to obtain this residence permit exactly to establish their business and also their personal life more easily in the countries where they make their investment, being therefore “obliged” to create a company in Greece if they want to work there.
Even in the case of investors who actually wish to reside in Portugal, the Golden Visa Program presents a tax advantage over the Greek Program, since foreign investors who wish to reside in Portugal can benefit from the Non-Habitual Resident Status (NHR), which allows its holders, for a period of ten consecutive years, to be entitled: to the exemption of income obtained abroad from pensions, dependent, independent work, capital, real estate income and capital gains, intellectual or industrial property; and to the taxation of income obtained in Portugal at reduced rates relating high added value activities.
In Portugal, it is possible for the investor to reunite with his/her adult children (regardless of their age) as long as they prove economic dependence on the investor and continue to study. In the case of the Greek Golden Visa, the age limit for reunited children is 21 years, and it is only possible to reunite children after 21 years in more specific circumstances.