Portugal was included in the E-1 and E-2 treaty, which means that citizens of Portuguese nationality will be able to manage trade, invest and/or live in the United States of America for 2 consecutive years, automatically renewable, according to some rules of admissibility.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed – at the end of 2022 – the Amigo Act (Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing Our Success Act), as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. In practical terms, the legislation will allow Portugal to invest in the United States in a simplified way. On the other hand, this measure boosts not only immigration in Portugal but also strengthens relations between the two countries.
The E-1 visas (intended for commercial business) and E-2 (for investors and businessmen) are legislated between the United States and 78 countries, including Australia, Argentina, Denmark, Italy, England , Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg or Spain. This treaty allows investors to due commercial business, live and works at the United States as well as authorization to enter into the country essential employees of the companies (including, in some cases, representatives of the investor), however, it does not represent the attainment of American citizenship. In fact, one of the prerequisites for obtaining the E-2 is that the investor's intention is not to immigrate to the United States.
In Portugal, the legislation is different which means that a US Citizen (or from another country outside European Union) who invests is eligible for the Golden Visa, which automatically allows to live in the country, travel without restrictions in Europe (Schengen area), apply for family reunification and after 5 years apply for the Portuguese nationality and subsequently obtain a Portuguese passport.
Despite the restrictions imposed by this E-2 measure, there are some exceptions, namely in terms of investment. Until the end of 2022 – and if the legislation is not changed in the meantime – with a minimum investment of $900,000.00 (about €847,000.00) and the creation of at least 10 full time jobs, the possibility of obtaining the “Green Card” (Permanent Residence Card), doubles.
If in the United States of America the eligibility conditions for citizenship are not automated, in Portugal there are several possibilities of investment for a foreigner to obtain nationality. The Golden Visa is awarded, for example, top anyone who acquires and/or rehabilitates a property by investing at least €280,000; or those who create 8 effective jobs. However, with the inclusion of Portugal in the E-1 and E-2 visas, it is expected that the Golden Visa will encourage bilateral immigration, which may benefit citizens from countries with greater difficulty in accessing visas in the USA, if they are able to overcome these barriers, upon prior notice, obtaining the Portuguese Golden Visa.