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Real Estate Under Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program

With the landscape of the Atlantic Ocean, the century-old rustic architectural backdrop and wooden trams are frequent sights in this ancient city of Portugal. Perched on the edge of Europe, the capital city of Lisbon boasts an annual average of 2,799 hours of sun and earned its nickname as the sunniest city. Portugal's national drink, 'porto wine', and the freshly baked pastel de natas, better known as the infamous 'egg tarts', are particularly popular among locals and the worldwide audience. Explore the record-breaking Vascos da Gama Bridge, exquisite coastline of sandy beaches, and indulge in the delicious Portuguese food culture. Better yet, Portugal remains the most affordable destination on the continent for luxury vacations - or residency.

Portugal started 2018 with a renewed confidence, showing a growing forecast and strong dynamism in several sectors, such as real estate and tourism. Over 359 million euros were invested in commercial real estate during the first quarter of 2017. Sales have increased hugely in 2017 and the market has seen a significant shift in buyers' profile as increasing numbers of investors realise the potential of the Portuguese real estate sector. There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership in Portugal and transaction costs are generally low, which is one main reason why it's catching interest from Thai investors.

For the most part, income tax is usually low and property prices are extremely competitive compared to Thailand or other Southeast Asian countries. Conservative yields vary from 3 percent to 7 percent per year.

What is known as the "Golden Visa" was launched in October 2012 by the Portuguese Authorities in order to attract foreign investment to the country. This visa is now internationally recognised as being one of the most attractive residency programs for investors in the world, in part due to the minimal 7 days within the first year and 14 days every period of 2 years residency requirement.

As of 1 January 2017, Portuguese citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to over 160 countries and territories, ranking the Portuguese passport 3rd in the world in terms of mobility (tied countries include Canada, Greece and Japan).

So why not combine the Golden Visa with an interesting investment? The qualifying investment to obtain the Golden Visa consist in purchasing property(ies) worth a minimum of €500,000 anywhere in Portugal. Once the visa is granted, the investor and their dependent family members will be entitled to apply for permanent residency after five years and citizenship after six.

The advantages of the golden visas are visibly convenient. The residency permit allows the holders to work, live or study in Portugal freely, as well as travel in Schengen countries 3 months in any 6 months period. This makes it extremely convenient for Thai businessmen and businesswomen wanting to travel to Europe frequently to follow-up on their investment or expansion plans in the European market. The permit can be extended to qualifying family members without further investment requirements.

"Portugal is a popular country for people who are looking to relocate themselves, their family, as well as their business into Europe. Portuguese are very friendly people, and furthermore welcome migrants easily into their culture and society. The Golden Visa has made Portugal an accessible country to relocate to more than ever, especially with the numerous advantages in being a permanent resident of the country," says Mr. Bastien Trelcat, Managing Partner of Harvey Law Group.

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