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It’s official: for the first time since the beginning of the Golden Visa Portugal program in 2012, US citizens stand first in applications for residence under investment activities in Portugal. 

This new reality in the tenth year of the program reveals a paradigm shift in investments for  Portugal and demonstrates a renewed interest of Americans in the country. They do not only perceive Portugal as a tourist and leisure destination, but also as a place to settle in with their families and invest.

According to a recent article published by Forbes, this choice is mainly associated with the existence of international schools, the public health and transport systems, the cost of living, the existence of a large expatriate community, and the low crime rate.

Families opting for the Golden Visa Portugal program is also explained by the extensive family reunification allowed by Portuguese legislation in this context, since the investor can regroup the following family members with just one investment: 

  • The spouse or common-law partner;
  • Minor children or adult children legally declared mentally incapable under the guardianship and supervision of the couple or one of the spouses;
  • Minors adopted by the single applicant or by the spouse, resulting from a decision made by the competent authority of  the country of origin;
  • Adult children, financially dependent on the couple or one of the spouses, who are single and who are attending an educational establishment;
  • The direct and first degree ascendants of the resident or his/her spouse, as long as they are under  his/her supervision;
  • Minor siblings, provided they are under the resident’s guardianship, in accordance with a decision issued by the competent authority of the country of origin. 

This means that the investor has the chance to be accompanied by a large part of his family with just one investment, while granting everyone temporary Portuguese residence with all its benefits (access to the national health system and to the public education system, circulation in the European Union and Schengen Area) and allowing them access to permanent residence and/or Portuguese citizenship at the end of the 5 years of the Golden Visa program. 

It is clear that the Golden Visa is a financial investment, but it is also an investment in family mobility, in obtaining one of the most powerful passports in the world and in entering Europe. This opens more borders in a world that, as the pandemic and other border-affecting factors showed us recently, can change and close in a second.

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