The General Manager of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK, Christina Hippisley has criticised what she calls a lot of disinformation as to whether UK nationals can buy homes and get residency in Portugal.
“We’re having to correct a lot of false information because people think that the end of the Golden Visa means the end of visas in general. Of course, this isn’t true,” she told the news agency Lusa.
Hippisley reminded that the Golden Visas are just “one of several different options that people have and that there have always been easy residency visa options”.
In addition to the Authorisation of Residency for Investment (ARI), better known as the Golden Visa, there are visas for digital nomads, visas for entrepreneurs, visas for pensioners or people that live on passive income, not to mention study, work and family reunification visas.
Candidates need to meet the requirements demanded by each of these visas which give residency in Portugal for different periods.
“All of these options imply living or being in Portugal for a large part of the year, or at least be based in Portugal even if they don’t spend most of their time there. What they can’t do is just be in the UK,” Christina Hippisley said.
The Managing Director of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK was interviewed by Lusa in the run-up to the event ‘Moving to Portugal Show & Seminars’ that took place in London on Wednesday last week and which has been running since 2016.
The event brings together developers, estate agents and other service providers that provide information about the conditions in terms of visas, residency, investment, taxes, employment, education and healthcare in Portugal in the form of presentations and discussion panels.
There were 442 people signed up for this edition, 28% more than last year, the majority aged between 50-60.
Over half (52%) said they were interested in investing in real estate, but the others wanted information about visas, taxes and pensions.
Golden Visas began to attract the attention of British nationals from 2016 after the Brexit referendum decided Britain’s exit from the EU and ended the free circulation of people and goods.
The Portuguese government announced a proposal to end the Golden Visa regime in February as one of the measures to tackle property speculation.
The ARI was created in 2012 during the PSD/CDS-PP government led by Pedro Passos Coelho with the aim of attracting overseas investors to Portugal.
According to data from the Portuguese borders and immigration service SEF, over €6 billion has been invested in properties through the Golden Visa, which means that 10,668 foreigners acquired residency status through the property acquisition option of the programme.
The British community in Portugal currently numbers 45,000 and is the second largest nationality living in the country after Brazilians (200,000).
By CHRIS GRAEME
Source: Essential Business
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