Gulf News moderator Sally Mousa with Jeremy Savory, Founder and CEO of Savory & Partners, and Helena Savory, Managing Director of Savory & Partners, during the webinar

In the latest Gulf News webinar, Jeremy Savory, Founder and CEO of Savory & Partners, and Helena Savory, Managing Director of Savory & Partners, shared their insights into the world’s most popular Residency by Investment (RBI) programme, life in Portugal as a family, as well as the special advantages for those looking to start a family while being residents of Portugal.

Helena pointed out that the benefits of investing in the Portuguese Golden Visa are numerous — not only does it allow investors and their family members to freely travel, work, live and study in all Schengen countries but it is also the only programme in Europe that allows access to European Citizenship in as little as five years without the need to relocate.

For those who are looking to start a family, the benefits are even greater. Jeremy highlighted the introduction of the Jus Soli (citizenship by birth) law where a parent who has held a Golden Visa residency permit for at least one year and subsequently has a child in Portugal will be able to gain Portuguese citizenship for that child from birth. This rule even applies if they have only fulfilled the minimum seven-day physical presence requirement.

Helena and Jeremy also discussed why Portugal is one of the leading global destinations for expats, with the country occupying fourth place in the Expat Insider Survey 2022 by InterNations. Portugal ranks within the top 10 positions for quality of life, ease of settling in, leisure options, culture, safety, security, and more.

The Portuguese passport ranks among the top five most powerful and travel-friendly, granting visa-free access to more than 170 countries. Additionally, approved investors can immediately access Portugal’s public hospitals at no charge, as well as entry into European universities and job markets.

There are several avenues to attaining the Portuguese golden visa, the most popular of which is real estate investment that requires a minimum of 280,000 euros for low-density areas, and 350,000 euros for high-density areas such as Lisbon and the tourist hotspot Porto. There are a variety of investment thresholds depending on the asset classes and locations within the country.

When looking at their return on investment, “for high-density areas with commercial and retail properties, investors can expect to see returns in line with European averages at 3-5 per cent”, said Jeremy. “But of course, tourism is what drives Portugal, and you will find that hotel management companies and tourism developers will underwrite the guarantees, taking a lot of the headache out of property ownership.” He also gave viewers a sneak peek at a new student accommodation project that will be launching in the next month that is expected to perform well.

Add to that capital gains on residential properties, which have been seeing double-digit growth in recent years as net migration increases to Portugal, and all of this points to positive signs for investor returns.

Time is of the essence, however, as Jeremy emphasised that other European RBI programmes were curbing their intake or ending completely: “The peers of the Portuguese golden visa programme are either closing, getting more expensive, or becoming more difficult. Greece has announced that it is going to 500,000 euros; Montenegro is closing at the end of the year; Turkey has already increased its threshold. So when you look at Portugal with an entry point of just 280,000 euros, you get a profit with residency. This is another reason so many are applying this year.”

Eligibility is open to all non-Europeans with a clean criminal record and are also able to sponsor their dependent family members, including spouse, children and parents of the applicant if they are 65 years of age and above.