Are you an American citizen and interested in the valuable opportunities presented by the Golden Visa Program in Portugal?

Since its launch in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa Program has been a fantastic pathway to dual-residency and citizenship for Americans. Thanks to the Portuguese Golden Visa Program, US citizens can open up further opportunities for themselves and their families, or simply plan to relocate to Europe with the necessary peace of mind. Since the beginning of the program, several billion euros have been invested by Golden Visa applicants, with thousands of families from all over the world applying each year.

Can US nationals get Portuguese citizenship through the Portugal Golden Visa Program?

Yes, holders of the Portugal Golden Visa can apply for citizenship after five years, as long as they maintain their investment and minimum requirements. The program gives participants a temporary residency permit for three years that can easily be renewed for two further years. Permanent residency requires relatively little input from the participant; applicants must simply stay a minimum of just seven days per year in Portugal. This makes it easy for applicants to maintain their lifestyle in the US without the need to plan for an immediate relocation.

Since Portugal and the US allow dual citizenship, applicants may decide to keep both passports. However, many US citizens decide to renounce their US citizenship for tax purposes. With its expertise, Magwind can help you decide which solution is best for you according to your needs and goals.

Though the US passport is quite strong, it does not offer visa-free access to the European Union and the Schengen area, unlike the Portuguese passport.

American investors who would like full access to the EU, Schengen area and Switzerland, can choose to acquire it through the Golden Visa program. This program grants them the right to live, work, and do business in Portugal, and then potentially in any EU country. Other benefits of the Golden Visa Portugal include:

Cost of living, healthcare, education and quality of life

The general cost of living in Portugal is 30% lower than it is in the US. Healthcare in Portugal is free for every resident, regardless of his or her citizenship. Healthcare can be also greatly improved with private insurance plans that are significantly cheaper compared to the US, but with top tier quality. 

Portugal is the third most peaceful country in the world, according to the 2020 Global Peace Index. Portugal has low crime rates and a stable political and economic environment. The warm weather together with the welcoming social environment make Portugal the best place to live on earth. It is a place where you can enjoy the quality of life and the security you and your family deserve. 

In Portugal, American expat families find top quality solutions for the education of their children. There are various international and American curricula schools (e.g., Carlucci American International School of Lisbon and the International Christian School of Cascais).

Portugal is a very progressive country in terms of LGBTQ+ rights. It is among the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world. Same sex couples are legally recognized and same sex marriage is legal. Therefore same sex partners are eligible to get the Golden Visa as dependents, under family reunification.

If you need support and want to know more about how to move to Portugal from the US, we can give you all the information you need to evaluate the next step towards the Portugal Golden Visa application.

Favorable tax treatments in Portugal for Americans

Portugal has Double Taxation Agreements (DTA) with many countries, including the US. DTA aims to prevent a situation when people have to pay taxes on the same income in two or more different countries. With this agreement, if you are a Portuguese resident and earn income outside of Portugal as a US citizen, the income will not be subject to taxation in Portugal. 

In addition to DTA, Portugal offers an advantageous tax regime reserved to anyone who did not reside in Portugal for at least 5 years. This regime is called Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime. Under this regime:

  • Most of foreign source income is exempt from taxation in Portugal for ten years;
  • Value added professions are taxed at a flat rate of 20%;

As a US citizen you can apply to the NHR tax regime through the Golden Visa Program, but please keep in mind that international taxation is a very complex matter and you should always be advised by a professional. Magwind tax experts offer international tax compliance and planning services. 

Magwind can help you to realize all Portugal has to offer through residency by investment. Reach out today to discuss your options.  


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