Are you planning to move to Portugal from USA? Moving to Portugal from the United States is a great idea in 2022.
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Why not, as Portugal is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most desirable relocation locations.
From gorgeous attractions such as the Algarve, Silver Coast, and Madeira to attractive tax benefits for remote workers and internet company owners, this little Atlantic country has a lot to offer. Furthermore, Portugal has one of the lowest living costs in Western Europe.
Those who move to Portugal from USA for the long term have the option of applying for Portuguese citizenship after only five years — one of the most expedited processes in the European Union.
Dual citizenship can provide you with a variety of advantages, including enhanced travel flexibility, better tax planning opportunities, improved quality of life, and access to a safe haven.
With an EU passport, you will have complete freedom of movement throughout the Eurozone. This encompasses not just freedom of movement, but also the full right to live, work, study, and retire in any EU country.
So, without further ado, here are 9 reasons to move to Portugal from USA in 2022.
9 Reasons To Move To Portugal From USA
1. Political Stability
Are you tired of the partisan bickering between Republicans and Democrats? Are you worried that Trump will reclaim power in 2024? Are you concerned about current efforts to overturn Roe vs Wade and thereby jeopardize women’s rights?
If you move to Portugal from USA, you may leave all of your worries behind.
Although Portuguese politics aren’t flawless, as a foreigner in Portugal, you won’t have to worry about the country’s political orientation all of the time.
Furthermore, Portugal is politically stable, without the corrosive division that defines the United States at the moment.
And if you’ve had enough of sovereign citizens, QAnon zealots, and anti-vaxxers, relocating to Portugal from the United States will be a welcome change of pace.
2. Free Healthcare
Portugal is no exception to Europe’s tradition of universal healthcare.
When you relocate to Portugal from the United States and become a resident, you will have access to free, high-quality healthcare across the country. If you still choose to go private, health insurance in Portugal is far cheaper than in the United States.
Furthermore, health concerns are not as politicized as they are in the United States. Portugal, for example, legalized abortion in 2007, but far later than the rest of Europe.
In February 2007, the country held a vote on the topic, with 59 percent voting in favor of legalizing. Women are now lot safer, since the number of complications-related deaths has been decreased to zero.
Then there’s the matter of drugs. Portugal was the first country in the world to legalize the use of all narcotics in 2001. Since then, there has been a significant decrease in HIV cases, drug overdoses, and drug-related crime.
3. Low Gun Crime
You might be shocked to learn that Portugal has some of the most liberal gun ownership restrictions in the EU. Guns can be owned by Portuguese residents for hunting, target shooting, pest control, and collection.
There is also a permission for self-defense, although it is seldom issued to citizens. This approach has strained relations between Portugal and the rest of the EU, which has significantly stricter rules on gun ownership, such as the EU Gun Ban.
Despite this, gun crime is exceedingly rare in Portugal. Mass shootings on a large scale in the United States are virtually unheard of. Vice News monitored all major shootings in Europe in 2016. Portugal was only mentioned twice. In both cases, five persons were hurt. Nobody died.
In the same year, the United States saw 133 mass shootings in 164 days, including the infamous Orlando nightclub incident, which murdered 49 people.
4. Safer Food
Portugal has substantially stronger sanitary and animal welfare requirements than the United States, thanks to EU rules.
For example, the United States use chemical washes like as chlorine, growth hormones in animal feed, unlabeled genetically engineered foods, and pesticides that are forbidden in the European Union. There will be no chlorine chicken or high fructose corn syrup.
Locally cultivated fruit, such as bananas and avocados, is abundant and inexpensive in some locations, such as Madeira. Produce that does not grow in Portugal is frequently brought in from neighboring Spain, lowering environmental expenses associated with transportation.
5. Easy Immigration Pathways
Let’s have a look at how to enter Portugal as a US citizen. To begin, all US citizens are eligible for visa-free entry into Portugal as tourists for stays of up to 90 days.
During that time, you can utilize your 90-day limit to travel freely between Schengen countries.
The D7 visa and the Golden Visa are the two finest alternatives for people looking to stay in Portugal for an extended period of time. Let us take a short look at each one.
D7 Passive Income Visa
The first is the D7 visa, which is a popular option for individuals looking to retire in Portugal. The ‘passive income’ or’retiree’ visa is another name for it. However, this flexible immigration route encompasses more than simply passive income or pensions.
The D7 is also an excellent choice for remote workers and internet entrepreneurs. D7 is available in Portugal to persons who work remotely for an overseas employer, as well as online company owners who get profits.
The most crucial aspect in obtaining the D7 is demonstrating proof of income. Depending on the embassy, you may also be required to produce proof of having enough money in the bank to maintain yourself and any dependents for a year.
Income levels are calculated using the equivalent of the Portuguese minimum wage, which is one of the lowest in the EU at €705 a month.
The Portuguese government needs to determine if D7 candidates can maintain themselves in Portugal without the need for government assistance. If you can accomplish that and have no criminal history, the D7 visa is simple to obtain.
The D7 residence is valid for two years at first. After that, you’ll have to renew your status for another three years, which will require you to demonstrate that you have adequate income and savings.
You’ll be entitled to apply for permanent residency or citizenship after five years of residency.
It’s vital to understand that obtaining residency with the D7 visa requires you to make Portugal your primary residence.
You must become a Portugal tax resident and submit your global income to Portugal every year, even though you do not have to pay tax on it.
The Portugal Golden Visa
The second immigration route is through Portugal’s residency-by-investment scheme, dubbed the Portugal Golden Visa.
This provides you with instant residency for five years, allowing you to apply for permanent residency or citizenship.
In exchange, the Portuguese government expects you to invest significantly in the country.
Real estate is the most usual way, although Portugal Golden Visa investment funds are also an option.
Funds are becoming a more popular route to obtain the Golden Visa, owing to speedier processing times and improved overall tax efficiency when compared to real estate.
The government tightly regulates Portuguese Golden Visa funds, and they are audited on a regular basis. The funds primarily invest in a range of real estate restoration projects, as well as Portuguese start-ups and later-stage technology firms.
You can also obtain a Golden Visa by investing in Portuguese scientific research, art, or historical initiatives, or by depositing €1.5 million in a Portuguese bank. These routes are, however, less popular.
The cost of living in Portugal is among the lowest in Western Europe. As a result, investment thresholds for Golden Visa real estate might be extremely low.
They vary from €280,000 to €500,000 for any type of real estate in qualified locations of the nation.
Please note that in 2022, Lisbon, Porto, and parts of the Algarve will no longer be eligible for Golden Visa investment.
Perhaps you wish to move to Portugal from USA but won’t be able to do so until later this year or later.
In such situation, the Golden Visa investment funding path is the shortest method to establish a presence in Portugal – and begin the process of becoming a citizen – without having to relocate.
If you wish to invest in real estate, you might want to consider acquiring a Golden Visa in Madeira as an attractive option to Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.
The HQA Visa
The Highly Qualified Activity (HQA) Visa is another investment-based path to Portugal residence. This initiative was launched in 2019 and is intended for entrepreneurial investors interested in doing research in Portugal.
The HQA program includes two essential components: 1) establishing a firm in Portugal and 2) investing in high-value R&D activities at one of Portugal’s institutions.
The HQA visa has several advantages over the Golden Visa:
- Faster processing time. Applications are typically granted within 30 days. This means you’ll acquire your residence permit faster and start the clock on your path to citizenship sooner.
- Reduced total cost. The HQA visa costs only €175,000 to get. That is much less expensive than the lowest Golden Visa threshold.
- Refund policy is risk-free. If your HQA Visa application is unsuccessful, your whole deposit will be reimbursed. That implies there is absolutely no danger!
- Create a thriving start-up and develop a European corporate footprint. Depending on the success of your company concept, you may develop intellectual property that may be copyrighted and turned into a valuable asset. Your company’s future profits might be substantial.
6. Generous Tax Breaks
Let’s have a look at what’s on offer in terms of tax breaks if you move to Portugal from USA.
Portugal is neither a tax haven nor a low-tax nation. It employs a progressive income tax system with a top rate of 48 percent.
However, one of the biggest draws for foreigners moving to Portugal from the United States is the non-habitual residence (NHR) tax plan. The moniker is deceptive because the NHR system is primarily used by full-time tax residents of Portugal.
So, what is Portugal’s NHR system and what services does it provide?
Individuals (foreigners or nationals) who have not been taxed as Portuguese tax residents in the previous five years are granted preferential tax treatment by the NHR for a term of ten years.
From the time you register as a tax resident in Portugal, you can apply for NHR status. Tax exemptions are available for most non-Portuguese generated income, including foreign dividends, salaries, real estate income, and capital gains on property.
If you have NHR status, you can additionally pay a flat rate of 20% tax on most Portuguese-sourced income if you work in one of the approved professions. For more information, see our comprehensive guide to the NHR system.
NHR is particularly useful for anyone relocating to Portugal from the United States with the purpose of obtaining EU citizenship.
The NHR timetable is far longer than the citizenship schedule, allowing you to strive towards Portuguese citizenship while still receiving advantageous tax treatment.
It is crucial to understand that all US residents, regardless of where they live, are required to submit taxes with the IRS each year. The United States has a citizenship-based taxation plan, but owing to the double tax treaty, you will not be taxed twice.
Furthermore, the IRS provides some exclusions meant to assist persons who live abroad, such as international tax credits and income exclusions.
If in doubt, consult a skilled US tax advisor with cross-border experience.
7. Obtain Full EU Citizenship in Five Years
So, how does Portugal do in terms of obtaining citizenship? The answer is: very well.
In reality, Portugal boasts one of the quickest naturalization paths to citizenship in the EU. Without familial links to an EU nation, five years is as fast as you can get.
Furthermore, because Portugal recognizes dual citizenship, you will be able to maintain your US passport. Language skills are essential for citizenship in Portugal, however the minimum level is among the lowest in the EU.
A major advantage of possessing a Portuguese passport is full freedom of movement across the EU, including the ability to live, travel, study at EU-level tuition rates, and retire anywhere in Europe.
Do you want to spend your golden years in Greece or Italy rather than Portugal? As an EU citizen, this is simple to accomplish.
Furthermore, as a dual national of Portugal and the United States, you are entitled to consular aid from any EU country (if Portugal is not represented) as well as the US embassy if you fall into problems while traveling overseas.
8. Access to the Entire Schengen Zone
Remember the 90-day ban on travel throughout Europe in 180 days?
As a resident of Portugal, you will be able to reset it by returning to Portugal rather than leaving the Schengen region entirely.
However, if you become a Portuguese citizen, the restriction is lifted totally. You may spend as many days as you like traveling around Europe.
If you feel that Portugal is no longer the right match for you, you can freely relocate to any other EU nation.
9. Progressive and Tolerant
Portugal is well-known for its acceptance of LGBTQ people and alternative lifestyles.
Portugal has grown into a progressive and tolerant country, despite its strict Catholic past and previous dictatorship.
LGBTQ expats are quite unlikely to face homophobic violence. People are more inclined to accept you with a comfortable indifference — after all, it’s none of their business.
That’s a terrific formula for happiness.
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