Non-EU citizens, including the British post-Brexit, who wish to permanently settle in Portugal, must apply for a visa for the right to stay. On the other hand, EU citizens have the right to freedom of movement and therefore have an automatic right to stay, so they do not need to apply for a visa.
There are several visa options available in Portugal and the most common are the Golden Visa and the D7 visa.
Both visas allow access to the Schengen area, ultimate permanent residence or Portuguese citizenship, and a gateway into the Non Habitual Residence (NHR) tax scheme.
The key difference between the two programs comes down to one of cost versus flexibility. The D7 visa is clearly a lower-cost route to Portuguese residency, both in terms of the fees and because there is no investment requirement as for the Golden Visa. However, the D7 route does have substantially longer minimum stay requirements.
While both visa options grant you legal residency in Portugal, one key difference with the D7 is that it automatically triggers tax residence status in Portugal. This may, in fact, be a positive thing for many people, given the existence of the NHR program which can result in substantial tax savings.
Whichever route you choose, ensure you are implementing planning both before your move and after you have established Portuguese tax residency. If you apply for NHR, put in place planning now that will still be effective after the end of the NHR period.
We can analyse your situation and help decide whether tax residency and NHR status in Portugal is obtainable and will benefit you.
We have written dedicated guides to visa options and the Non Habitual Residence scheme, both of which can be found on the Portugal page of our website.
Mark Quinn BA ATT APFS is a Tax Adviser and Chartered Financial Planner with the Spectrum IFA Group
Tel: +351 934 920 702
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