Record numbers of American investors have moved to Portugal through the hugely popular Portuguese Golden Visa in 2021, almost outnumbering the Chinese, and the trend is set to continue in 2022.
Official data shows more Americans than ever received the right to residency in Portugal in 2021 via the Portuguese Golden Visa -102 in total and a big increase over 2019’s 65 approvals. On a proportional basis, the rise is even more striking with US applicants representing nearly twice as big a share of the program in 2021 compared to a year earlier.
The numbers are growing fast – who would have guessed a few years ago that American investors would be competing neck-to-neck with Chinese nationals for the right to reside in Portugal in return for their investment?
While Chinese investors remain in the top spot for Portugal Golden Visa, data shows that American migrant investors are nipping at their heels and might overtake in 2022 if the trend continues. For the first time ever, American investors stole the top spot from the Chinese in November 2021 while in December 2021 Chinese applicants barely outnumbered their US counterparts with 14 to 13 approvals.
The Internal Revenue Service reported that during the first three quarters of 2020 more than 6,000 Americans gave up their citizenship compared to only 2,072 people in all of 2019 and the highest figure in at least a decade. Meanwhile, the website InternationalLiving.com says that traffic to its “how to move out of the U.S.” page jumped 1,676 percent between June and November 2021.
Why is Portugal Golden Visa popular with Americans?
American investors are seeking greater flexibility in investments, lifestyle and travel and many are leaving their country in search of greener pastures.
While the US government does not regularly release the number of US migrants abroad, the latest estimate puts the number of US citizens living on foreign shores at about nine million.
A second passport or residency is an important asset for American citizens if they wish to leave their country for political, economic or social reasons.
Data shows an increasing number of US high net worth individuals (HNWIs) are venturing into residency or citizenship by investment programs, a trend that is seemingly here to stay.
Portugal is hugely attractive with its already thriving US expat community, welcoming English-speaking culture, sunny climate, top schools, advanced medical facilities, low-cost, high quality of life, US consular services and tax incentives.
How did the pandemic trigger US demand for a second passport?
The pandemic’s rattling effect on the world highlighted the need for a Plan B even for those carrying the world’s most coveted passports. More American investors are now looking to residency or citizenship by investment as their contingency plan to hedge against instability, be it political, economic, or otherwise.
Recent data shows that the (announced) average number of American investor migrants has nearly doubled in the past three years compared to the same previous period.
In the past three years, Portugal’s Golden Visa has been one of the top choices for American investor migrants, with 227 applications being approved between 2019 and 2021.
What are the tax attractions of Portugal residency for American investors?
Tax implications are a major consideration for wealthy American investors when deciding where to relocate.
One of the major attractions of Portugal as a destination is its special and competitive tax regime for expats and high net worth individuals which is called the Non Habitual tax regime.
Those planning to retire, or expecting interest or dividends, may benefit from a low tax burden by moving to Portugal under this special tax regime.
What are the latest changes to Portugal Golden Visa?
Please follow this link to find out.
How can a second passport help wealthy Americans with contingency planning?
The pandemic has highlighted the shortcomings of human preparedness for calamities, and US citizens were not immune. Global mobility of the US passport suddenly dropped, and US citizens who needed to travel found it harder than ever to do so.
The economic effect of the pandemic also highlighted the need for better risk diversification in managing wealth to protect against unforeseen Black Swan events.
Investment migration programs typically have a real estate or securities option for investors, which allows applicants to diversify their assets and qualify for second citizenship or residence in an economically stable environment.
Be it for a better life, contingency planning, access to better healthcare or education, or just for better asset allocation, the reasons Americans are exploring investment migration are many.
There is a wide array of investment migration options to choose from, and each addresses a different set of concerns. Contact us today to book a consultation with one of our veteran consultants, who can present you with options best suited to your needs and objectives.
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