Wednesday, February 9, 2022

OPINION:

Sovereign (serviceinfo@SovereignGroup.com) opened its office in Portugal in 1990 specifically to meet the growing demand for fiscal assistance from foreign investors, residents and retirees. As well as assisting with applications under Portugal’s ‘Golden Visa’ (GV) and D7 ‘retirement’ visa programmes, Sovereign offers continued support to clients that require ongoing fiscal representation, wealth management, property taxation and accounting services in Portugal. Last year the GV programme passed some significant landmarks. In September, it approved the 10,000th application and in October it passed 6 billion in total investment raised since its inception in 2012. And while China, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and Russia have traditionally provided most applicants, it is the US and the UK now emerging as the fastest growing markets.

“We are dealing with more and more US clients,” said Shelley Wren, Head of Business Development at Sovereign - Consultoria. “During a time of great social and political unrest at home and after almost two years of severe travel restrictions globally, a number of clients we see are looking to make sure they have options with another jurisdiction, to live and provide the family the freedom of travel to Europe.”


“Many countries, including Portugal, were closed to foreigners during the Covid-19 pandemic but remained opened to those who had residency. Americans are appreciating that a second residency gives more flexibility and a Portuguese Golden Visa doesn’t just give access to Portugal, it gives you access to the whole of Europe.”

“From my experience with US clients, they see that Portugal offers real value in terms of both real estate and capital investments, but they are also now seeing that the GV and D7 visa provide an opportunity for a lifestyle change,” said Wren. Portugal has a very good double taxation agreement with the USA and a strong legal system, but it also has a highly embedded bureaucracy and foreigners generally need guidance in navigating the Portuguese market. “We have been here a long time and know how to keep our clients in Portugal safe and in full compliance,” highlighted Wren.

“Should you decide to apply for permanent residency in Portugal at any time during your five-year GV or D7 visa, it is essential that you should undertake a comprehensive review of your tax planning before applying. As an international group, Sovereign has broad experience in managing complex structures involving assets and individuals across multiple jurisdictions and we would be happy to assist,” added Wren.


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