With a mere 100 days to go until the imminent changes to the Golden Visa programme, the 12 Star Capital hosted an insightful webinar with a panel of experts who unpacked some key information into the Golden Visa, the benefits and procedure when immigrating to Portugal.
What is the attraction of the Golden Visa?
Resonating closely with South Africans, Portugal presents a wealth of opportunities for those looking to immigrate and seeking a Plan B option where the requirements are simple. According to Stuart Ferguson, CEO of 12 Star Capital, “You are only required to be in the country for 14 days within the first 2 years and after 5 years you’re then eligible to migrate from residency to citizenship. Many South African’s are seeking this Plan B mainly for education and career advancement when it comes to their kids.”
Portugal provides an environment that is green-friendly and provides a controlled and legal way to gain residency into the EU.
What are the criteria that you need to meet in order to obtain a Golden Visa?
There are 2 main elements within the criteria for obtaining a Golden Visa. According to Stuart Ferguson, “You need to be of good standing, holding no hidden criminal activities. 12 Star Capital ensures that a pre-vetting is completed to make sure candidates are eligible. Secondly, the source of funding is critical; your investment needs to be traceable and come from legitimate sources. The funds need to flow through a bank account prior to it being subscribed to the fund. Part of the 12 Star Capital process is assisting on the ground with opening of bank accounts and registering with local tax revenue department. There is no real eligibility in terms of health other than you needing to be of sound mind.”
What South African tax implications can you encounter when immigrating to Portugal?
Tax implications vary with individuals in South African when immigrating to Portugal. Garth Williams, CEO of Caleo Capital explains, “When investing into an offshore programme like the Golden Visa, you will face Capital Gains Tax in South Africa, as per your worldwide assets. Within Portugal, you can benefit from the non-habitual status that Portugal has put in place since 2009 to incentivise and attract investor of the right calibre into the country. One of the benefits are that foreign income can be almost exempt from taxation for a period of 10 years.”
The Golden Visa process: The fund vs property options
There are several differences between a property investment and investing into a fund like the Golden Visa programme. According to Catarina Sardinha, Head of Legal at Dixcart, “One of the reasons of why the fund route is so popular, is that it is a straight-forward, simple route in comparison to the acquisition of a property. In addition to that it is also a less expensive route for a non-habitual investor. When investing into the property route, you are required to pay property transfer and stamp duty fees on the property and additional taxes at a rate of 28% if you choose to rent out this property and you are required to file personal income tax within Portugal.”
With a team of professionals on hand to help you with your immigration process, 12 Star Capital can easily facilitate your application and get you to your destination. Contact the team to learn more about this opportunity or watch the full webinar here.