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USA USA EB5

What do you know about US EB-5 Visa?

The US is the dream place to live for people worldwide. As the world’s largest economy, the US provides countless opportunities for economic progress and professional growth.

The US is also home to the world’s top-ranking educational institutes, i.e., Harvard, CALTECH, Ivy League universities, and many more. Headquarters of the world’s largest corporations are located in the US.

In 2021, 53 out of Fortune 500 companies were headquartered in New York City. Having a US residency card or nationality means having leverage over the rest of the world in getting an opportunity in Fortune 500 companies.

People worldwide search for opportunities to immigrate to the US for a better quality of life, education, and economic growth.

There are several programs to facilitate the immigration of foreign nationals, and one of them is the EB-5 visa program.

What is EB-5 Visa Program?

EB-5 is an investor program in the United States created in 1999 by the US Congress. The US EB-5 visa program is equivalent to the Golden Visa Program in Europe.

That means it is an immigration program that allows foreign nationals to move permanently to the States in exchange for an investment.

The EB-5 visa allows investors to reside in the States and option a green card for themselves, their spouse, and children under the age of 21.

The primary condition to become eligible for an EB-5 visa is a capital investment of $800,0000 in a new commercial enterprise.

Who is eligible for The US EB-5 Visa?

All non-US citizens worldwide are eligible to apply for the EB-5 visa. No specific personal or professional requirements exist to qualify for the EB-5 visa, and an individual with highly liquid financial assets can apply for the EB-5 visa program.

However, investors applying for the EB-5 program must have clean criminal records. If the investment is not to regional centers. In that case, the investors must demonstrate that they are involved in managing the company they have invested in and in what capacity.

The investor must prove that they have acquired the investment funds legally. If the funds are available to an individual through inheritance, there must be proof of legal ownership and transfer of such assets.

Options to obtain: EB-5 Visa

1. Investment in a new commercial venture

An amount of €800,000 must be invested in a new enterprise to obtain an EB-5 visa. New businesses or enterprises are established after 29 November 1990, per the immigration law.

A business founded before 29 November 1990 but purchased and restructured to create a new enterprise also falls under the new enterprise category.

An enterprise is also considered new if the enterprise is expanded due to the investment to the extent that the number of employees and net worth of the enterprise increases by 40%.

2. Creation of at least ten full-time jobs

For an EB-5 visa, an applicant must invest the required capital in a new commercial enterprise that will create at least ten jobs for qualified individuals.

The new commercial venture must create ten full-time positions, meaning the enterprise must be the employer.

If the commercial enterprise is located in the regional center, in that case, the enterprise can create full-time positions directly or indirectly.

The enterprise needs to hire ten qualified individuals to work in the State. The qualified workers, in this case, are US citizens, green card holders, and all other people authorized to work legally in the States.

3. Passive investment in a regional center

If an investor is interested in something other than starting or investing in a company where they must take responsibility and work themselves, there is an alternate option for them.

To obtain an EB-5 visa, one can also make a passive investment in a regional center. The US government created the regional center institute to provide an opportunity to obtain a green card through a strictly passive investment.

What types of businesses fall under new commercial enterprise?

A commercial enterprise is any for-profit activity to conduct a lawful business.

Any legal business from the following category qualifies as Commercial Enterprise

  1. Sole proprietorship
  2. Partnership ( limited or otherwise)
  3. Joint venture
  4. Business trust
  5. Corporation
  6. Limited liability company
  7. Other private and public-owned entities

Why invest in EB-5 Visa?

The EB-5 visa route allows high net-worth investors to obtain a US green card, and other advantages make the investment worth it.

The route benefits the investors and allows the spouses and children to live, work and study in the States. The EB-5 route is quicker and easier for permanent residency than other immigration and visa programs.

Once on the EB-5 visa route, you no longer require visa sponsorship for your family, a hurdle most foreigners face. This program allows you to reside anywhere in the United States of America and work anywhere.

It allows the investor’s children to study and work anywhere in the US. Once you have a US green card, you can travel in most countries visa-free.

In addition, the well-structured transportation and facilities allow you to explore 52 states of the US easily.

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Portugal

Golden Visa Portugal: A ticket to your citizenship in Europe

Europe is one of the finest places to live and has several benefits. Citizenship in one of the EU countries means access to varied economic opportunities and a world-class health and education system.

Having European citizenship also makes traveling more convenient; it’s affordable, visa-free, and well-connected.

One of the best options for European citizenship is the Golden Visa program offered by a few European countries.

The Golden Visa program offered by Portugal is one of the world’s top citizenships by investment programs. The Golden Visa program gets investments from thousands of people worldwide.

The Golden Visa of Portugal is unique and attractive because of its many features discussed below.

Golden Visa Portugal

Citizenship by investment, also known as the Golden Visa, allows non-EU/EEA citizens to get residency and later citizenship in European countries.

The Portuguese Golden Visa program is the most popular one in Europe because of the diversity of investment options, affordability, and flexibility available to investors.

In addition, the golden visa investment allows your entire family (blood relatives) to benefit from the investment.

New policy for Golden Visa in 2022

In January 2022, the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) introduced changes in the Golden Visa requirements.

While the minimum investment for the golden visa for specific residency properties remains €500K, the changes have limited and specified the geographical areas where residential properties are eligible and qualified for investment.

Investors can purchase commercial real estate anywhere in the country worth at least €500K.

The changes have also increased the capital transfer amount from €1 million to €1.5 million.

Investment options for Portugal’s Golden Visa

· Residential Real Estate

An investor can acquire residency by investing a minimum of €500,000 in residential real estate properties in designated interior areas of Portugal.

Another option is an investment of €350,000 in a rehabilitation project.

· Commercial Real Estate

A minimum of €500,000 investment in commercial real estate property anywhere in the county. Or a €350,000 investment if it is a rehabilitation project.

Other options for acquiring Golden Visa in Portugal

1. Capital transfer worth €1.5 million.

2. The creation of at least ten job positions

3. Contribution of €500,000 to scientific or technology research.

4. Company incorporation and creating ten jobs amount to a minimum value of €500,000.

5. Donation of €250,000 to support the reconstruction of national heritage in Portugal.

Why choose Portugal for Golden Visa Investment?

In addition to the diversity of options that Portugal provides its investors, it is one of the finest European countries.

If the investor decides not to live, they also have that option. An investor in Golden Visa must stay in Portugal for only seven days a year.

For anyone investing in Golden Visa Program, Portugal doesn’t bring any tax responsibility unless they decide to stay more than 183 days in the country. After 183 days, the person becomes a tax resident in the country.

Portugal has a favorable tax regime for foreigners interested in relocating to Portugal and wanting to become tax residents.

The non-habitual residency (NHR) offers certain tax exemptions in the income tax for the first 10 years. However, the rules slightly changed in 2020 regarding tax breaks on the pension incomes of foreign prisoners.

You can work, study, and live in Portugal through the Golden Visa Program. If you decide to live in Portugal full-time through Golden Visa, you will have access to all the public facilities, including health and education.

This visa also allows you to apply for any jobs or start your own business in the country. One of the reasons the Golden Visa program attracts foreigners is the policy regarding family reunification.

The family Golden Visa applicant can extend their visa to other family members. The application process for the principal applicant and dependents is processed simultaneously.

Eligibility for Golden Visa Portugal

· Anyone with non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationality can apply for the program.

· The main applicant must be 18 years old and above and hold a clean criminal record from their home country and Portugal.

· The investment should be transferred from outside Portugal.

The applicant should have a minimum investment in any Golden Visa Investment options mentioned above. The Golden Visa can be extended to the following family members of the applicant.

· Spouses

· Children under the age of 18.

· Dependent children under the age of 26 if they are not married and are full-time enrolled students.

· Parents above the age of 65.

Benefits of investing in Golden Visa of Portugal

1. Freedom of mobility.

2. Options of investing in multiple properties.

3. No legal obligations of residing in the purchased property.

4. Affordable and numerous investment options.

5. One investment to facilitate all family and coming generations.

6. Eligibility for Portuguese citizenship or permanent residency in just five years of the investment.

7. A chance to live in a country with the best weather and affordable living.

8. The Portuguese passport is the fifth strongest passport in the world.

If you want to apply for the Golden Visa program and live in the world’s best continent, then connect with our experts today!

Categories
Portugal

8 reasons why Portugal is a popular second home destination

Today we point out 8 reasons why Portugal has become so popular in the last few years, not only in relation to tourism but also as a great place to live and gain a new passport.

A country of surprising history, and hidden secrets within it, Portugal was not famous in recent decades. So one wonders why Portugal became popular so fast in recent years.

Read 11 Reasons to Move to Portugal in 2022 from India.

However, this small country situated on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is becoming the most visited country in Europe. It is a tourist attraction for an infinite number of reasons.

Talk about beaches, traditional cuisine, soccer, lively people, idyllic climate, affordable travel costs, and exceptional landscape it’s not only becoming a tourist spot. Rather a lot of people are thinking to move and settle into Portugal permanently.

From the landscapes you saw to the sights you view, the food you ate, to the waves you rode, Portugal is one of the finest places in Europe to both visit and settle in.

Also Read Safest Countries in the World 2022, Portugal Ranks 3rd and Canada is 6th !!

Let’s have a look at a variety of other reasons for Portugal becoming extraordinarily popular from an underrated country in the European belt.

Spectacular landscapes

From the rocky and towery mountains in the north to the spectacular beaches in the south, Portugal is enriched with the places that usually don’t turn up on the maps but are there as a hidden secret for all the tourists to have a visit and explore the delightful beauty of nature.

Old fashioned charm with contemporary sophistication, Portugal is both classic and distinctly modern. It’s a paradox that attracts visitors from all across the globe.

Portugal has amazing sceneries

The country’s iconic cities are where modern life buzzes with the ancient landscapes referring to the past. Like in the city of Porto, which you can admire in the picture.

From amazing scenes from the top of the mountains to the largest underwater world, Portugal is unique in every sense.

Portugal has a variety to offer to its visitors, from the oldest bookstore in the world to Europe’s largest bridge.

From hidden cities’ secrets to the shores of the noisy water striking the surface will leave you in awe.

Idyllic climate

One of the major reason people choose Portugal over any other European country is its uniform weather throughout the year. Especially on the Algarve coast, southern Portugal.

Most of the EU countries experience extreme hot to extreme cold conditions. While on the other hand, cool sea breezes in summers and pleasant comparatively warm wet winters make Portugal a desirable place for all the expats and tourists to visit and settle in Portugal.

Traditional Cuisine

One of the prominent factors of Portugal’s popularity is its simple and delicious cuisines.

Be it seafood, meat, or vegetables, the food is relatively simply cooked following the basic ingredients rather than complicated sauces used in its neighboring countries like France, Italy, or Spain.

Moreover, Portugal is highly affordable when it comes to food.

One unique feature of Portuguese cuisines is a seasoned food. They cook what is in according to the season.

Portuguese cuisine is one of the best in the world

One of the specialties of Portuguese food is potatoes cooked in a variety of ways. Pastéis de Nata is the signature Portuguese dessert, an egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon.

Other famous Portugal cuisines include Bifana, Bacalhau, Squid, and Sardines.

As for drinks, Portugal is known to be one of the world’s biggest consumers of wine per capita.

Portugal’s most famous export is wine which is known to be the national drink also.

Moreover, the world’s oldest wine-producing region and a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Douro Valley is another popular feature for Portugal.

Language

One of the reasons for Portugal’s popularity is its native Portuguese language which is known to be the official language of nine other countries.

Having 220 million native speakers of this language, it’s the sixth most spoken as a first language.

It’s a curious fact about Portugal, which attracts many Brazilian expats to the Old Continent.

Read Portugal’s Golden Visa is going nowhere. Government rejects ending golden visas.

Soccer

Every time we think about Portugal, the very first thing that comes to mind is Cristiano Ronaldo.

Football might be the popular sport played in Portugal but Cristiano Ronaldo has become a brand associated with football representing Portugal all across the globe.

Even interested in soccer or not the whole world recognizes him.

Apart from him, Portugal is known to produce great players of all times on the Soccer field. Eusébio, Luis Figo, Paulo Sousa, and Paulo Future are some of the greatest names in the history of Portugal soccer.

Standard of living

With such a growing and confident economy, Portugal is known to be the hub for all the business tycoons and investors from all across the globe.

Innovations, talented people, leading companies are building it a new country and a startup hub in the whole of Europe.

The combination of good infrastructure and a high-quality economy with massive technology as compared to other parts of Europe makes Portugal quite attractive for starting a business and investing here.

The strong capability of exports, well-educated workforce, and low-cost base is an eye-opener for all the business starters to invest in Portugal.

Cost of living

Living in Portugal is highly affordable as compared to other parts of Europe.

From food to the residence, fueling to healthcare, Portugal offers you the cheapest rates comparatively.

Moreover, Airfares are relatively low and stopovers are free for domestic as well as international flights.

Music

Fado is known to be the soul of Portuguese music.

This specific genre was recognized and originated in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and is often played in Pubs, cafes, or restaurants, and other public areas presenting a soothing effect to the environment.

The Fado music contains the message of hope and the new beginning after going through the tough phase of life.

Bottom line

To wrap up, Portugal was nowhere in the past decades. But this small country with a low population was highly underrated.

In the recent past, it evolved as an ideal business hub for investors from all across the globe. The Portuguese economy is shifting to be confident and ever-growing.

Besides, Portugal is highly popular for its high quality of life and affordable access to almost every facility and even luxuries.

Nonetheless, the spectacular and mesmerizing landscapes and beauty add a lot to increasing the popularity of Portugal.

If you’re interested in living in Portugal, make sure to contact us and one of our IMC Certified Consultants will set up a free consultation meeting with you.

Read Portugal is officially a millionaire hotspot !!

The reasons why Portugal became so famous can explain a bit why so many people are moving here. However, there are many more small details that you have to experience to understand.

Categories
News

Thailand lures digital nomads for the long term, with 10-year ‘work from Thailand’ visas and an ultralow tax rate

The sandy beaches of Phuket, the bustling streets of Bangkok, and the mountains of Chiang Mai could all soon be options for digital nomads looking for their next home base.

Thailand will soon offer a 10-year visa to potential long-term residents, with applications opening Sept. 1. The scheme hopes to attract “foreign human resources with high potential and skills,” Narit Therdsteerasukdi, deputy secretary general for the Thai Board of Investment, told Nikkei Asia.

The visa is targeted primarily at people working in high-tech industries, like electric vehicles, biotechnology, and electronics. But the visa will also be available to employees of foreign companies who want to base themselves in Thailand as a digital nomad—or “work-from-Thailand professionals,” as the visa describes them.

Visa holders would be taxed at a lower rate—17%, as opposed to the 35% charged on income greater than $140,000. (For comparison, the U.S. charges a 35% tax rate on income between $215,950 and $539,900.) The visa will also be available to those with over $1 million in assets, or retirees with stable incomes, similar to other so-called golden visa programs that offer residency to wealthy foreigners.

Thailand is the latest country to seek out remote workers as a new source of visitors, as hotspots try to rebuild and revamp their tourism industries in the wake of the COVID pandemic. 

Thailand hopes to bring in a million people from Japan, South Korea, China, the U.S., and Europe. Therdsteerasukdi told Nikkei Asia that he expects visa holders to contribute about $28,000 per person to the local economy, with the whole scheme contributing $27.6 billion in total.

Documents from Thailand’s Board of Investment lay out the requirements for becoming a “work-from-Thailand professional”: You need to have earned $80,000 per year for at least two years (with some exceptions), have at least five years of experience, and work for a company that’s generated at least $150 million in revenue over three years.

The Board is clearly interested in attracting remote workers. Its website trumpets a survey from workspace company Instant Offices that designates Bangkok as the world’s second-best location for digital nomads (behind Lisbon). 

Digital nomads

Other Southeast Asian countries are also appealing to digital nomads. Indonesia, home to the resort island of Bali, is considering a visa for remote workers that would allow them to stay for up to five years. In June, Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno told Bloomberg that he hoped the visa might attract higher-spending visitors.

Uno described the digital nomad visa as part of a broader initiative to rebuild the country’s tourism industry. “In the past, the ‘three S’s’ were sun, sea, and sand. We’re moving it to serenity, spirituality, and sustainability,” Uno said at the time

Categories
Portugal

11 Reasons to Move to Portugal in 2022 from India.

2022 is a perfect time to consider a move to Portugal from India.

And why not, because Portugal is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s most popular relocation destinations.

This small Atlantic country has so much to offer, from scenic destinations like the Algarve, Silver Coast and Madeira, to generous tax breaks for remote workers and online business owners.  Not only that, but the cost of living in Portugal is one of Western Europe’s lowest.

For those who move to Portugal from India for the long-term, there’s the option to apply for Portuguese citizenship after just five years – one of the fastest timelines in the European Union.  

Having Portuguese Citizenship can bring you some awesome benefits, including more freedom of travel, better scope for tax planning, increased quality of life, and access to a safe haven.

Armed with an EU passport, you’ll benefit from freedom of movement across the entire Eurozone. That includes not just freedom of travel, but the full rights to live, work, study and retire across all countries in the EU. 

As you can see, living in Portugal as an Indian is a great idea.

Without any further ado, let’s dive in and look at 11 reasons to move to Portugal from India in 2022.  

Contents

  • 11 Reasons to Move to Portugal from USA in 2022
    • 1. Political stability 
    • 2. Affordable state healthcare 
    • 3. Safer food
    • 4. Easy residency visa pathways  
    • 5. Generous tax breaks  
    • 6. Cash out cryptocurrency tax-free
    • 7. Five years to full EU citizenship 
    • 8. Access the entire Schengen zone 
    • 9. Diverse choice of destinations 
    • 10. Tolerant and progressive  

1. Political stability 

Are you fed up with constant conflicts in India ? Both religious and political ?

If you move to Portugal from India, you can leave all of those stresses behind.   

In fact, Portugal ranks sixth among the safest countries in the world, according to the 2022 Global Peace Index.

Portuguese politics isn’t perfect. But as a foreigner in Portugal, you won’t have to deal with constant anxiety about the country’s political direction. 

What’s more, Portugal is politically stable and lacks the toxic religious battles. 

And if you’ve had enough, then a move to Portugal from India will make for a refreshing change of pace. 

2. Affordable state healthcare 

Europe has long been known for its state healthcare, and Portugal’s no exception.

When you move to Portugal from India and become a resident, you’ll be eligible to access good quality healthcare anywhere in the country – free or low cost (depending on the treatment).

All you need to do is get an SNS number to join the Portuguese healthcare system.

If you still prefer to go private (to get faster treatment), then health insurance in Portugal is very affordable.  

Also, health issues don’t get as politicized as they do in India.

Planning a move to Portugal? Book an expert consultation

3. Safer food

Thanks to EU regulations, Portugal has significantly stricter sanitary and animal welfare standards than in India.  

For example,chemical washes such as chlorine, growth hormones in animal feed, genetically modified foods that aren’t labeled and pesticides are banned in the EU. That means no chlorinated chicken or high fructose corn syrup.  

In some regions, such as Madeira, locally grown produce (such as bananas and avocados) is plentiful and low-cost. Produce that doesn’t grow in Portugal is often brought in from nearby Spain, reducing environmental costs in terms of transportation. 

4. Easy residency visa pathways  

For those who want to stay in Portugal for the long term, the two best options are the D7 visa or the Golden Visa. Let’s take a quick look at what each one involves. 

The D7 Passive Income Visa  

The first is the D7 visa, a popular choice for those retiring in Portugal. It’s often known as the ‘passive income’ or ‘retiree’ visa. But in fact, this flexible immigration pathway goes beyond just passive income or pensions.

The D7 is also a great fit for remote workers and online business owners. Portugal allows those working remotely with an overseas employer to be eligible for D7, as well as online business owners who draw their income in dividends. 

The most important factor in getting the D7 is showing proof of income. Depending on the embassy, you’ll also be asked to show proof of having enough savings in the bank to support yourself and any dependents for a period of one year.

Income levels are based on the equivalent of the Portuguese minimum wage, which at €705 per month is one of the lowest in the EU.  

The Portuguese government wants to know that D7 applicants can support themselves in Portugal without needing to ask for state funds. If you can do that, and don’t have a criminal record, then the D7 visa is easy to get. 

The initial D7 residency is valid for two years. After that, you’ll need to renew your status again for a further three years, which means showing evidence of sufficient income and savings.

Once you hit the five-year residency mark, you’ll become eligible to apply for permanent residency or citizenship.  

It’s important to note that getting residency with the D7 visa means that Portugal should be your main home.

You’ll need to become a Portugal tax resident and declare your worldwide income to Portugal every year, although you won’t necessarily have to pay tax on it. 

We’ll take a closer look at the tax implications in the next section, after looking at two other important Portugal residency visas.

The Portugal Golden Visa  

The second immigration pathway is via Portugal’s residency by investment program, known as the Portugal Golden Visa.

This gives you residency for five years, which will take you all the way to becoming eligible for permanent residency or citizenship.  

In return, the government of Portugal wants you to make a significant investment in the country.

Real estate is the most common route, but you can also go for Portugal Golden Visa investment funds.

Funds are becoming an increasingly popular way to get the Golden Visa, due to faster processing time and better overall tax efficiency when compared to real estate.

Portuguese Golden Visa funds are closely regulated by the government and they are subject to frequent audits. Funds mostly invest in variety of real estate renovation projects, along with Portuguese start-ups and later-stage tech companies.

There are also opportunities for you to get the Golden Visa through investment in Portuguese scientific research, art and heritage projects, or simply deposit €1.5 million into a Portuguese bank. However, these routes are less commonly used.

Portugal has one of Western Europe’s lowest costs of living. Hence, Golden Visa real estate investment thresholds can be quite affordable.

They range from €280,000 for rehabilitation projects in low density areas of the country to €500,000 for any sort of real estate in eligible areas of the country.

Please note – Lisbon, Porto, and some of the Algarve region are no longer eligible for Golden Visa investment in 2022.

Perhaps you want to move to Portugal from India with the Golden Visa, but can’t manage it until later this year or beyond.

In that case, the Golden Visa investment funds route is one of the quickest ways to secure a foothold in Portugal – and start your timeline to citizenship – without having to relocate.

But if real estate investment is the route for you, then you might want to consider getting the Golden Visa in Madeira as an interesting alternative to Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.

The Portugal HQA Visa

Another investment-based route to residency is the Portugal HQA Visa (‘Highly Qualified Activity’).

This program was introduced in 2019 and is designed for entrepreneurial investors who wish to undertake a research project in Portugal.

The HQA visa program combines two key components:

  1. Setting up a business in Portugal
  2. Making an investment in high-value research and development activities at one of Portugal’s universities.

The HQA visa offers a number of key benefits over the Golden Visa:

  • Faster processing timeline. Applications are normally approved in around 30 days. This means you’ll get your residence permit in hand faster and start the clock ticking to citizenship more quickly.
  • Lower overall cost. The HQA visa requires an investment of just €175,000. That’s significantly cheaper than the lowest threshold for the Golden Visa.
  • No-risk refund policy. If your HQA Visa application fails, your entire investment will be refunded in full. That means there’s no risk whatsoever!
  • Build a flourishing start-up and establish an EU business presence. Depending on the success of your business idea, you could generate intellectual property which could be patented and become a valuable asset. Your business could make great returns for you in the future.

To discuss the Portugal Golden Visa in more detail, please contact our team.

5. Generous tax breaks  

Let’s now look at what’s on offer in terms of tax benefits when moving to Portugal.

Portugal isn’t a tax haven or even a low tax country. It uses a progressive income tax scheme with a top threshold of 48%. 

But one of the main attractions for foreigners who move to Portugal from USA is the non habitual residency (NHR) tax scheme. This name is misleading, because it’s full-time tax residents of Portugal who typically use the NHR scheme.

So, what exactly is Portugal’s NHR scheme and what does it offer? 

The NHR grants preferential tax treatment for a period of 10 years to individuals (foreigners or citizens) who haven’t been taxed as a Portuguese tax residents during the preceding five years.  

You can apply for NHR status from the moment you register as a tax resident of Portugal.

Benefits include tax exemptions from non-Portuguese sourced income in most categories, including foreign dividends, salary, real estate income and capital gains on property. 

NHR status also gives you a flat rate of 20% tax on most Portuguese-sourced income, if it comes from one of the eligible professions. 

NHR is extremely beneficial for those moving to Portugal from USA with EU citizenship as their end goal.

The NHR timeline extends far beyond the citizenship timeline, allowing you to work towards Portuguese citizenship while still benefiting from preferential tax treatment. 

6. Cash out cryptocurrency tax-free

Another big benefit of moving to Portugal is Portugal’s tax treatment of income from cryptocurrency investments.  

At present (although this is set to change eventually), Portugal doesn’t tax gains on cryptocurrency.

This applies to investments only. Day-trading would likely be classified as work and taxed accordingly. 

If you’ve made large gains on crypto in the last few years and are thinking of cashing out, a moving to Portugal from India to become a tax resident could be an interesting solution for you. 

7. Five years to full EU citizenship 

Here at My Global Citizenship, our number one goal is helping people to get second passports and residency permits. We’re firm believers in the many benefits of having a Global citizenship, which go beyond those of mere permanent residency. 

So how does Portugal measure up when it comes to getting citizenship? The answer: extremely well.  

In fact, Portugal has one of the fastest citizenship by naturalization pathways in the whole EU.

Five years is as quick as you’re going to get without having family ties to an EU country. 

What’s more, Portugal allows dual citizenship, so you can opt for another country too. Language skills are a requirement for citizenship, but Portugal’s required level is one of the lowest in the EU. 

A massive benefit of having a Portuguese passport is full freedom of movement across the EU countries, with the right to live freely, travel, access study at EU-level tuition rates, and retire anywhere you want in Europe.

Fancy spending your golden years in Greece or Italy instead of Portugal? That’s easy to do as an EU citizen. 

What’s more, if you get into trouble while traveling abroad, as a Portuguese  you’d be entitled to consular assistance from the embassy of any EU country (if Portugal isn’t represented).

But when exactly are those five years counted from? Well, the clock starts when you receive your residency permit.

That’s why it makes sense to get to that point as quickly as possible, avoiding any unnecessary hold-ups or complications.

8. Access the entire Schengen zone 

Remember that 90 days in 180 limit on travel across Europe?

Well, as a resident of Portugal, you’ll be able to reset it by going back to Portugal (instead of leaving the Schengen area altogether). 

But once you’re a Portuguese citizen, the limit gets removed completely. You can travel across Europe for as many days as you like. 

You can also move freely to any other EU country if you decide that Portugal is no longer the right fit.

9. Diverse choice of destinations 

Portugal has some stunning places to live in. Whether you’re a fan of year-round sunshine, or prefer a cooler climate, Portugal has it all.  

Madeira is a great place to opt out of winter permanently with the fabulous Madeira beaches, while Porto offers a similar climate to San Francisco.  

The Algarve region is loaded with golden sand beaches and boasts a lively international community, while cosmopolitan Lisbon has everything that a world capital should offer.  

Central Portugal has countless historical towns, such as the old university city of Coimbra, and affordable real estate investments that still have plenty of mileage for the Golden Visa in 2022 and beyond. 

10. Tolerant and progressive  

Despite its conservative Catholic heritage and recent dictatorship, Portugal has evolved into a progressive and accepting country.  

If an LGBTQ foreigner, you’re highly unlikely to experience any form of homophobic violence. People are more likely to just accept you with a relaxed indifference – considering that it’s none of their business anyway. 

That’s a good recipe for a peaceful life.

Are you considering leaving India for a new life in Europe?

Portugal’s high quality of life, low cost of living, affordable healthcare, excellent weather and high levels of safety all combine to make it a compelling destination for Indians looking for a better lifestyle.

Will 2022 be the year you finally make the move to Portugal?


Categories
Blog

Safest Countries in the World 2022, Portugal Ranks 3rd and Canada is 6th !!

The Global Peace Index ranks the safest countries in the world. This report is published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace, “an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human well being and progress.” The report researches countries to determine which are the safest while also ranking the most dangerous.

A total of 163 countries are featured in the report. There are 23 different indicators used to determine how safe or how dangerous a country is. These factors are broken into these categories: Ongoing International Conflict, Societal Safety and Security, and Militarization. The factors used to compile this report include: the number of internal and external violent conflicts, level of distrust, political instability, potential for terrorist acts, number of homicides, and military expenditures as a percentage of GDP. Based on these factors, a score is calculated for each of the 163 nations featured in the report. The lower the score, the higher the nation is ranked in terms of safety.

A majority of the top 25 safest countries are European countries. Europe is the only continent to have not seen a decline in safety since 2009. The second-most-common region in the top 25 s Asia. Both regions have a homicide rate of about 3 per 100,000 inhabitants. Most notably are the Nordic countries of Europe. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland are all in the top 25 safest countries, so this region is considered the safest in the world. The homicide rate in this region is 0.8 incidences per 100,000 inhabitants. These five Nordic countries are all in the top 10 happiest countries in the world as well.

Ten Safest Countries in the World

The top 10 safest countries in the world are as follows:

  1. Iceland
  2. New Zealand
  3. Portugal
  4. Austria
  5. Denmark
  6. Canada
  7. Singapore
  8. Czech Republic
  9. Japan
  10. Switzerland

1. Iceland

According to the Global Peace Index, Iceland is the safest country globally for the 13th year in a row. Iceland is a Nordic nation with a relatively small population of 340,000. Iceland has a very low level of crime attributed to its high standard of living, small population, strong social attitudes against crime, a high level of trust in their well-trained, highly educated police force, and a lack of tension between social and economic classes. Iceland does not have a military, and the police do not carry firearms with them (only extendable batons and pepper spray). Iceland also has laws in place to guarantee equality, such as legal same-sex marriage and same-sex adoptions, religious freedom, and equal pay for men and women.

2. New Zealand

New Zealand is the second-safest country in the world. Like Iceland, New Zealand has a very low crime rate, especially violent crime. Theft, however, is a common occurrence, especially for tourists. New Zealand has no deadly animals, unlike its neighbor down-under, Australia, known for having some dangerous wildlife. New Zealand’s score slightly decreased from the year before due to the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019, which killed 51 people. New Zealanders are generally open-minded and have laws in place to prevent abuse of anyone’s freedom of speech or expression. Like Iceland, police in New Zealand do not carry personal firearms.

3. Portugal

Portugal comes in third in the most peaceful countries rankings. In 2014, Portugal was ranked 18th globally and has since made huge strides to be ranked third. Unlike Iceland and New Zealand, Portugal has armed police; however, it seems that an increased police presence has resulted in a decreased crime rate in the country. In the past six years, Portugal has made an economic resurgence, decreasing its unemployment rate from over 17% to under 7%. Due in large part to its level of safety, Portugal is ranked as the best country for retirement in 2020 according to the Annual Global Retirement Index.

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Also read 11 Reasons to Move to Portugal in 2022 from India

4. Austria

Austria is the fourth-safest country in the world. Austria’s 2020 score increased slightly by 0.011 points from 2020 but kept its fourth-place ranking. Austria, however, saw a deterioration in the likelihood of violent demonstrations indicator after the election of Sebastian Kurz’s People Party in October of 2017. Due to the country’s political instability, social unrest has increased. Austria, otherwise, is a very safe country to visit. Serious crimes are uncommon, although people should be aware of pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Additionally, Austria has been spared any major acts of terrorism.

5. Denmark

Ranked fifth on the Global Peace Index, Denmark is one of the safest and happiest countries in the world. Denmark is one of the few countries where people report feeling safe at any time of day or night, even children. Denmark has a high level of equality and a strong sense of common responsibility for social welfare — two things that contribute to both Denmark’s safety and happiness. Corruption is rare in business or politics, as honesty and trust are top priorities in Denmark. Denmark is also a welfare state, meaning that everyone receives services and perks that help them live comfortable lives. Everyone in Denmark has access to healthcare with no additional fees to them, tuition-free education, and the elderly are provided at-home care helpers.

6. Canada

Canada is the sixth-safest country in the world according to the Global Peace Index, maintaining its position from 2019. Canada received particularly good scores for internal conflicts, levels of crime, and political stability. In addition to good job opportunities, great access to healthcare, and effective government, Canada has some of the most notoriously friendly people in the world. Canada has a crime rate that is about one-third that of its neighbor, the United States (1.6 incidents per 100,000 vs. 4.5 per 100,000 respectively). In a 2018 Gallup survey, 84% of Canadians surveyed said that they felt safe in their country.

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7. Singapore

Singapore ranks seventh on the GPI. In the same Gallup report from 2018, Singapore residents felt the highest sense of personal security and have positive experiences with law enforcement than any other country. Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, which is due to severe penalties that are issued for even small crimes. The government and police strictly control guns and other firearms, so violent and confrontational crimes are rare in Singapore. The city-state is also the second-safest city in the world according to the Safe Cities Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Singapore ranked first for infrastructure security and personal security, second for digital security, and eighth for health security.

8. Czech Republic

Finishing the top ten safest countries in the world is the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic climbed two spots from its 2019 ranking from ten to eight. Crime rates have steadily decreased over the years, especially violent crimes. This is despite having relatively easy access to weapons in the country. The Czech Republic also has a low impact of terrorism. The country’s fall in rankings is due to its relatively high involvement in foreign conflicts, the high ratio of the number of prisoners per capita, and security forces and police assessment.

9. Japan

The ninth-safest country in the world is Japan. Japan has been in the top ten countries in the Global Peace Index for 13 years, consistently receiving high marks for low crime rates, internal conflict, and political terror. A couple of areas of concern include Japan’s troubled relations with its neighbors and the increasing size and power of the country’s self-defense forces. Japan is known for having limited immigration and limited access to firearms. Japan does not see carrying a firearm to be an individual’s right. According to the Safe Cities Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Tokyo is considered the safest city in the world, ranking first in cybersecurity, second for health security, and fourth for infrastructure security and personal security.

10. Switzerland

Finishing the top ten safest countries is Switzerland, which has a score of 1.366. Switzerland ranks in the top five in the Safety and Security domain, losing one rank from 2019. Along with several other highly peaceful countries, Switzerland ranked amongst the ten highest weapons exporters per capita every year for the last five years. Fortunately, Switzerland ranks fourth globally for food security and is among the ten most peaceful countries for ongoing domestic and international conflict.

There are some commonalities among the safest countries in the world, such as their levels of wealth, social welfare, and education. Additionally, these countries have effective criminal justice systems and governments that maintain very healthy relationships with their citizens. The United States currently ranks 128th in the Global Peace Ranking. The United States’ ranking has fallen every year since 2016 and can be attributed to a decrease in life satisfaction and an increasing wealth gap. When comparing 2020’s report to the previous report released in 2019, a total of 81 countries were more peaceful than they were in the previous year. However, 80 “deteriorations” were reported, indicating that 80 countries were less peaceful in 2020 than in 2019. The average country score deteriorated by 0.34%. Europe remained the most peaceful region in the world, a position it has held for every year of the Global Peace Index.

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New Zealand Launches new investor migrant visa category

  • A new Active Investor Plus visa category is created to attract high-value investors.
  • The new visa will replace the existing Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories.
  • Eligibility criteria includes a minimum $5 million investment and encourages greater economic benefit to New Zealand companies by capping passive investment in listed equities to 50 per cent and excluding bonds and property.
  • Visa category will open 19 September 2022.                                            

As part of the Government’s Immigration Rebalance strategy, changes to New Zealand’s investor visa settings will be made to attract experienced, high-value investors bringing growth opportunities to domestic businesses, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash and Immigration Minister Michael Wood announced today.

“We have so many fantastic businesses in New Zealand that are making a real name for themselves in the global marketplace. Our Government has a goal to support these businesses to grow into even more successful global brands, and updating our investor visa settings is a key part of our strategy to attract high-value investors,” Stuart Nash said.

“This is part of our Immigration Rebalance strategy, which aims to attract high-skilled migrants, and aligns with our goal to build a more productive, competitive and sustainable, economy. The new visa settings will attract active and high-value migrants who will bring their international expertise to help New Zealand businesses to grow, which increases local employment and directly benefits the economy.

“The new Active Investor Plus visa will replace the old investment visa categories, which although successful in attracting a large amount of funds over past decade – over $12b –often resulted in passive investment in shares and bonds rather than directly into New Zealand companies, meaning a missed opportunity to attract more active investors who can deliver real benefits to our economy over a long period of time.

“We want to encourage active investment into New Zealand, which generates more high-skilled jobs and economic growth compared to passive investment. This new visa category will also leverage the skills, experience and networks of migrants who will bring their access to global networks and global markets to help Kiwi companies grow faster and smarter.

“Overall, the visa changes are a win-win for New Zealand and migrant investors. Investors secure an opportunity to invest in smart and innovative New Zealand businesses that have the potential to be globally successful, and Kiwi businesses gain valuable skills, connections, and capital. This will make New Zealand more competitive in the international marketplace and take our businesses to the next level,” Stuart Nash said.

“The new visa category will help to attract investors that will remain in New Zealand for the long term, bringing their skills and experience to increase our productivity and competitiveness, supporting our transition to a high wage, productive economy,” Michael Wood said.

“Applicants who make acceptable direct investments, among other requirements, will be eligible for the new visa with a $5 million minimum investment and receive the highest rating which is a lower minimum amount than those who choose more indirect investments. The minimum amount required for indirect investments will be $15 million.

“We’re also improving the flexibility for the investor by allowing them to invest over a three-year period and maintain their investments up to the end of a fourth year. Investors will need to spend at least 117 days, or around a month a year, in New Zealand over the four-year investment period. This is increased from 88 days in the previous category in order to ensure that investors are actively getting hands on with local companies to help them grow.

“Being in New Zealand will provide more opportunities to become involved in the businesses they’ve invested in, further sharing their expertise and connections. Spending time here also increases the likelihood of further active investment. The changes align with similar investor migrant settings in Australia,” Michael Wood said.

The new Active Investor Plus visa will open on 19 September 2022. Applications under the Investor 1 and Investor 2 visas will no longer be accepted after 27 July 2022. All applications in the current pipeline will continue to be processed by Immigration New Zealand.     

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Cambodia launches “My Second Home” programme joining the Southeast Asian Golden Visa game

Cambodia has launched a programme to encourage foreign investment that offers a ten-year visa and other benefits to those who invest in the country.

Local media reported that the “Cambodia – My Second Home” programme has been exclusively launched by the Khmer Home Charity Association with full authorization from the Ministry of Interior, with the goal of promoting trade and investment while eliminating unauthorized intermediary companies.

Applicants for the Cambodia My 2nd Home (CM2H) programme will have access to a number of business-friendly measures, such as 10-year visas with no entry or exit restrictions, as well as an option to apply for Cambodian citizenship after five years.

Foreign investors will also benefit from Khmer Home Charity Association membership under the programme, which will grant them access to local insurance coverage and VIP medical treatment, among other advantages.

According to the official website of ‘Cambodia My Second Home’ (CM2H) programme, applicants must be a citizen of a country recognized by the Cambodian government and must have investment capital of not less than US$100,000 in Cambodia.

No language proficiency or academic qualifications are required by those wanting to enter the program.

Investors will receive their CM2H membership number within seven days, while the visa will be processed within 14 days, according to the program website.

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USCIS Releases New Form I-526: Direct EB-5 Investor Initial Green Card Application Form

New EB-5 Investor Form I-526 for Standalone or Direct EB-5 Investors is Expanded with New Required Disclosures

On July 12, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released an updated Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor. This new form replaces Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, which had been the prior individual EB-5 investor petition for both regional center and standalone (direct) EB-5 investors. Instructions for the new Form I-526 can be accessed on https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/i-526instr.pdf

Form I-526 form has been expanded and can now only be used for EB-5 investors who select standalone (direct) EB-5 investment projects with only a single EB-5 investor. A separate Form I-526E has already been released by USCIS for EB-5 investors who select EB-5 regional center sponsored EB-5 investment projects.

Form I-526 requires additional information about the EB-5 investor since he/she is now involved in the EB-5 program as an owner of the NCE.

Disclosures about the EB-5 investor’s net worth, sources of capital for the EB-5 investment, and a breakdown of all “administrative costs and fees” are now present in Form I-526. The EB-5 investor must also answer questions about prior work authorization and compliance with United States immigration laws.

Overall, the new Form I-526 will require EB-5 immigration attorneys to spend more time gathering information and documents in order to prepare their client’s initial EB-5 investment applications.

Read more: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-releases-new-forms-for-immigrant-investor-program-0

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Behring wins suit against USCIS – EB-5 regional centers back in business

The US District Court for the Northern District of California issued a decision today in Behring Regional Center’s lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction to stop United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from deauthorizing previously designated EB-5 Regional Centers.

“We are relieved to have the courts favor in issuing the preliminary injunction stopping USCIS from cancelling EB-5 regional centers,” said Colin Behring, CEO of the Behring Companies.  “The ruling is strong and clear in its language that EB-5 is to continue immediately. Our investors asked us to do everything we could to fix this and our team at Behring and the EB-5 Investment Coalition delivered. This was our third lawsuit with USCIS, and with this ruling we are heading toward victory on the merits on all of them.”

EB-5 regional centers can continue working immediately, verdict said

Congress enacted the Reform and Integrity Act in March 2022, reauthorizing and revamping the system that oversees regional centers. The suit alleged that the USCIS wrongly interpreted the Act as deauthorizing the more than 600 previously authorized regional centers and putting an end to their revenue streams. The lawsuit said the agency’s guidance violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and misinterprets the new EB-5 law enacted by Congress.

The court found that the USCIS “violated the APA” and added that it “was almost certainly wrong in assuming that the Integrity Act affirmatively deauthorized existing regional centers, so the agency was almost certainly wrong to announce that the centers are no longer authorized.”

The court has ordered USCIS to not require previously designated regional centers to go through steps to be reauthorized. It also required that the USCIS process new I‐526 petitions from immigrant investors investing through previously authorized regional centers. The ruling is a big win for EB-5 industry and investor stakeholders.

“We are so pleased that the court recognized the true congressional intent.  Existing regional centers can now operate and accept new investors,” says Laura Foote Reiff, a partner at Greenberg Traurig LLP, which represents Behring in the lawsuit over the USCIS guidance. “This is a program that should be embraced by the agency and the country as it brings much-needed revenue into the US and helps with job creation.”

Behring regional center wins case against USCIS and clears way for EB-5 processing

Before issuing his ruling, Judge Vince Chhabria concluded with an analogy, likening Behring and other regional centers as members of a club created by Congress who gave the USCIS the responsibility of admitting members, creating club rules, and club privileges. But with the Integrity Act, Congress made many changes to the club’s structure but failed to specify whether existing members could, like before, remain members. Then the agency removed all existing members, based on what they thought Congress wanted.

“The agency was wrong to act based on that assumption,” Chhabria said. “But it does mean that, for now, the agency must continue treating the existing members as members of the newly revamped club. The motion for a preliminary injunction is granted.”

The lawsuit follows the firm’s 2021 legal victory, when a federal judge vacated the EB-5 Modernization Rule that was implemented unlawfully by the Department of Homeland Security in 2019.

“The nationwide injunction decision is huge for the EB-5 industry and means investors can file immediately especially for the new fast track categorizes created by the Reform and Integrity Act signed by President Biden on March 15, 2022,” says Bernard Wolfsdorf an LA based immigration lawyer. “There will be a frenzy of filings with all the pent-up demand.”