Portugal’s Residency Permit Programme – its Golden Visa – has been offering high-net-worth-individuals a route to EU citizenship since 2012. Tiago Camara and David Machado are co-founders of PTGoldenVisa, an investment and consultancy service that focuses exclusively on Portugal’s programme. They explain how the COVID-19 pandemic, in combination with changes to the golden visa rules from January 2022, have created a surge in demand for investments this year. And they discuss how they’ve adapted their services to be more accessible than ever, in a time when people can’t physically visit their potential investment properties.
World Finance: Tiago, who are your clients and what are they looking for?
Tiago Camara: Our clients are typically non-European business owners or highly qualified workers, who are looking for freedom and security. They have available capital to invest – at least €280,000 on real estate, or €350,000 on qualified investment funds – and qualify for a programme that opens them the doors of Europe.
The pandemic has created enormous uncertainty and instability – and for many people, the promise of a Portuguese residency permit, with the potential to apply for citizenship after five years – represents a secure future – or simply a back-up plan against the unforeseen.
World Finance: And David, how are your clients typically investing – and how have things changed since the start of the pandemic?
David Machado: Nowadays the investment is still majority in real estate, so that’s how majority of the clients qualify for the programme. We have different opportunities here, but the big hit these days is to invest over €500,000 in villas, modern villas especially, where you can invest off-plan and get a very high capital appreciation.
And now the demand is bigger than ever. These days people realise how hard it is to travel, how important it is to feel secure and safe. People also feel very comfortable to place their investments in real estate in pandemic situations.
We also simplified the process to make it more easier for those who cannot travel. So everything can be done remotely: with 3D viewings, which these days are very accurate, very precise, and give you the real feeling of travelling through the property, a whole video of the property, outside and inside, and also a video that explain you how the rental projections of the property will perform. This will give you a very accurate feeling of what’s going to happen with your investment.
World Finance: There are big changes coming to the programme in 2022, how are you preparing for that?
David Machado: Our recommendation is for those who have the ability to perform the investments in 2021, don’t delay your investments, because the current rules are much more beneficial than the rules in the next year.
Obviously we’re still very confident that in 2022 Portugal will still be the main programme in Europe, and still very strong. But if you can do it today, don’t leave it for tomorrow, because the current rules allow you to have a very, very safe investment, and collect the benefits the same way. Obviously next year is still going to be attractive, but this year is much better.
World Finance: Finally Tiago, Why PTGoldenVisa? What sets you apart?
Tiago Camara: So, you know, it’s been a challenging time, but we pride ourselves on providing a complete investment and consultancy service all the time for our clients. Our ability to adapt and continue giving an excellent service for our clients through the pandemic is just one of the reasons we were awarded once again as the best Service Provider for the Portuguese Golden Visa Program.
We offer a complete service starting from Real estate investments, consultancy on the Golden Visa programme, assuring the solutions on all the legal legal steps, banking services, tax optimisation, property management. We are basically with our clients through all the investment and through all the programme – and lately we support them to apply for their citizenship.