The authorities here will do all they can to smooth your passage because they see you as a vital asset to their country.
An official Portuguese campaign called “Brelcome” reads, “Sometimes life plays little tricks and brings some changes. But you are part of our history. No border will separate us.
“Your sense of humour and zest for life will forever remain on the sand of our beaches, on our golf courses, in our wine cellars and at our music festivals.”
So, the doors are still wide open, even though there may be a touch more paperwork.
Clearly there will be some changes, but that’s what we, the highly experienced teams at Chestertons Portugal and O&O Quinta do Lago, are here for; to guide you through every step of the way, from finding your ideal property to assuring you we are here to answer all your questions through the process.
Questions like, should I buy property in Portugal after Brexit? Is it safe? Is it wise?
Will I be able to rent it out? Will property prices after Brexit go up? And there are also the matters of healthcare, work and pensions.
The basic fact is that Brexit means that UK citizens are no longer EU citizens. While the UK was in the EU, UK citizens had an automatic right to come and live in Portugal (or any other EU country)
But this doesn’t mean that you can’t move to Portugal anymore: it just means that now you don’t have an automatic right and you will need to apply for a visa, attend an interview with EF, and obtain permission to live here.
Portugal has some of the most attainable residency requirements of any EU country so, if you want to live in the EU and perhaps earn that “EU Passport,” it’s worth looking at Portugal.
Portugal and the UK have had an historical friendship and allegiance going back over the centuries. And the British were buying property here long before their country first joined the EU on January 1 1973, thousands of them acquiring their dream home in the Portuguese sun.
It is almost as though we are now reverting to the default position, and the process will continue unchecked, with British and other non-EU residents relocating to Portugal and, yes, Portuguese citizens moving to the UK.
It is thought the pound will increase in value against the Euro, to make that move even more attractive, although with Britain having kept its own currency during its time within the EU little will be changing there to the detriment of property buyers.
To make it even more attractive, non-habitual residency (NHR) has always been possible for British citizens coming to live in Portugal, and with the UK now no longer part of the EU, they will now be eligible for all the benefits of the Golden Visa.
New residents, who have not been a Portuguese resident within the last five tax years, can enjoy significant tax advantages for ten years through the NHR regime.
The NHR scheme, open to all new residents to Portugal, not just those that are moving from outside the EU, is basically a tax incentive to attract people to Portugal. Many people are able to avoid paying tax completely, while others are able to reduce their tax bill considerably. As of 2020, pensioners pay 10% tax on their pensions which could be attractive for those with large pensions.
Whether or not it’s the right solution for you will depend on many factors including where your income is coming from, where you’re currently a tax resident, and how it’s paid to you (e.g. dividends, royalties, etc.).
Generally, though, it’s seen as a very attractive reason to move to Portugal.
The Golden Visa is an investment visa that gives you your residency in return for making an investment in Portugal. You don’t have to invest in Portuguese companies, however: one of the routes is buying a property in Portugal.
The property is normally required to cost €500k or more, but there are some exceptions where it can cost €350k or even as little as €280k.
After 5 years, you would have the option of applying for permanent residency (which is renewed every 10 years) or citizenship (which comes with a Portuguese passport).
The benefit of the Golden Visa scheme over other forms of residency is that you only need to spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal – perfect for those that have commitments elsewhere or want to travel.
But the big thing to remember is that post-Brexit there are NO rules restricting the purchase of property in Portugal only to EU citizens.
If you can reach an agreement with the seller over the price then you can own the property and this has and always will be the case.
Your nationality or citizenship will not have an impact on the price you pay for a property. Whether or not you are an EU citizen, you pay the same amount for the property as would an EU or a Portuguese resident.
Citizens from countries outside the EU, as Britain now is, have always been able to buy property in Portugal whether they be from the United States, Norway, Canada, Brazil, Switzerland, Australia, South Africa, India, even from Russia and China. Swedish citizens were also significant purchasers of Portuguese property long before their country joined the EU in 1995.
So, not only are you absolutely able to buy a house in Portugal, but the Portuguese government is actively trying its best to encourage non-EU residents to purchase a property here with deals like the Golden Visa and NHR programmes.
The government here is among the first to admit the country benefits enormously from outsiders buying property and living here, even after Brexit.
Clearly, Brexit will have an effect on your move if you have started the process after January 1st 2021.
That’s why it is so important to plan that move carefully, not just by choosing the right house in the right location to suit your requirements, but by making sure you get the right guidance on residency, healthcare, passports etc.
We at Chestertons Portugal and O&O Quinta do Lago can help with that, taking you through all the steps to make your purchase—and your move—more straightforward and avoiding any pitfalls that might crop up.
In short, the future still looks bright should you wish to make that move to a country that provides a much cheaper environment in which to live, with positive exchange rates in prospect, not to mention the marvellous climate and a country ranking high in the tables of safety and security for its citizens.
So, worry not—all will be explained when you sit down with our team, choose your perfect property and very soon you will be living the dream in the sun.