North Americans bet on visas that allow them to work in Portugal


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This year, the US is the star of gold visas, having dethroned the Chinese lead. But these citizens are opting for other regimes to settle in the country.

Statistics show that many Americans came to Portugal on the gold visas, but most are opting for the D7, a visa that grants residence permits to pensioners, holders of passive income and citizens who want to work in the country. Well, in this context, the end of the ARI (Residence Permit for Investment Activity, as the golden visas are officially called), a hypothesis put forward a few days ago by Prime Minister António Costa, will not make much of a dent in North American residential investment. That’s what the real estate networks say.

The D7 visa that “grants residence in Portugal upon proof of passive income, very affordable for the American reality, has also been a strong option,” says Patrícia Clímaco, CEO of Castelhana. Ricardo Sousa, CEO of Century 21, points out that “most North American clients are looking for the D7 visa”. And Patrícia Barão, responsible for the residential department of JLL, defends that most American purchases “are independent of the gold visa regime”.

Data from Confidencial Imobiliário (CI) regarding the acquisition of residential real estate in Lisbon’s ARU confirms these statements. In the first six months of this year, Americans spent 48.3 million euros buying homes in the capital (statistics exclude the Parque das Nações, Laranjeiras and Alta de Lisboa areas), a period when the city was no longer eligible for gold visas. It should be remembered that the changes to the regime, which excluded the purchase of real estate on the coast, went into effect on January 1st. In this first semester, the Americans were responsible for 90 operations, accounting for 12% of the total international investment made in these months in the metropolis. For Ricardo Guimarães, director of CI, “it’s not because of the gold visas that Americans invest in Lisbon, however much they may benefit from this regime. The city is on the international radar, it’s a very attractive market because of the living conditions and the price of real estate.

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