Ricochet News

South Africans flocking to buy property in Portugal

Feb 13, 2018
South Africans flocking to buy property in Portugal

Political uncertainty, a volatile currency and economically-negative policy positions have led many South Africans to place assets off-shore and establish alternative residency plans in other countries, including the UK and Portugal.

“With the current Rand strength, now is a good time to move money offshore,” says Andrew Rissik, MD of forex and international projects at Sable International.

“ South Africans are really good at taking money out when the Rand is collapsing, but what we have at the moment is a relatively strong Rand, that may strengthen slightly in the next months before dropping back.”

“If you’re a serious offshore investor or you’re looking for a plan B, now is a good time to move your assets,” says Rissik.

“We’re seeing a steady growth in interest in Portugal’s investment programmes – The Golden Residence Permit Programme (GRPP) Portugal’s residency by investment programme with its access to EU residency through a capital investment in real estate is proving popular, especially as the UK tightens its residency/citizenship terms and conditions.”

For South Africans the GRPP enables South Africans to invest offshore and gain the right to live and work in Portugal without onerous residence conditions. Investors purchasing properties in Portugal that comply with the requisite value and position criteria, are eligible for the Golden visa, allowing them and their dependants to live and work in Portugal as well as to travel throughout the Schengen region.

What makes Portugal so attractive to South Africans?

 “South Africans like the fact that you don't have to relocate,” says Rissik.

“Family reunification under Portuguese law, means that the main investor can bring his or her spouse and dependent children onto a Golden Visa on the same terms, which gives them residence in Portugal and visa free travel in Schengen states.”

Demand for the Portuguese passport has been on the rise over the last five years. The passport is now considered to be the fourth most powerful passport on the planet. This is up from the number 5 position it achieved in 2016. This in itself makes moving to Portugal and becoming a citizen an attractive proposition.

Portugal’s location and its position in the EU, ensures that Portuguese citizens and residents have access to one of the world’s largest markets. This, along with well-developed infrastructure and an educated population means that conducting international business as a Portuguese resident is far easier to do so than as a South African resident.

How the Golden Residence Permit Programme works

Through the purchase of a property in Portugal with a minimum value of €500,000, South African investors will be given access to the Portuguese government’s Golden Residence Permit Programme (GRPP). The programme is aimed at attracting foreign investment into Portugal by offering investors EU residency.  With teams in Portugal and South Africa, Sable International is positioned to help South Africans invest their way to EU residency and eventually, full citizenship.

“The GRPP has become one of the most cost-effective methods of gaining residency in another country, and the addition of this more affordable property purchase category adds to the appeal,” says Rissik.

 “The GRPP allows you to continue living in South Africa while holding your Golden Visa. This means you and your family can continue living in South Africa while still holding EU residency rights. This means you don’t have to give up anything in order to become a part of this programme,” adds Rissik.

A Golden Visa holder needs to spend seven days on year one in Portugal, 14 days in the next two years and 14 days the following two years to remain a Portuguese resident.

“After six years of consecutive residency, you are then eligible to apply to become a Portuguese citizen - when you get to this point you will have to satisfy a few other criteria, after which you will have an EU passport,” explains Rissik.

“Potentially leaving South Africa for greener pastures is an emotive issue, but a programme like the GRPP at least allows you to keep your emigration options open while investing in a solid,yield-generating asset.”

The Sable International Portugal Roadshow

Sable International’s Golden Residence Permit Programme experts are going to be travelling to Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg to hold seminars and conduct one-on-one consultations. During these consultations and seminars, which will run from 26 February to 2 March, they will be explaining how, and why, South Africans have been buying property in Portugal and earning EU residency for themselves and their families.

Sable International’s Portugal representatives together with international property sourcing agents, Hurst & Wills, Fine & Country (South Africa & Portugal) and international law firm TP & A, will discuss the latest real estate opportunities and products and the requirements of the Golden Visa programme will be discussed in detail.  Attendees will be introduced to a great mix of property investment opportunities in and around Lisbon, Cascais, Estoril and Porto.

Group presentations can be attended on any of the days in the mornings, as well as a one-on-one consultation later in the day on any of the days. To view the different time slots, and to book a seat in one of our group seminars, or a one-on-one consultation, click here: The Sable International Road Show