The certainty of the official Brexit has brought new confidence and now is the time to build a sunny future for UK nationals in Portugal...
As Britain officially left the European family on last Friday at 11 pm, there was initially an all-round sadness followed by a sigh of relief. We can all now focus on building the relationship of the future.
The Portuguese have had a special relationship with Britain which dates back over 400 years, so it's no surprise that the Portuguese people offered our British friends a warm collective hug: "um grande abraço". The Portuguese president reminding the British that they are family and friends, always "bem-vindos" or welcome in Portugal.
With Brexit behind us, the general mood has been positive, with the Portuguese real estate market receiving increased demand both from the United Kingdom and Europe. The Portuguese prime minister reaffirmed this government's commitment to maintain its special relationship with the United Kingdom and continue with the tax incentives to attract both British and European investors to Portugal. This gives comfort to investors that these incentive programmes are to continue and together with the warm hospitality of the Portuguese people, Portugal will maintain its ranking as one of the best places to live and to retire in Europe.
This confidence is linked to Portugal's commitment to maintaining foreign investment as a national priority. For the past decade, the Portuguese Government has created extremely favourable conditions for all those who wish to invest or reside in Portugal, wherever they may come from.
Portugal has been steadfast in it’s continued assurances to UK nationals that their residency rights post-Brexit are secured and at the same time offering tax incentives like the Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) scheme, one example of the measures that have had a very strong impact on the country's financial growth.
The certainty of the official Brexit has brought new clarity about the future and now is the time to build on the commitments that both the UK and Portugal have pledged.
The post-Brexit mood has been positive with increased interest from Portugal's European neighbours who may have been sitting on the fence. The uncertainty of the past three years is over and there is a general mood of stability in the market, with increased interest from France, Belgium, Sweden, and Germany.
Traditionally the British have formed the bulk of Portugal's foreign buyers, which slowed with the Brexit uncertainty but now the British are back with new vigour and enthusiasm. Britons who want to buy a house in sunny Portugal continue to benefit from the same privileges as EU citizens, such as access to public health care and full time-residency. After the transition period, the Portuguese Government has assured time and time again its commitment to securing the interests of all British citizens who wish to reside in Portugal, under bilateral agreements that now can finally be designed for this purpose.
The Portuguese government remains committed to Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) tax scheme, securing favourable tax benefits for non-residents regardless of their nationality. Thousands of retired foreign citizens benefit from the massive tax savings secured in the NHR programme, some enjoying an unbeatable tax rate of 0%. New applicants to the NHR programme may be charged revised rates if changes are approved in 2020, but they'll still secure huge tax savings in comparison to their home countries which experience tax rates of up to 50%.
Setting all the wonderful incentives and savings aside, let us not forget the real reason why Portugal is ranked the best country to retire in: a welcoming people whose warm hospitality is infectious, delicious food, sunny climate, beautiful landscape, and affordable living.
"Bem-vindo", welcome to the simple life.
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