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Choosing between residency options

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PV003
7/17/2019 14:38 EST

I am trying to determine whether, as US tax person, the NHR (Non-Habitual Residency) or the Portuguese naturalization option is the most suitable option for relocating to Portugal (I already have grandmother's Portuguese birth certificate in hand and documents have been reviewed by the local Portuguese consulate). In order to decide I am trying to identify the financial and other variables to consider. For example, what are the differences, if any, in health care options, tax liabilities/benefits, estate planning ,etc.. I am seeking both thoughts and/or referrals to professional(s) with this expertise in order to make an informed decision.

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craigandmicki
7/17/2019 16:32 EST

PV003--the visa and permit granted to enable you to live in Portugal are totally unrelated to NHR, a tax reduction program. Completely separate topics.

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PV003
7/18/2019 07:17 EST

Thanks. Understood. The primary option is citizenship election versus a VISA of some sort that would also qualify for NHR status.

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dancebert
7/18/2019 10:42 EST

I'm not sure if I understand the 'also qualify' part of your last sentence. I'm sure you are saying there are two ways you can gain residency. Are you also saying that regardless of which of the 2 ways you choose, you may qualify for NHR? If so, I agree.

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realspear
7/18/2019 10:55 EST

First, you should understand the difference between a visa and a residency permit. The visa gets you into the country, the permit is what you grants you residency. The visa is short-term.

Second, you need to balance the value of citizenship against the benefits of NHR. NHR is good for your first ten years (more or less) and protects you in certain ways. The benefits of citizenship are an EU passport and you don't need private health insurance that you need for your first residency permit. And you get to live and work anywhere in the EU without restarting a residency process. But if you're planning to stay long term in Portugal and have qualifying types of income for NHR benefits, that might be the route.

Estate planning is probably the same, if you die here, citizenship doesn't change anything. Many immigrants don't seem to be aware that their US wills are invalid if they die here and haven't done either a will or a document that says your US will takes precedence. I have had multiple opinions on the latter, several attorneys have told me that you must have a Portuguese will because the defer-to-US paperwork may not work. Wills are not expensive here because you get them done at the notário.

This is my best take on all this, you may want to talk to someone who has more understanding of what you gain and lose with citizenship.

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dancebert
7/18/2019 15:37 EST

>Second, you need to balance the value of citizenship against the benefits of NHR.

Citizenship is not a barrier to NHR status. This article by 2 lawyers appeared one day after the NHR law was published in the Diário da República, the Portuguese Official Journal. The last line of the article states "Moreover, it should encourage the return of highly qualified Portuguese nationals currently domiciled abroad."

http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?article_id=88448


From a different and more recent source (Google translation):

"Non-habitual resident status

"The Non-Resident Resident Statute applies to Portuguese who wish to return to the country and to foreigners who decide to come to Portugal. This status has associated tax advantages.

https://www.economias.pt/estatuto-de-residente-nao-habitual/

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Lucaluca
7/19/2019 01:12 EST

Great advise. Can you tell me do you know what is best route now to obtain visa Going to consulate or with the outside agency ?

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realspear
7/19/2019 03:01 EST

Well I stand corrected. So what's your advice?

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dancebert
7/19/2019 08:49 EST

>best route now to obtain visa Going to consulate or with the outside agency

For every consulate / country I've heard of that uses the outside agency, the functions they've outsourced to the agency can be done only through the agency.

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