Number of foreigners living in Portugal almost doubles in less than two years
The number of foreign citizens living in Portugal went up a whopping 83% in just twenty months, between January of 2017 and August of 2018. The news came from the Portuguese newspaper Diário de Notícias and is based on the numbers of the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program, granting tax exemptions for foreigners. Of about 13.000 expats living in Portugal under the non-habitual resident conditions at the end of 2016, the number is now reaching 24.000.
France, Italy and the British Isles on top
With almost 6000 approved candidacies, the French are by far the most represented nationality in these numbers. The Italians come next, with about 2600, and only after that come British and Irish residents (about 2500).
Swedish are in fourth place, with about 2000 new residents. Sweden and Finland had recently created a stir with the Portuguese government regarding the previous bilateral agreements to avoid international double taxation that were accumulating with the RNH status to, effectively, give these people a total tax exemption. Portugal, however, is adamant that the NHR will be continued.
To be able to get the tax exemptions granted by the NHR program, one must have had a tax address outside Portugal over the five years before filing for the NHR and to live in Portugal at least 183 days per year.
The Portuguese media is noting that Portuguese citizens can also benefit from this program, as a way of attracting expats to come back home. However, Portuguese are only 6% of the total numbers of the program.
Along with the tax benefits, foreign citizens are being attracted by the relatively low prices of real estate properties, but also by the well-known advantages of Portugal: the warm climate, high levels of security and also the fact that is a great place to go out on tourism.