What is the new Portugal-US “AMIGOS” treaty and how could it benefit Portuguese citizens?

The new AMIGOS Act, (Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing Our Success), which was passed through the US House of Representatives in December, would make Portuguese citizens eligible for E-1 and E-2 visas, which allow the right to travel and live in the US either for the purpose of business or significant financial investments.

US E-1 and E-2 investor visa eligibility for Portuguese citizens

The law still needs to be passed by the Senate and signed by the Presidentbut once it is it will give Portuguese nationals the right to apply for E-1 and E-2 US nonimmigrant visas.

The E-1 US visa allows applicants to travel to the US for international trade, whereas the E-2 allows entry for those making investments of a substantial amount of capital in the country.

E-1 and E-2 visa requirements for Portuguese citizens

Should the amendment for Portugal’s inclusion in the treaty be approved by the Senate, the requirements for Portuguese citizens obtaining the E-1 and E-2 visas will follow the existing terms.

E-1 visa requirements

The E-1 investor visa allows those who obtain it to travel to the US for business and trade purposes, provided they fulfill the following requirements:

  • Applicants must prove they intend to engage in “substantial trade”
  • At least 50% of the trade carried out must be between the US and Portugal
  • Trade is not strictly defined in the treaty, but it can be in the form of physical movement of goods, transportation, or other trades such as banking, tourism, technology, or journalism
  • Applicants must be Portuguese citizens
  • Much the same as with other American visas, applicants must provide proof that they will return to their home country at the end of the visa limit

The E-1 visa can be granted for a period of up to 2 years, after which it can be extended for a further two. There are no limits on the number of extensions that can be requested.

E-2 visa requirements

The E-2 visa is available to investors with access to significant funds the right to reside in the US in order to set up a business, practice, or office.

This usually requires a minimum investment of $50,000 – 100,000, and the applicant must prove that they are entering the US solely for the purpose of running or developing the business in question.

Like the E-1 visa, the E-2 visa is valid for up to 2 years and can be extended an unlimited number of times, so long as the original business continues to be viable. The visa can also be extended to the applicant’s spouse or other family members, or other individuals who are essential to the running of the business.

US travel

Golden Visa investors who fulfill 35-day stay requirement in Portugal obtain a Portuguese passport

After 5 years of maintained investment, the Portuguese Golden Visa offers a clear path to Portuguese citizenship. One of the benefits is the program’s low “stay requirement” (the number of days investors must spend in Portugal in order to maintain residency) of just 7 days in the first year, and 35 days over 5 years.

2019 has been a landmark year for Portugal’s Golden Visa program. Since its introduction in 2013, the first batch of Golden Visa investors are now obtaining Portuguese citizenship. According to Patricia Casaburi, CEO of Global Citizen Solutions, “this is a great development for the Golden Visa program, as it clarifies the path towards Portuguese citizenship for investors”.

For Golden Visa investors to obtain Portuguese citizenship they must hold a Golden Visa permit (ARI – Autorização de Residência para Atividade de Investimento) for 5 years, fulfill the 35-day stay requirement and complete a basic A2 certificate of Portuguese language.

Portuguese real estate residency popularity among international investors

The Portuguese residency by investment program has been incredibly popular with Chinese investors, who have greatly outnumbered applicants from other countries, such as Russia, Lebanon, and South Africa. Recently there has been a surge in the number of investors applying for the program from the US, as well as Hong Kong.

2020 is set to be a popular year for Portuguese real estate residency

The Portuguese Golden Visa program is already one of the most popular of its kind in Europe. Portugal’s Golden Visa has seen almost €5 bn worth of investment in the country, mostly through real estate. As the Portuguese real estate market continues to enjoy a period of stable growth, 2020 is on track to be one of the best years so far for the program.

Find out more about the Portugal Golden Visa

At Global Citizen Solutions we have a 100% success rate with Portuguese Golden Visa applications.

Our team has extensive knowledge of the Portugal real estate market and will help you make the best possible investment for your requirements.

Our pricing is always transparent and competitive, so you know exactly what to expect, and we will provide you with a personalized service from the beginning to the end of the process.

If you are looking to invest in the Portuguese Golden Visa, get in touch with one of our team of specialists in order to discuss your options, or take a look at our ultimate guide to Portugal’s Golden Visa for more information.

If you want to keep track of all the latest Portugal Golden Visa changes and updates, take a look at our detailed article.