The Golden Visa program in Portugal, through which any non-EU citizens are eligible to
obtain residency in Portugal through a qualifying investment, has raised awareness to
the many benefits of having a residency permit in Europe, from traveling freely in the
EU/Schengen Area to getting preference in various services. Notwithstanding, there are
several advantages that are often not mentioned when “selling Portugal”, and that may
be key when making the very important decision of choosing a country to live in.
In view of this, we take the opportunity to point out the most relevant social benefits of
obtaining residency in Portugal.
Firstly, having legal residency in Portugal grants its holder to be registered at Serviço
Nacional de Saúde, i.e., the country’s free and universal healthcare service. Portugal is
served of very comprehensive and well-equipped healthcare services throughout the
entire country, and currently ranks 22nd in the world in this field.
Another social advantage granted to legal residents in Portugal is access to free
education, including at a University level. This will also allow one to benefit from several
European interchange programs, such as Erasmus and others, allowing non-EU citizens
to study in any country of the EU/Schengen Area. Currently, our education services hold
24th place in PISA rankings.
One will also be able to be registered at Portuguese Social Security and obtain
assistance and social subsidies in the event of illness, pregnancy, unemployment, etc.
Lastly, and perhaps the most important social benefit of all, it is sunny in Portugal 300
days out of the year.
Lisbon, 20th May 2019
By David Oliveira Duarte, Associate at EDGE International Lawyers – Foreign
Investment & Tourism Department
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