The United Kingdom continues to lose millionaires. An outflow of over 3,000 millionaires is expected for this year, double the number from last year, according to an annual report on millionaire migration by migration advisory firm Henley & Partners. Other major ‘losers’ are China, India, and Russia.
For years, London in particular attracted many foreign millionaires. However, since the Brexit referendum, more wealthy individuals are leaving the UK than moving there. The controversy and debate surrounding a special tax rule for British citizens who earn their wealth outside the UK also contribute to unrest among millionaires, as reported by Henley.
The significance of taxes as a reason for relocation is evident in the figures concerning Portugal as well. The country has been actively pursuing strategies to attract wealthy foreigners by offering enticing tax benefits and lenient visa policies for affluent migrants. Over the past few years, Portugal has emerged as a highly favourable destination for digital nomads seeking a fiscally advantageous workplace.
One of the key factors contributing to Portugal’s appeal is its favourable tax regime for digital nomads. The Portuguese government has implemented progressive tax measures that cater specifically to this growing demographic. Digital nomads, who often work remotely and generate income from sources outside the country, can take advantage of Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime. Under this scheme, qualifying individuals can enjoy significant tax exemptions and reductions for a period of ten years on their foreign-sourced income. This means that digital nomads can benefit from a more favourable tax environment, allowing them to retain more of their hard-earned income.
Furthermore, Portugal’s tax authorities have long been known for their welcoming approach towards foreign retirees. The country offers a special tax regime known as the “Golden Visa” program, designed to attract wealthy individuals and retirees from around the world. Foreign retirees who choose to relocate to Portugal can take advantage of a flat income tax rate of 10% under the Non-Habitual Resident program. This generous tax incentive, combined with Portugal’s high quality of life, mild climate, and rich cultural heritage, makes the country an attractive destination for retirees seeking a comfortable and financially advantageous retirement.
In addition to tax benefits, Portugal offers a range of other advantages that make it an appealing choice for relocation. The country boasts a stable political and economic environment, a high standard of living, and an excellent healthcare system. Its strategic location within Europe provides easy access to other European countries, making it an ideal base for international travel. Furthermore, Portugal’s vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and welcoming communities make it a desirable place to call home for people from all walks of life.
Additionally, the country attracted wealthy individuals from outside of Europe with ‘golden visas.’ Since 2012, an investment of 1 million euros, for example, in a house, granted a permanent residence permit. Thousands of Chinese and Brazilian individuals took advantage of this opportunity in recent years. With the influx, criticism also grew. Portuguese citizens saw housing prices rise, and the EU aims to eliminate member states that distribute golden visas. As a result, the program will come to an end this year.
Henley expects a decrease in the influx of millionaires as a result. Last year, around 1,400 people entered Portugal, while this year, it is likely that ‘only’ 800 will do so. In Greece, which still offers golden visas, the inflow is increasing from 1,000 last year to an estimated 1,200 this year.
It is worth noting that these are actual relocations where wealthy individuals spend at least six months per year in their new home country.