In the beginning of 2021 Great Britain officially cut all former ties with the European Union, and began a new life as a non-EU member. As a consequence, millions of Britons have lost their right to live in the EU without any restrictions. Even though citizens of Great Britain can still travel to Europe visa-free, they can't spend more than 90 days during a six-month period in the EU.
For some Britons this restriction is a devastating blow. More than a million of British citizens live in Europe, and many more were planning to spend their retirement in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus, which is not possible nowadays unless they have a residency permit or any similar document. Britons can't rent a villa on the seaside somewhere in Spain and spend half a year there without proper visas or residency permits, that's the reality of post-Brexit Britain.
Astons can disclose that starting last autumn inquiries from Britons about residency options in Europe increased more than 50%. Britons are willing to regain their rights, and, fortunately, there are some options on the table.
What Britons can do to regain their right to live in the EU freely?
One of the easiest ways is to become a resident of the European Union, and there are quite a few ways to do so, although not a lot of these ways are universal. First of all, there are a lot of residency and citizenship routes for Britons with family ties in the EU countries, including Ireland and many others. Each case is different and requires a lot of work and attention to details.
The universal option also exists: it's called residency by investment. Residency programs in Portugal, Greece and Cyprus are the most beneficial for Britons, they offer the possibility to become a resident of a chosen country after buying real estate there. There are different requirements for investment in different countries, some of them restrict investments to particular areas, some require you to live in the country for a certain amount of time per year.
Astons' own research unit Astons Research compared all of these programs and paid attention to other important factors, including the quality of education, ease of doing business, popularity of English language and some others. Our conclusion is that the best country with a residency program for Britons is Portugal.
First of all, Portugal is already very popular among Britons with more than 35,000 of them living in Lisbon, Porto and other cities and coastal resorts right now. English is widely spoken in Portugal, the country is ranked in top positions in the most respected ratings, like World Bank's Doing Business and Numbeo's Quality of Life index. Also, it is still possible to invest in a property in the most favourable areas in the country, including Porto and Lisbon, and become a resident of Portugal after spending just 280,000 euro on real estate.
Astons provides bespoke legal services with precise attention to every single detail in the process of becoming a resident of Portugal, including real estate purchase and residency application.
Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai and Limassol (Republic of Cyprus) and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions worldwide including the Turkey, Vanuatu, the EU and the Caribbean.
For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected] or call +44 207 292 2977.