28 July 2021 –
Portugal’s newest path to citizenship offers a genuine opportunity for long-term prosperity in the EU, say advocates. The HQA program’s hypergrowth in the last two years evidences the trend. Americans looking to make the most of a post-pandemic boom are seeking an alternative to a Golden Visa. Executives from India are turning the HQA as the politically savvy choice, given the European Commission’s staunch position on Golden Visa schemes. In response, Portugal is prioritizing HQA applicants, fast-tracking these visas, while Golden Visa processing has slowed.
Who is the HQA visa for?
“Anyone who is smart and accomplished,” says Timur Sitdikov , private client advisor specialized in migration, “In all seriousness, this is the best option for EU residency for anyone who is an accomplished professional in their field, whether that’s medicine or marketing or fintech. My HQA clients are all very successful people who know a good thing when they see it.”
“The HQA clients we have taken care of are all highly qualified professionals, with very busy schedules and multiple commitments internationally, “ says Portuguese lawyer Joana Reis, head of immigration at Pinto Ribeiro Advogados.
“Our HQA founders are driven people in their respective fields, and they want their EU residency to generate opportunities for them, “adds Laura Bock Blumes, Managing Director of the HQA incubator, Empowered Startups Portugal, “They are big picture thinkers and they like to be in control, but they don’t have a lot of extra time.”
How does the HQA visa work?
“HQA clients get residency by founding a Portuguese business that is linked to an HQA university, and hosted by the HQA business incubator,” says Patricia Casaburi, founder and Managing Partner of Global Citizen Solutions, ”The HQA business incubator coordinates operations and administration, and the founder provides strategic direction. The HQA program is elegantly simple, and it can generate tremendous opportunities for our clients.”
“For business-minded people, the HQA program solves a lot of problems by building a long-term revenue-generating option in Portugal,” notes Portuguese lawyer Gabriel Barreto, Head of the Portugal office of Lexidy Law Boutique. “Our firm is used to providing tax planning and structuring corporate relationships that work with the HQA program.“
“We create custom-built plans for every one of our HQA founders,” remarks Shawn Olson, VP of Business Development at Empowered Startups, ”Some of our HQA founders have us create direct links between their existing business and their new Portuguese business. Many founders consider their HQA business a ‘side hustle’ that they choose to get involved in when it suits them.”