EU: British expats ‘suffering’ over visa backlog says expert
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Christopher said: “Portugal is a brilliant option for a healthy, active retirement in the sun. The Algarve offers the most sunshine hours for the lowest price in Western Europe, according to the Property Guides “Cost of Sunshine Index”.
The Algarve is also a popular location with celebrities and is known as ‘Portugal’s playground’, with celebs including Bonnie Tyler and Duncan Bannatyne spending time there.
Christopher told Express.co.uk: “Most British expats choose the Algarve for their retirement, following in the footsteps of Cliff Richard and a host of sports stars.”
There are currently 46,238 Britons living in Portugal, according to the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce.
Christopher said: “For those looking for a community of fellow Brits and other international retired expats, the central Algarve offers a wide choice of prices.
“Vilamoura is a popular if more pricey choice, with a wide range of active lifestyle options, including tennis, spas, water sports in the marinas and, of course, golf.
“It’s important to be able to find great restaurants and friendly bars even in the depths of winter, and the golden triangle of Vilamoura, Almancil and Vale do Lobo offers just that.”
Golf courses on the Algarve are world renowned and have made the area extremely popular with golfing enthusiasts.
Christopher added: “For those looking for a cheaper lifestyle and even more energetic retirement options such as surfing, which is increasingly popular among retirees, look west.
“Lagos, and Sagres, even further west are good, affordable options, with apartments from £125,000 and houses from around £200,000.
“Tavira is an increasingly popular option, a still very Portuguese-flavoured city, yet with those same Algarve beaches and close to Faro airport.”
British expats that want to take advantage of the Portuguese golden visa scheme and buy a property on the Algarve and obtain residency will need to “get their skates” on, Christopher says. From January 2022, the minimum property price to secure the visa will no longer apply in Lisbon or the Algarve.
He told Express.co.uk: “For anyone looking for a golden visa, whereby you purchase a property of €500,000 or more (€350,000 for a renovation) and you get a residency visa for Portugal, if you wish to purchase in the most popular areas you will need to get your skates on.”
However, there are other fantastic options in Portugal other than the Algarve for British expats that will be covered under the Golden Visa.
Christopher said: “If the Portuguese/southern European lifestyle in the sun is your main motivation, such visas will still be available in ‘interior areas’, some of which will be very close to the sea, even close to the Algarve’s beaches.
“You can also still claim a golden visa on a property in the delightful island of Madeira, or on some of the beautiful northern coasts.”
Madeira offers British expats year-round sun and stunning landscapes to explore, including the UNESCO protected Laurisilva of Madeira forest.
Away from the beach resorts, expats willing to move inland could snap up a bargain and a golden visa.
Christopher told Express.co.uk: “Consider inland in Portugal too. You can generally buy an attractive villa with enough land to enjoy a good-sized garden, grow your own food, perhaps have a few animals, for little over £150,000.
“That’s possible close to the Algarve but is even more possible further north.”
Portugal also has a world-leading COVID-19 vaccination rate and has almost vaccinated 85 percent of its population over the age of 12.
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