Americans take action on post-pandemic mobility

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Americans quickly realized that having visa-free access to a regionalized area was much better than having a passport that could easily see its powers stripped away. Enter the Portuguese golden visa.

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The COVID pandemic wreaked havoc on the world order; supply chains halted, borders were closed, and global mobility was at an all-time low. Now, as international travel nears pre-pandemic levels, the concept of global mobility has changed drastically, and more people than ever now understand the system’s fragility. 

This phenomenon of awareness is specifically present in the US, where holders of one of the most powerful passports in the world realize that in times of dire need, they have found it wanting.

During the pandemic, the mobility score of the US passport went down more than 50% to reach a meager 80 visa-free destinations worldwide, putting it on par with most passports. 

This inability to travel when it was most needed drove Americans to look for other solutions, but not just any option would work. 

Five Caribbean countries offer citizenship by investment programs, where applicants can obtain a country's passport through a donation to the nation's economy. However, these passports also fell short during the pandemic, and their weaker mobility score compared to the US passport means that this venture is not one that actually bears fruit. 

Americans quickly realized that having visa-free access to a regionalized area was much better than having a passport that could easily see its powers stripped away. Enter the Portuguese golden visa. 

The golden visa provides massive mobility.

The golden visa, a residency by investment program, allows applicants to obtain a Portuguese residence permit through investing in specific investment categories, most notably investing 500,000 euros in mutual funds.

Not only can holders of a golden visa access Portugal visa-free, but they also have access to the entire Schengen Area, the massive region of 26 different European countries with no hard border.

The term hard border is critical, as there are no stops between Portugal or Spain, France and Spain, France and Italy, and so on. Allowing unimpeded movement throughout the countries, and this was crucial during the months of the pandemic when all of the world's hard borders were closed.

The idea of regionalizing free movement is what makes the golden visa such an amazing asset in the worst of times, especially since it grants access to one of the world's leading areas, the EU. This allows Americans with a golden visa to compliment their already impressive global mobility but with the ability to actually reside in an EU country if they want to do so. 

But it gets even better, as the golden visa only requires its holders to reside seven days a year to maintain it and - more importantly - to qualify for Portuguese citizenship; it can offer a massive boost in terms of global mobility in five years' time. 

The Portuguese passport, which ranks 8th on the global stage, is a magnificent travel document, offering visa-free access to 185 destinations worldwide including locations such as the EU, UK, Canada, USA, and many others.

Getting an EU passport alongside an American one could potentially be the best combination the world has to offer, adding to it the additional ability to reside anywhere in the EU as a national of the Union once naturalized, then it is the best global mobility contingency plan anyone can invest in. 

The simplicity of the golden visa, alongside the massive benefits, route to simplified naturalization, and the outstanding country offering, have been major drivers for American investors. The number of USA golden visa applicants has gone up about a third (32%) in the past year, and there are no signs of the trend buckling anytime soon. 

To know more about the golden visa and the complexity of travel mobility throughout the globe, and how you can set up a global mobility framework to hedge against lockdowns, contact us today to book a free, comprehensive consultation with one of our experts. 

Who are we ?

Optylon Krea is an investment management and real estate development company that caters to the needs of international Golden Visa investors, with €1.8 Billion managed to date from Portugal to Turkey.
We have been the first to explore the Golden Visa eligible fund route in 2018 and are currently leading that market segment with more than € 200M under our advisory.


Investors from more than 40 countries


million equity managed for Golden Visa eligible funds


active funds under advisory

We strongly believe that Portugal is shifting from a mass tourism destination to a luxury resort. That is why we are bringing momentum to the main cities by developing high street retail and prime serviced apartment projects.

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Evergreen 27
San Francisco, Ca