However, he expected some changes to be made eventually. Westwood hoped that the scheme would be replaced by something better that would attract expatriates to Portugal in the long run. The whole expatriate process in Portugal has not been overturned.
Portugal has attracted €6.5bn ($7bn) in investments by foreign nationals since the inception of the scheme, mostly from China, Brazil, and South Africa, with the most of the investment going into property. US expats are also among the most attracted to the scheme. Blacktower Financial Management launched an American desk to support those looking to move to Portugal, and Westwood said that the firm had not changed its strategy with the American desk yet. In fact, they are working on an active growth plan to roll out the American desk to the whole of Europe and beyond.
Westwood also explained why he thinks American expats and US-connected persons are moving to Europe, citing lifestyle and affordability as the two primary reasons. Unfortunately, US expats are notoriously dismissed as clients because of their complicated taxation arrangements under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Few wealth management organizations are geared up to service the American connected person. However, Westwood believes that it is easy to do if the rules are understood.