The Residence Authorization Program for Investment (ARI), more commonly referred to as Golden Visa Portugal was launched in 2012. As of 2021, the program granted residence permits to almost 9,500 main applicants and more than 15,000 dependent family members. Chinese, Brazilian, Turkish, South African, and Russian applicants represent the highest number of applicants in descending order.
In 2020, the Portuguese Parliament allowed a number of changes to be implemented in the program. Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the changes are expected to take effect only later in 2021. Below, you can find the details of the proposed changes and the expected timeline.
2021 Golden Visa Changes
The Portuguese parliament passed the 2020 budget proposal, which proposes to exclude real estate in all coastal municipalities, Lisbon, and Porto to be excluded from the Golden Visa program.
The minimum investment amount and the minimum requirements would also potentially be increased.
The exact changes that will take place are still unknown. The proposal does not refer to the timeline of implementation. It just allows the government to move ahead with the changes to the Portugal Golden Visa rules.
Will the existing Golden Visa investments be affected?
No. The existing Golden Visa applicants will be able to make use of the old rules.
Nevertheless, there are some uncertainties:
- The cutoff date for the existing rules,
- What stage you will need to be in at the cutoff date, as a Golden Visa investor.
It is, however, highly unlikely that the rules will come into effect in early 2021.
There are multiple possibilities on what stage a Golden Visa investor needs to be at the cutoff date. These include:
- Have a signed Promissory Purchase Agreement for a real estate in Portugal,
- Have received the final deed of a real estate in Portugal,
- Have submitted the primary online application to SEF,
- Have received tentative approval of documents by SEF,
- Have received the Golden Visa
Different authorities and law offices have varying views on which step will likely be the verdict. Although, the most likely ones seem to be either when you submit the initial online application to SEF or receive the tentative approval of documents from SEF.
Neither the specific changes nor the implementation date is clear yet. Nevertheless, the Portuguese government will likely provide the prospective applicants with a grace period before they put the Golden Visa changes into effect.
In any case, let’s assume you are planning on applying for a Portuguese Golden Visa through a real estate acquisition. You should go ahead and complete your transaction and submit your Golden Visa application as soon as possible.
If you are not fixated on the real estate acquisition in Portugal, there are other investment options that qualify for the program as well. Consider the 350,000 Euro investment fund route as an alternative.
Read our article on the Portugal Golden Visa through the Investment Fund option.
What can Get Golden Visa do for you?
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For more information on the program, visit our Portugal Golden Visa: The Definitive Guide 2021.
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