Portugal Golden Visa Ending: Not Quite

Updated: 1 September 2023
R. Werner Gruner Regional Partner, Portugal

On February 16th, the Portuguese government announced a series of measures aimed at addressing the country’s housing problem.

The Portuguese Prime Minister stated that the measures include changes to the Golden Visa program, as part of the said effort.

On July 19th, 2023, the Portuguese Parliament approved the final version of the Golden Visa legislation. They then presented it to the President’s approval.

Then, on August 21st, 2023, the Portuguese President vetoed the package, sending it back to the Parliament. To skip to these most recent changes, click here.

In this article, we’ll break down what you need to know about the upcoming changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa program and what it means for investors.

Some important facts:

  • The Golden Visa program will remain active with certain investment options. However, you will no longer be able to apply for a Golden Visa through a real estate investment or a real estate related fund investment.
  • The new law will not apply retroactively to current applications and renewals.
  • Applications and renewals will be accepted with the current rules until the new law is published.
  • Pending applications and future renewals will transition to the D2 Entrepreneur’s Permit, which will have a reduced residency requirement of 7 days per year.
  • The program will change once and if the Portuguese Parliament reconfirms the package and the law is published in the official journal.

Getting Through the Transition Period by Securing Your Investment

So, do you want to apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa before the changes come into effect?

Well, we’ve been through this before back in 2021, before the last significant set of Golden Visa changes were implemented on January 1st, 2022. In 2021 alone, we managed to secure hundreds of Golden Visa applications before the changes kicked in, with a 100% success rate.

Get in touch with us and let’s discuss how we can navigate your application before any changes take place.

Will Previous Or Current Applicants Be Affected?

Previous or current applicants can rest assured that any modifications made to the Portuguese Golden Visa program will have no bearing on their respective applications. Individuals who have finalized or initiated their investments need not be concerned about any retroactive implications stemming from potential alterations to the program.

The Verdict with What We Know So Far

When will it be effective? —

The law did not pass, yet.

President Marcelo vetoed the “More Housing” package on August 21st, 2023. This unexpected move means that the proposal will now revisit Parliament, resuming discussions in the forthcoming session in September.

Until the Parliament reconfirms the proposal, the program continue as is.

Here’s a breakdown of the scenario:

  • The Power Dynamics: The ruling Socialist Party (PS), with its clear majority, retains the authority to reaffirm the law when it comes up for voting. Should they choose to, the President would be bound to sign it into law within the subsequent 8-day period.
  • Potential Amendments: While there’s ambiguity surrounding any amendments the PS might introduce due to the veto, it’s broadly expected that any such changes won’t substantially affect the core facets of the Golden Visa.

Investment Opportunities Closing Down

Three primary avenues for investment will no longer be viable under the proposed changes. The specifics are as follows:

  • Capital transfers in the amount of €1,500,000 or more will no longer be accepted.
  • Purchasing real estate with a value of €500,000 or higher will be prohibited.
  • Investing in the rehabilitation of real estate properties that are at least 30 years old, with a total investment of €350,000 or more, will no longer be an option.
  • Investing in real estate in low-density areas €400,000 or €280,000 will no longer be an option.
  • Investing in funds that have direct or indirect real estate investments will no longer be an option.

Remaining Investment Opportunities

While some doors are closing, others are opening. The residency program will continue, now with new and revised investment options:

  • Venture Capital Fund Investment: Making capital transfers of €500,000 or more for participation units in venture capital funds, as long as the funds have no real estate ties
  • Job Creation: Creating at least 10 jobs
  • Research Funding: Investing €500,000 or more in research activities carried out by public or private scientific research institutions
  • Cultural Heritage Support: Investing €250,000 or more in support of artistic production, recovery, or maintenance of national cultural heritage
  • Commercial Company Investment: Capital transfers of €500,000 or more, destined for the incorporation of a commercial company with headquarters in the national territory or increasing the share capital of an existing company, alongside the creation of five permanent jobs

Looking Ahead

This new, more nuanced approach to the Golden Visa Program promises to encourage more diverse forms of investment, opening up fresh avenues while maintaining the appeal of the program.

We are closely monitoring the situation, keeping clients and partners aware of any developments.

Frequently Asked Questions on Portugal Golden Visa Changes

Will the Portugal Golden Visa program be canceled?

No. However, certain investment types (such as real estate acquisition) will no longer be eligible in applying for a Golden Visa. Other types (such as fund investment) will continue to exist.

As of August 21st, 2023;

What happens in you have already started the legal process and chosen your investment?

You are ahead of the game. We do, however, need to make sure that we fulfill all the remaining documentation steps, and transfer the necessary funds to Portugal and then to the developer, if we have not already done so.

What happens if you have already started the legal process, but have not chosen your investment?

You may still have a chance. We do, however, need to decide on the investment right away.

Simultaneously, we need to make sure that we fulfill all the remaining documentation steps, and transfer the necessary funds on to Portugal and then to the developer.

What happens if you have not started the legal process and you have not chosen your investment?

As of August 21st, you may still have a chance to make it in time, but only if we rush and with a solid risk of not making it in time, either.

We need to decide on the investment as soon as possible.

Simultaneously, we need to make sure that we fulfill all the remaining documentation steps, and transfer the necessary funds on to Portugal and then to the developer.

How Can Get Golden Visa Help

Get Golden Visa is a full-service investment immigration agency.  We provide end-to-end solutions on residence and citizenship by investment programs in numerous countries worldwide.

We have local offices in Lisbon and Porto, Portugal. We have legal professionals, as well as licensed real estate professionals within our team.

We work with clients from all around the world, interested in obtaining Portugal Golden Visas or in making real estate investments in Portugal.

Contact us and talk to one of our experienced team members to help you with any and all your questions.

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