Following a ministerial meeting held on 16 February 2023, the Portuguese Government presented a package of measures to respond to various concerns within the scope of the housing policy in Portugal. In this context, the measure of apparently ending the Portugal Golden Visa program was grafted. Nevertheless, despite these statements, the Golden Visa program will not be scrapped. The Portuguese parliament made a decision on 19 July 2023 to revamp the program, resulting in alterations to the eligible investments that qualify for the scheme. Specifically, real estate investments - both direct and indirect - will no longer be considered eligible for the program. To see more details on this, you can consult our article here: Golden Visa Ending: Everything We Know So Far.  

19 July Update: The Golden Visa Will Not Come to an End

On 19 July, the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal convened and approved the final version of the Mais Habitação bill, introducing significant changes to the Golden Visa regime. Notably, all real estate investment options, whether direct or indirect, will be eliminated under the new law. The main implications of this legislation are as follows:
  1. Pending SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) applications will be assessed based on the laws in effect at the time of their submission.
  2. The minimum stay requirement to maintain residence permits will remain at an average of 7 days per year.
  3. Renewals of residence permits will follow the same initial rules as before.
  4. Family reunions will be granted under the same terms as primary applications.
  5. Investment routes involving real estate and capital transfer will no longer be eligible.
  6. The law will become effective the day after its official publication.
Despite these changes, the Golden Visa program will continue to exist with the following eligible investments:
  1. €500,000 in collective investment structures, such as funds not directly or indirectly related to real estate.
  2. Setting up or investing in existing companies, creating jobs, and making a minimum investment of €500,000.
  3. Donations and other contributions related to artistic and/or scientific domains.

What are the next steps?

After the plenary's approval, the proposal will be sent back to the Commission responsible for finalizing the text within a specified timeframe (if not defined, this will be five days). Once the final wording is settled, it will be published in the Assembly Gazette. Within a three-day working period, corrections to the final wording can be requested, and a decision on these corrections will be made within 24 hours, with the possibility of appeal. Following this, the text will be sent to the President of the Republic, who has 20 days to ratify the proposal, leading to its final publication. Alternatively, the President can exercise a political veto, which the Assembly can override after 15 days. If the veto is overridden, the President has eight days to enact the law. The text may also be sent to the Constitutional Court, where a pronouncement could take up to 25 additional days, potentially leading to amendments or reassessment. If requested by one-fifth of the deputies (46 out of 230), a preventive analysis by the Constitutional Court is possible. Once all the necessary steps are completed, the final proposal is sent to the Diário da República for official publication, taking effect the day following publication. These procedures may unfold quickly or face various obstacles that could delay the final outcome of the proposal, making it difficult to accurately predict the exact deadline for each step. We will monitor the legislative process and provide updates to all interested parties.
Currently, investors can still apply for Golden Visa real estate related investment options under the current legislation. However, if you are interested in this investment option, you should begin your application now.  

What is the Portugal Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa program - also referred to as the Resident Permit program - was launched in 2012 to assist the country’s recovery from the subprime crisis. Since then, 11,180 investors and 18,368 family members have benefited from the scheme, with more than €6 billion being invested into the county, significantly boosting the local economy and creating jobs in the country. Since 1 January 2022, the program experienced some fundamental changes, namely excluding some areas for residential investment and focusing investments on less populated areas of the country and the autonomous islands of Madeira and the Azores. The purpose of the changes to the program was to incentivize investment in the interior parts of the country. Alongside this, many other investment options increased in price, including the capital transfer and investment fund routes.  

Global Citizen Solutions: Our Position

We would like to reassure anyone currently going through the Portugal Golden Visa process. Considering the entire process that still needs to be completed, we will keep you informed of the progress and will assist you, moving forward, to find the best strategy for your personal situation. You can consult our article: Portugal Golden Visa Ending: Everything We Know So Far for further information.