For years, the Portugal Golden Visa program has been a popular option for non-EU citizens seeking residency in the country. Introduced in 2012 by the Portuguese government to attract foreign investment to the country, the scheme has brought millions of euros in investment each year.
Granting residency to investors who meet certain criteria, the Portuguese Golden Visa is, to date, one of the most successful investment programs in Europe.
However, 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. It was in this context that the measure of apparently ending the Portugal Golden Visa scheme was grafted.
With this said, Portugal’s Golden Visa program is undergoing some significant changes but will not come to an end.
Portugal Golden Visa News 2023
On October 6th, 2023, the “Mais Habitação Law” was published by the Portuguese Government, bringing a series of changes to the Golden Visa program in Portugal. The proposed law has come into effect, and the program and you can no longer invest in a real estate property or a real estate-related fund to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa Program.
Please note that despite real estate acquisition no longer being a qualifying investment option, the Golden Visa Program still has several attractive investment routes available.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the latest announcements and their key implications for future investors.
Read on to discover:
- Is Portugal Golden Visa Ending?
- What are the most significant changes to the program?
- When are the changes coming into effect?
- What are the remaining investment options for the Golden Visa program?
- The latest Portugal Golden Visa news
Golden Visa Portugal Suspended: What You Should Know
Is Portugal Golden Visa ending?
No, the Golden Visa program is not ending. There were simply changes to what type of investment qualifies for the scheme – namely, certain capital transfers and the real estate investment – both direct and indirect – are no longer eligible for the program.
These changes were brought by the “More Housing law”, which terminates all real estate investments under the renewed Portuguese Golden Visa program.
Read more about the “More Housing Bill” below.
The Mais Habitação Bill and the end of the Golden Visa
On February 16th, the Portuguese government announced a series of measures to address the country’s housing problem and also regulate the real estate market. António Costa, the Portuguese Prime Minister, stated that the measures would include changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa program as part of the said effort.
As of July 19th, 2023, the Portuguese Parliament approved the final version of the Mais Habitação bill (“More Housing” bill) that significantly impacts the Golden Visa program. This Bill includes the end of the real estate investment path within the Portuguese Golden Visa program.
Then, on August 21st, 2023, after thoughtful consideration and well-built argumentation, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the Portuguese President, vetoed the Mais Habitação bill. The Bill was sent back to the Parliament to be reassessed on the topics raised by the President.
On 7 October 2023, the Mais Habitaçāo bill officially came into effect. The bill, which brings in a range of measures aimed at tackling Portugal’s housing crisis, will mean that it is no longer possible to issue residence or Golden Visas based on the acquisition of real estate.
When could a new law come into force?
The law came into effect on Saturday, October 7, 2023, effectively ending investment routes related to real estate and capital transfer.
To learn more about the changes in the program, please refer to: Portugal Golden Visa Changes, Updates & New Rules for 2024.
Golden Visa Portugal Ending: The Future of the Program
Remaining Golden Visa investment routes
With the implementation of the new legislation, real estate investment and capital transfers to a Portuguese bank account are no longer eligible routes for the program.
Nevertheless, numerous alternative investment pathways will remain eligible for participation. The following types of eligible investments will be allowed:
- Venture Capital Fund Investment: Capital transfers of €500,000 or more for participation units in venture capital funds, as long as they are not directly or indirectly related to real estate
- Investment or donation in the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000 (Read: Portugal’s Cultural Production Golden Visa)
- Scientific Research: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000
- Creation of ten jobs: Creation and maintenance of ten jobs during the required period
- Share capital and job creation: Incorporation of a company or reinforcement of a company’s share capital, in either case with an investment of €500,000, combined with the creation of five permanent jobs or maintaining ten jobs (five of them permanent)
Golden Visa investment routes that will no longer be available
- 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 rehabilitating 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.
Important note about the Golden Visa Program
In addition to the specified investment avenues, the main consequences of this legislation encompass:
- Pending applications with SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) will be evaluated in accordance with the laws in place at the time of their submission.
- The minimum residency requirement to maintain residence permits remains unchanged, at an average of seven days annually.
- The renewal process for residence permits will continue to adhere to the original regulations.
- Family reunification conditions for dependents remain consistent with primary application requirements.
- Investment routes tied to real estate and capital transfers will no longer be considered qualifying investments.
- The law took effect on October 7th, the day following its official publication in the Diário da República.
For more news about the program, refer to Portugal Golden Visa Changes, Updates & New Rules for 2023.
Golden Visa Portugal: How Global Citizen Solutions Can Help You
The Portugal Golden Visa program is not ending, but the option to invest in real estate is.
However, there are several attractive investment options available to you. If you have decided to apply for the Golden Visa, here’s what we can do for you:
- Firstly, our onboarding team can help you obtain your personal Portuguese tax number (known as a NIF) in 2 days. We can then open a Portuguese bank account or an escrow, which takes between 2 to 4 weeks.
- Alongside this, you will meet your immigration and legal team to discuss your personal and family circumstances and help you gather all the documents required for your application.
- Our investment teams will help you familiarize yourself with the market and assist you in understanding all the eligible options for the program, investment funds, donations to cultural projects and artistic production, investment in research activities, and more.
You’ll have three teams working in parallel to help you streamline your application while coordinating with each other. To provide you with an example, we will ensure that you won’t make the investment until all your documents and preparations are ready for your application to be viable and ready to be submitted.
In times like these, time is of the essence. Global Citizen Solutions can ensure that your visa application process is a smooth one.
Start your application today and secure your Portugal Golden Visa. Click here to see how we can help you with your Golden Visa application.
Portugal Golden Visa Suspended: Timeline of Events 2023
February 16th, 2023
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.
July 19th, 2023
The Portuguese Parliament approved the final version of the Golden Visa legislation. They then presented it to the President for his approval.
August 21st, 2023
The Portuguese President vetoed the package, sending it back to the Parliament to go under amendments before it could be passed.
October 7th, 2023
The Mais Habitaçāo bill came into effect. It’s no longer possible to issue residence or Golden Visas based on the acquisition of real estate.
Additional Resources About the Portuguese Golden Visa
If you want to learn more about golden visas in Portugal, make sure to read the following guides:
- Portugal Golden Visa: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide 2024
- Portugal Golden Visa Statistics: August 2024 Complete Update
- Working with a Portuguese Golden Visa Lawyer
- Portugal versus Spain Golden Visa Comparison Guide
- Golden Visas Europe – Invest in EU Residency & Citizenship
Frequently Asked Questions about Golden Visa Portugal Suspended
What is the Portugal Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa in Portugal is a program that awards investors with residence permits in Portugal, provided that a qualifying investment is made in the country.
Is Portugal Golden Visa ending?
The Golden Visa program will not come to an end. On 19 July 2023, the Portuguese parliament voted to restructure the program. The legislation is now passed, and there’s been significant changes to what type of investment that qualify for the scheme – namely, real estate investments are no longer eligible for the program.
When is Portugal Golden Visa ending?
The Golden Visa program will not come to an end. There have been changes to what type of investment qualify for the scheme – namely, real estate investments are no longer eligible for the program.
What should investors do if they are currently in the process of obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa?
These new measures only apply to new applications. All applications that have already been filed, even if not yet pre-approved, are not affected by this change in the law. Under the Portuguese Constitution, a new law cannot have retroactive effects. SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Border Force) is obliged to follow current Golden Visa legislation. This is why it is business as usual, and you can still apply for the Golden Visa.
How long do investors have to invest in real estate under the Golden Visa?
According to the latest Portugal Golden Visa Application Process News, investors can no longer opt for the real estate option when applying for the Golden Visa.
Can I still apply for the Portugal Golden Visa?
Yes, you can still apply for the Golden Visa. However, if you’re interested in applying for the capital transfer of real estate option, please note that these investment routes are no longer eligible for the program.
Contact the team at Global Citizen Solutions, who can help with your application process. What can be done today in terms of your application? The team can begin gathering the documentation needed for obtaining your NIF and opening your bank account in Portugal.
Will previous or current Golden Visa holders be affected by the program’s changes?
All individuals who submitted the Golden Visa application until October 6, 2023, will not be affected by the changes.
Will there be a new investment program to replace the Portugal Golden Visa program?
The Golden Visa is not going to come to an end. However, the new law ruled out capital transfers and real estate investments as an eligible investment option.
Can there be retroactive effects?
Under the Portuguese Constitution, a new law cannot have retroactive effects.