The ending of the Portugal Golden Visa program was announced by Prime Minister Antonio Costa on 16 February 2023 as part of a series of initiatives aimed at making housing more affordable in the country.
However, with this said, the Golden Visa program will not come to an end. On 19 July 2023, the Portuguese parliament voted to restructure the program. There will simply be changes to what type of investment will qualify for the scheme – namely, real estate investments will no longer be eligible for the program. With this said, at present, it is still possible to invest in the real estate pathway – likely until the end of September – before the new legislation comes into force.
August 21 Update: Portuguese President Exercises Veto on “Mais Habitação” Bill
In a recent development on August 21, the President of Portugal, Marcelo Ribeiro, employed his veto authority to reject the “Mais Habitação” Bill. This legislation, designed to tackle housing issues in Portugal, encompasses the cessation of the real estate investment avenue within the Golden Visa program.
Current Course of Events
Consequently, the Bill will be returned to the Parliament for a fresh evaluation, taking into consideration the concerns raised by the President. The Parliament retains the right to overturn the veto through a renewed voting process. With the Assembly presently in its summer recess, sessions are likely to recommence on 6 September, at which point discussions revolving around the Bill will resume. The Socialist Party has the option to reassert its support for the Bill with a simple majority, even without introducing alterations. However, given the President’s explicit caution about the current ineffectiveness of the Bill, a renewed debate is likely.
Timeline for Real Estate Investment under the Golden Visa
While providing an exact timeline is challenging, it’s reasonable to speculate that investors have until the end of September to invest in real estate under the Golden Visa program.
Important Points to Consider
Should the revised Golden Visa law come into effect, eliminating both direct and indirect real estate investment pathways, the program itself will continue. The permissible investment avenues will include:
- Committing a minimum of €500,000 into collective investment structures, like funds or other options unrelated to real estate, either directly or indirectly.
- Participating in or contributing to the share capital of pre-existing companies, alongside job creation and a minimum investment of €500,000.
- Contributions and various forms of generosity within artistic and/or scientific domains.
Prior to this development, on 19 July, the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal granted approval to the final version of the Mais Habitação bill, introducing significant alterations to the Golden Visa framework. Notably, all avenues for real estate investment, whether direct or indirect, will be terminated under the new law.
In conjunction with the outlined investment options, key consequences of this legislation include:
- Pending applications with the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) will be evaluated based on the prevailing laws at the time of submission.
- The requisite minimum stay to uphold residence permits will remain around an average of seven days annually.
- Renewals of residence permits will adhere to the initial regulations as before.
- Family reunification will be guaranteed under the same terms as primary applications.
- Pathways involving real estate and capital transfers will no longer be eligible.
- The law will come into effect on the day subsequent to its official publication.
It’s noteworthy that, under the existing legislation, investors can still explore real estate-related investment options for the Golden Visa program.
If you are interested in the real estate option to apply for the Golden Visa, time is of the essence. You should begin your application now. Our partner, Global Citizen Solutions, would be more than happy to assist you with lodging your application.
Is there a deadline for the Portugal Golden Visa ending?
It is difficult to estimate whether the next steps will take place fairly quickly or suffer from various obstacles that delay the outcome of this proposal, making it impossible to accurately anticipate the exact deadline for each of them to take place.
You can find more detailed information about this whole process in this article on the Global Citizens Solutions website: Portugal Golden Visa Ending: Everything We Know So Far.
The Portugal Golden Visa Program
The Portugal Golden Visa or ARI (Autorização de Residência para Actividade de Investimento) was launched in 2012, allowing foreign investors to be granted a residence permit in Portugal in exchange for an investment in the country. After five years as residence permit holders, investors are able to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
Even though the program has several investment options, such as cultural contribution, creation of jobs, and business establishment, the majority of the investment in the 11 years of the program was in real estate.
In January 2022, some changes were implemented, with restrictions to real estate investment. Residential properties in Lisbon and Porto ceased to be eligible for the program, for example. (You can find out more about the 2022 visa changes in this article).