The surprises just keep on coming for Portugal’s golden visa investors. It seems the country won’t be ending its golden visa program after all.
Instead, the government now intends to remove real estate purchase and capital transfer as eligible investments to qualify for the visa.
The program’s uncertainty began when the government announced its controversial decision to bar residential real estate investments in Lisbon, Porto, and the coastal regions of the country.
The move was aimed at forcing golden visa investors to pump in money into the country’s less-developed interior regions.
Amid criticism and the Covid-19 pandemic, the government deferred the implementation of this move to 2022. Despite hopes that the change would not be enforced, the revamped program came into force form January last year.
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Government Terminates Program
Then in February 2023, the Portuguese government sprang a surprise and announced the program’s termination.
Blaming the program for the country’s housing crisis, the government hinted at drastic moves like retrospectively ending the program from the date of the announcement and the renewal of golden visas only if investors fulfilled the physical presence requirements (four to six months per year) of the D2 Entrepreneur visa.
Then the government blinked and opted for the end of the program and offered a modified D2 visa with a seven-day physical presence requirement for existing golden visa investors.
And now, the ruling party, which has an absolute majority in parliament, has proposed to retain all investment options barring real estate and capital transfers. While a positive development, the uncertainty continues since this is just another proposal.
Portugal Golden Visa Pathways
Whether the golden visa program will continue and, if it does, in what shape will be known only after parliament’s final vote on the More Housing bill on July 19.
If the latest amendment is approved, the investors are likely to have the following pathways to qualify for the golden visa once the law comes in force in August.
- Creation of ten jobs in Portugal
- €500,000 contribution towards scientific research
- €250,000 investment in cultural heritage or artistic productions
- €500,000 investment in VC funds or Investment funds
- Business investment that creates or maintains at least five jobs in the country.
While the bar on real estate makes some sense due to the disproportionate impact of golden visa investments on real estate prices in cities like Lisbon and Porto, the removal of the capital transfer option is surprising.
Implications for Golden Visa Investors
After the sudden termination of the Irish program and Greece’s decision to double minimum golden visa investments for some parts of the country, Portugal’s latest announcement will bring cheer to golden visa investors.
The world’s most popular golden visa program will continue with investors likely to retain the option of investing in real estate, albeit indirectly, through the Investment Funds route.
Further, this proposal settles doubts about the future of the investment migration industry. If Portugal continues with its program, then it would be safe to conclude that golden visa programs are just too beneficial for countries to shut them down.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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