Final boarding call for the Portugal Golden Visa

Praia do Camilo beach at sunrise near Lagos town, Algarve province, Portugal. White sand beach with in rocky lagoon.

Published: 24 April 2023

**Some of the Portugal Golden Visa's rules and criteria have changed since this article was published. Please visit our Portugal residency by investment page for the latest information and to download a factsheet.**

After 11 years, it looks like this could be the final boarding call for the Portugal Golden Visa.

The scheme has established itself as one of the most popular and sought-after of its kind in Europe and worldwide.

But in February, the Portuguese Government announced its intention to scrap the programme. Now, after months of uncertainty about its future, we have some clarity on its future.

And while the bill is bad news for the country’s hugely successful golden visa programme, there is some good news for investors in the short term.

In this article, we break down everything you need to know about the upcoming changes to the Portugal Golden Visa. We will also explore some of the other options for future investors.

What is the Portuguese Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa (PGV) is a residency by investment programme for non-EU nationals. It grants a residence permit, allowing holders to live, work and study in Portugal.

The programme aims to boost the country’s economy by attracting foreign investment. Since it launched in 2012, the programme has brought in over €6bn for the local economy through foreign investment.

But beyond Portugal’s charms, its golden visa programme offers a wide range of benefits, such as:

  • A favourable tax system – pay little to no tax for up to 10 years
  • Visa-free travel in Europe
  • Short stay requirement
  • The ability to apply for citizenship after five years

Upcoming changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa

On February 16th 2023, the Portuguese Government announced that it would end its Golden Visa programme as part of its ‘More Housing’ bill.

What followed was months of back-and-forth discussion, changes to the bill and uncertainty. But on April 14th, the Government revealed the final proposal.

It’s important to understand that this final proposal is just that – a proposal. It is now subject to discussion in Parliament for it to become law.

If the bill is passed, the golden visa program will be scrapped. However, it’s not as bad as some people first thought.

Let’s look at some of the main talking points.

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The main talking points

There is a lot to unpack with the More Housing bill. Here are some of the key points from the final proposal.

No retroactivity

The original proposal had a cut-off date for applications submitted from February 16th.

This was bad news for anyone looking to get an application in before the programme ended, as any put forward after this date would have been void.

It has now been confirmed that the law, if passed, will not apply retroactively to current applications or renewals.

The TL;DR here is applications continue to be accepted as usual until the bill becomes law.

No changes to the minimum stay requirement

One of the benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa that has made it so popular is the minimum stay requirement.

With new and existing golden visas being converted to D2 visas (more on that in the next section), there were fears the minimum stay requirement could drastically increase.

However, the final proposal of the bill confirms the 7 days per year minimum stay requirement will remain in place.

Golden visa to D2 visa – minus the 183-day requirement

Pending golden visa applications and renewals will be converted to a D2 Entrepreneurs permit. The big concern was around the minimum stay requirement.

D2 visas require you to be in the country for 183 days each year. However, golden visas converted to D2 visas will retain the 7 days per year requirement.

Portugal Golden Visa, Passport image

Can you still apply?

You still have a narrow window of opportunity if you want to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa under the current rules – but time is running out.

The final proposal must now follow the parliamentary approval process. This involves scrutiny and discussion in Parliament for it to become a law.

This process could take at least 35 days from the submission date (April 14th). That puts the end date to around the end of May or the beginning of June.

Remember, you have until the law actually changes to submit your application, as they won’t be looked at retroactively.

Other options for investors

As for the Portugal Golden Visa, this looks like the end of the programme as we know it.

However, there are other options for investors.

Like its outgoing Portuguese counterpart, the Greece Golden Visa allows you to live, work and study in the country. You also get visa-free travel within Europe.

A qualifying real estate investment starts at €250,000, and the programme offers a quick processing time.

For those looking for greater global mobility with attractive investment costs, St Lucia offers citizenship starting from just $100,000.

With a passport from the Caribbean island nation, you gain visa-free access to over 140 countries.

If you are interested in the Greece or St Lucia golden visas, speak to one of our specialists .

Holborn Pass works closely with some of the world’s most trusted and well-established golden visa programmes.

We offer a complete end-to-end solution for those looking to secure residency and citizenship in countries across the globe.

Our team will work with you to find an investment option that is right for you and help guide you through the application process from start to finish.

Secure your golden visa with Holborn Pass. Book a free, no-obligation meeting today with one of our experts to find out how we can help you.

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