Is it adeus for the Portugal Golden Visa?
Published: 7 March 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.**
On February 16th 2023, the Portuguese government announced changes to the country’s golden visa programme.
However, the announcement has created more questions than answers. So, is the country’s hugely successful golden visa programme ending?
In this article, we shed some light on the recent announcement and what we know so far. We also highlight all of the other critical information you need to know about the Portugal Golden Visa.
The Portuguese Golden Visa explained
The Portugal Golden Visa is a residency by investment programme launched in 2012. It allows non-EU nationals to obtain a residency permit by making a qualifying investment.
The main objective of the golden visa is to boost the country’s economy through foreign investment, something it has been very successful in doing.
Since its launch over 10 years ago, the scheme has brought in over €6bn for the local economy.
The scheme is one of the most popular and sought-after of its kind in Europe for several reasons. Some of these include:
- The ability to apply for citizenship after five years and obtains a Portuguese passport
- Fewer travel restrictions with visa-free travel within the Schengen zone
- Short stay requirements – you only need to stay in the country for seven days each year on average
- Access to a favourable tax system
What we know so far
After months of speculation, Prime Minister António Costa announced that Portugal would end their golden visa programme. Or at least the property side of the scheme.
The move is part of a series of measures designed to tackle the country’s housing crisis and combat growing property speculation.
Costa’s announcement led people to believe this was the end of the road for the hugely popular residency by investment visa. However, there are lots of moving parts to consider.
What happens next?
Ending the scheme is more complex, as the government can not legally make changes, or scrap, the golden visa.
The assembly of the Republic has the power to approve any proposed changes. But first, they need a proposal. For this, the measures are submitted for public scrutiny.
After the announcement on February 16th, the process entered a public consultation phase. This is a one-month public hearing, likely involving those from industries impacted by the measures to voice their thoughts.
This means on March 16th 2023, the Portuguese government will be sent a proposal for approval. From here, final approval is expected to take 15-20 days.
Can I still get a Portuguese Golden Visa?
We are in a period of uncertainty at the moment, and there are still a lot of questions surrounding the Portugal Golden Visa.
However, what we can say for certain at the time of writing is that the golden visa is still available to non-EU citizens under the current rules. The current laws that are in place are expected to remain unchanged for 45 days as of February 16th 2023.
That means there is still time to secure your residence permit card through the existing real estate investment options.
Currently, the real estate options for that qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa Programme are:
- A real estate purchase worth at least €500,000 or €400,000 if it is located in a low-density area
- Invest €350,000 in a property within an urban regeneration area. If the property is also located in a low-density area, this drops to €280,000
A residential property in Porto, Lisbon, as well as some of the country’s coastal areas, will no longer qualify.
What other ways can I obtain a golden visa in Portugal?
Costa’s announcement was primarily focused on the property investment aspect of the golden visa.
While real estate investments remain the most popular option for those wanting to take advantage of the golden visa scheme, other types of investments exist.
This option requires a capital transfer of at least €1.5 million.
Contribute at least €500,000 to a qualifying science or technology project.
Invest at least €500,000 in a qualifying investment fund.
There are different job creation options:
- Create 10 full-time jobs in a local business owned by the main applicant. Eight full-time jobs if the company is within a low-density area.
- Invest €500,000 in an existing business in Portugal, creating five new full-time jobs lasting a minimum of three years
Art of national heritage investment
Make a minimum donation of €250,000 to a qualifying arts project or the reconstruction of a national heritage site.
The information above is subject to change as more news emerges on March 16th. Speak to one of our team, who can advise you based on the latest developments.
Citizenship and residency with Holborn
While the future of the Portugal Golden Visa remains unclear, investors can still apply under the current rules. If you want to take advantage of the country’s residency scheme, now is the time to act.
If you are ready to get started, we can help.
Holborn Pass works closely with some of the most well-known and trusted golden visa programmes.
We offer a complete end-to-end solution for those wanting to secure residency and citizenship in a number of worldwide locations, including Portugal.
Our team will guide you through the application process and help you find an investment option that is right for you.
Secure your future today with Holborn. Book a free, no-obligation meeting today with one of our experts to find out how we can help you.