The future of the Portugal Golden Visa explained

Portugal Golden Visa changes

Published: 10 October 2023

The fate of the Portugal Golden Visa has been up in the air since sweeping changes were announced by Prime Minister António Costa in February 2016.

The aim was to tackle the country’s housing problem, and the Portugal Golden Visa found itself in the crosshairs of the proposed measures.

What followed was months of back-and-forth and complex processes that are beyond the scope of this article. Now, eight months later, the saga has reached a conclusion.

And while the programme will continue, it has undergone significant changes.

In this article, we break down everything you need to know about the Portugal Golden Visa in 2023 and beyond, including the recent changes and the future of the programme.

What is the Portuguese Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa (PGV) is a residency by investment (RBI) programme for non-EU citizens. It grants a residence permit, which gives the holder and their family members the right 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 €7bn for the local economy through foreign investment.

Today, it is one of the most popular RBI schemes in the world. The 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 as a non-habitual resident (NHR)
  • Visa-free travel to European countries within the Schengen Area
  • Short stay requirement
  • The ability to apply for Portuguese citizenship after five years

the Portugal Golden Visa can lead to citizenship

TLDR – key updates to the Portugal Golden Visa

Some of the critical updates to the Portugal Golden Visa for 2023 and beyond include:

  • The programme remains active, but the investment options have changed
  • Real estate investments are no longer possible
  • The law does not apply retroactively – this includes previous applications and subsequent renewals

Portugal Golden Visa changes in detail

The Mais Habitação (more housing) bill came into effect in October 2023. The aim of the bill is to provide more affordable housing in the country.

This means increasing the number of rental properties while limiting rent increases. The bill also looks to tackle the country’s housing crisis by combating growing property speculation.

Prime Minister António Costa originally announced the bill in February 2023 and promised significant changes to the country’s Golden Visa scheme.

There were fears that the programme could be scrapped altogether. Instead, the scheme continues, just in a revised form, with major changes being made, namely to the types of investments that are allowed.

With these changes now live, it is no longer possible to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa with a real estate investment. This includes both commercial properties and residential properties.

Aside from the real estate option no longer being available, some of the other changes to the programme’s investment options include:

  • The capital transfer investment option of €1,500,000 is no longer accepted
  • Fund investments that have direct or indirect ties to real estate investments are no longer accepted

Portugal Golden Visa investment options in 2023 and beyond

With the “Mais Habitação Law” now published by the Portuguese government, the real estate investment option is now off the table.

However, there are now new and revised options for those looking to secure a Portugal Golden Visa.

The two main investment options are:

Invest into funds:

A minimum investment of €500,000 in a venture capital fund.

Capital transfer option:

Make a capital transfer of at least €500,000 in research activities. Alternatively, a €250,000 investment can be made in preserving national heritage in Portugal.

How can Holborn Pass help?

Despite the changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa, it is likely to remain one of the most popular residency by investment programmes in Europe.

One of the main reasons for this is the ability to become a Portuguese citizen within five years. This allows investors to secure a European passport, granting additional benefits such as visa-free travel to 188 countries worldwide.

If you want to secure your Portugal Golden Visa, we can help.

Holborn is an international leader in investor visas. We have a 100% success rate with applications, and we account for 10% of all global Portugal Golden Visa applications.

We are a part of the wider Holborn Assets Group, a leading financial services company with a global footprint. Our experts provide a bespoke, end-to-end service and tailored advice to support your needs and goals.

To learn more about any of our residency or citizenship programmes, contact Holborn Pass and find out how we can help you.

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