Portugal No Longer Closing Golden Visa Program: Amended, Not Abandoned

In a surprising shift of policy, Portugal’s governing Socialist Party has proposed changes and revisions to the country’s Golden Visa program. Initially aiming to close the program entirely, the party now seeks to retain a significant portion of the program, excluding only real estate investments and capital transfer options. The sudden turn of events has industry experts and potential investors around the world very intrigued. This blog aims to break down the key points of the proposal and provide insights into its potential implications.

An Unexpected Policy Change

The Socialist Party’s proposal came as a shock to many, as they had initially designed the More Housing bill, which sought to end the Golden Visa program entirely. The Golden Visa has been a popular choice for foreign investors seeking Portuguese residency, primarily through real estate investments and capital transfers. However, these two investment options are going to no longer be available, with the party planning to retain other avenues for obtaining the Golden Visa. While the exact date for when this change will be implemented is not confirmed, it is expected to begin around August 2023.

The Retained Investment Options

The proposed amendments highlight the government’s new focus on other forms of investment. The government now aims to maintain the following routes:

  1. Creation of at least 10 jobs
  2. Scientific research contribution (€500,000 EUR)
  3. Cultural heritage/artistic production (€250,000 EUR)
  4. Venture capital/Investment funds (€500,000 EUR)
  5. Business investment that preserves or creates at least five jobs

These routes suggest a strategic shift toward promoting investments that directly contribute to job creation, scientific progress, cultural preservation, and entrepreneurial innovation.

Transition and Implementation

Interestingly, the proposal does not specify a transition period. This omission suggests that the new law could be implemented as early as August. The Portuguese Association of Immigration, Investment, and Relocation (PAIIR) has announced a discussion period before the final vote on the bill on July 19th, where the industry will gain more clarity on the program’s future.

Conclusion

While the proposed changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa program might initially appear unexpected, they do indicate a significant change in Portugal’s approach to foreign investment. By shifting away from real estate and capital transfer investments and focusing more on contributions to job creation, research, culture, and business, the government signals its intent to steer foreign investment toward areas that generate more socio-economic benefits.

However, the absence of a transition period might pose challenges. Stakeholders, potential investors, and industry specialists should pay close attention to the final wording of the law and prepare for the rapid changes that might be just around the corner.

Scroll to Top