Updated: February 14, 2024You may have heard about the Portugal Golden Visa ending. Keep reading to learn more about the program's closure and its future implications.
Since the Portugal Golden Visa program was launched in October 2022, the scheme has attracted numerous non-EU citizens seeking residency in the country, contributing significantly to the nation’s economic growth by bringing in substantial investments annually.
However, during a ministerial meeting on 16 February 2023, the Portuguese government introduced a series of measures to address various concerns regarding the country’s housing problem. As part of this initiative, measures to apparently end the Portugal Golden Visa were grafted.
However, while the program has experienced some important changes, the Golden Visa scheme will not come to an end. As per the newly implemented law, the program no longer accepts real estate or capital transfers as viable investment pathways.
The Portugal Golden Visa Has Not Ended
The Portugal Golden Visa program is not coming to an end. However, there were important modifications to the program. On 7 October 2023, the new legislation came into force, and it is no longer possible to invest in real estate to qualify for the program. The capital transfer option is also no longer available.
Below is information on the Mais Habitaçao Bill before we delve into the available Golden Visa investment options.
If you are interested in the Golden Visa Program, our residency and citizenship division, Global Citizen Solutions, would be happy to discuss your options with you. You can get in touch with them today.
Their Ultimate Guide to the Golden Visa is your comprehensive guide to the program.
If you are considering alternative routes for the Golden Visa, the investment funds option is an excellent option that has proved increasingly popular in recent years.
The Mais Habitação Bill
The Portuguese government announced on 16 February 2023 that a set of measures would be introduced to tackle the housing issue in the country. The Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa stated that there would be changes to the Golden Visa program as part of these efforts.
As of 19 July 2023, the Mais Habitação bill, significantly affecting the Golden Visa program, was approved by the Portuguese Parliament. This bill marks the end of the real estate investment avenues within the Golden Visa program.
Subsequently, on 21 August 2023, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa vetoed the Mais Habitação bill after careful consideration and thorough argumentation. The bill was returned to the Parliament for reevaluation based on the issues raised by the President.
On 7 October 2023, the Mais Habitação bill officially came into effect, incorporating various measures to combat the housing crisis in Portugal. The Portugal Golden Visa changes the bill put into place makes investments under the real estate categories of the Golden Visa Program no longer possible and capital transfer investments no longer eligible.
Golden Visa Investment Options
You can still apply for the Portugal Golden Visa. While real estate investments and capital transfer investment options are no longer available, there remain several other investment options, which can be found below:
- Fund subscription: Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund worth at least €500,000
- Artistic production or reconstruction of national heritage: Make an investment of at least €250,000
- Scientific research activities: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000
- Creation of jobs: Creation and maintenance of ten jobs during the required period
- Share capital and job creation: Incorporation of a company or reinforcement of a company’s share capital, in either case with an investment of €500,000, combined with the creation of five or maintaining ten jobs (five of them permanent)
Important Information about the Portuguese Golden Visa Program
In addition to the changes in investment options, the main consequences of this legislation encompass:
- Pending applications with SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) will be evaluated in accordance with the laws in place at the time of their submission.
- The minimum residency requirement to maintain residence permits – an average of seven days a year – remains unchanged.
- The renewal process for residence permits will continue to adhere to the original regulations.
- Family reunification conditions for dependents remain unchanged.
- Investment routes tied to real estate acquisition and capital transfers will no longer be considered qualifying investments.
- The law took effect on 7 October, the day following its official publication in the Diario da Republica.
We recommend working with a law firm that to assist you with your Golden Visa application. They will be able to assist you with information on the documents that you will need to present, plus guide you through the application process.
Golden Visa Investment Routes that are No Longer Available
- Capital transfers over €1,500,000 or more are no longer accepted.
- Purchasing real estate with a value of €500,000 or higher is no longer available for investors.
- Investing in rehabilitating real estate properties that are at least 30 years old, with a total investment of €350,000 or more, is no longer an option.
- Investing in property in low-density areas, €400,000 or €280,000, is no longer possible.
- Investing in funds that have direct or indirect real estate investments is an eligible investment route.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Portugal Golden Visa Program Ending
Is the Golden Visa Portugal ending?
No, the Portuguese Golden Visa program is not coming to an end. However, as of 7 October 2023, there were significant changes to the program. Under the new rules, it is no longer possible to invest in real estate and qualify for the program. Alongside this, the capital transfer pathway has been discontinued. However, there remain several excellent investment options on the table, such as investment funds and job creation routes.
What residency visa options are open to me?
The Portugal Golden Visa remains an attractive option despite real estate no longer qualifying for the program. For example, the venture capital fund investment option is an excellent way to secure residency in Portugal under the scheme.
However, Portugal has many visas open whereby you can secure a residence permit in the country, including the D7 Visa, the Digital Nomad Visa, and the D3 Visa. To determine which residency option is best for you, we recommend working with immigration lawyers.
What are the 2023 changes to the Portugal's Golden Visa program?
The Portuguese Government introduced the “Mais Habitação Law” on 6 October 2023, which led to significant modifications for the Portugal Golden Visa. Following the enactment of this law, it is no longer possible to make investments within the real estate category of Portugal’s Golden Visa. The capital transfer option has also been discontinued.
What is a Golden Visa program?
Golden Visas are investment programs whereby you can secure residency – or, in some cases, citizenship – in return for a foreign investment into the country.
In Portugal, the Portuguese Golden Visa was launched in 2012 and has since become one of the most popular residency by investment schemes of its kind.
What is the latest on Portugal's Golden Visa ending?
If you have done a quick search on your chosen search engine for keywords such as “Portugal ending Golden Visa” or “Is Portugal Golden Visa ending” over the past year, you’ll find plenty of updates on the topic.
However, the Golden Visa is not coming to an end. Importantly, the program has undergone some significant changes as per the new law that came into force on 7 October 2023. From this date onwards, it is no longer possible to invest in real estate property (both residential properties and commercial real estate) or make a capital transfer to qualify for the program. There remain several investment types to choose from, including investment funds, job creation, and making an investment into cultural production.