Updated: March 16, 2023

You may have heard news about the Portugal Golden Visa ending. A million questions may be running through your mind. When does the Portugal Golden Visa end? How does this affect my investment? Will my visa application be negatively impacted? We’re hear to answer your questions and tell you what you need to know about the Portugal Golden Visa Endling.

Portugal’s Golden Visa program was created in 2012 as a way for non-EU citizens to gain residency in the country.The prorgam resulted in millions of euros worth of foreign investment in Portugal. With real estate investment having been the most popular route, rent and housing prices steadily increased. Now, the Portuguese government is attempting to address the lack of affordable housing in one of Western Europe’s poorest economies by ending the country’s Golden Visa program.


Update 9 March 2023

The Portuguese government announced on 9 March that the decision for potential changes within the scope of the Golden Visa would no longer be decided and announced on 16 March. The public consultation period has now been extended until 24 March.

The government is awaiting the opinion of the Association of Municipalities, which should only be issued on the 21 March, so the government’s decision-making has been postponed until 30 March. We should then have an announcement of the government’s intentions.

This postponement is a positive sign, as it reveals that there will be greater weighting on this topic, perhaps as a result of the pressure that has been felt from stakeholders.


So, what does this mean for the Portugal Golden Visa?


If you have a valid Portugal Golden Visa, you may be wondering how this affects you. Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa has stated that foreign real estate buyers wishing to renew their existing Golden Visas can do so only if they use their properties as their own home or if these units are placed in the long-term rental market.

Questions about the longevity of Portugal’s Golden Visa program are not new. In 2021, Prime Minister Costa’s administration started to restrict residence permits and, in 2022, introduced Golden Visa changes that excluded locations like Lisbon from being eligible for real estate investment.


What comes next?

Following this period of the so-called public consultation, the Council of Ministers will meet again and approve its final version of the package of measures on 16 March 2023. 

The Portuguese government is not legally able to make changes to the Golden Visa program. The Assembly of the Republic is the body responsible for approving any proposed changes. To do so, they will need to receive a proposal outlining the measures for voting. 

The following points provide information on the procedure for the ending of the Portuguese Golden Visa. 

  • As mentioned, the process to end the Portugal Golden Visa involves a one-month public hearing. Following this, a proposal will be sent to Parliament on 24 March. This was extended from 16 March as the government is awaiting the opinion of the Association of Municipalities, which should only be issued on 21 March. The government’s decision-making has therefore been postponed until 30 March. The approval of this is expected to take between 15 to 20 days.
  • The President will react in one of three ways:
    • Ratify the proposal
    • Return it to Parliament for it to be amended
    • Ask the Constitutional Court to evaluate it
  • The governing party is able to approve the measures as they hold the majority. However, with this said, other parties can propose alternative wording during public hearings. These proposals can influence the final wording of the law on the topic.


Is there a deadline for the Portugal Golden Visa ending?

It is not yet announced when the implementation of the amendments will take place or what the exact content of the final amendments to the legislation will be. However, the current legislation regarding the Golden Visa is expected to remain unchanged for the next 45 days at least. 

There is a high risk that the Golden Visa will face complete termination in the short-to-medium term, but there is room for interpretation that the residency program could still exist in some form or other. 

The important takeaway is that there is still time to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa. If you are interested in applying, time is of the essence, and we advise you to begin your application now. 

Other residency visas were not discussed, such as the D7 Visa and the Digital Nomad Visa. If some of the proposed measures are approved, they may require changes in the current law. 

Regarding existing Golden Visa cases, the Portuguese government aims to renew these but add extra requirements that address the housing issue.


What does this mean for the future of the Portugal Golden Visa program?

The process described above is highly transparent, which allows for their progress and discussions to be followed by the public, bringing stability and allowing all stakeholders to adjust their expectations and act accordingly.   

At Goldcrest, we understand that the announcement of the Portugal Golden Visa ending may cause distress and uncertainty. We aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information possible and are committed to analyzing our clients’ unique positions within their investment cycle and proceed with the application in accordance with the legislation which is still in force.


Our residency and citizenship division, Global Citizen Solutions, engaged in the public consultation stage of the Golden Visa ending

Global Citizen Solutions created a task force commission composed of immigration, economic, and real estate experts, which resulted in a proposal submitted to the Portuguese government.

The main objective of the document is to raise awareness amongst policymakers of the potential loss of the Golden Visa if carried out as announced by the government. At present, Global Citizen Solutions is engaged in the public consultation stage regarding the future of the Golden Visa program.

They offer alternative proposals for real estate and funds and investment options that do not contribute to the current housing crisis in Portugal. With this final proposal submitted to the government, the aim is to provide detailed information for the best governmental decision-making regarding the Golden Visa. If you would like to read the document, you can find it here.

The document is in Portuguese. We recommend that anybody that does not understand Portuguese use https://www.deepl.com/translator to translate the document (or alternatively, CHatGPT).

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