Updated: May 23, 2024

 

americans living in portugalSince 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

why invest in portugalThe 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

portugal-golden-visaThe 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

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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

portugal sagresIn 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

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  • 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.

 

Other Residency Options

Although the Golden Visa is still open to applicants, and the investment fund pathway is proving to be very popular with investors, there are other ways to get Portuguese residency.

Portugal has many visas open where 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 and getting in touch with our residency and citizenship division, Global Citizen Solutions.

Goldcrest: How We Can Help You 

Goldcrest is a buyer’s agent that is based in Lisbon. We provide expert, impartial advice on real estate investments and how to buy property in Portugal. From scouting out the perfect property through to property acquisition, we have you covered throughout the process.

If you are looking to purchase property in Portugal, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of skilled experts is available to solve all your real estate doubts, helping you with the property search and offering insightful expertise and strategic advice.

Why choose Goldcrest?

  • Local knowledge: With offices located across Portugal, our presence nationwide allows us to assist you personally across the country.
  • Independent service: As an independent buying agent, we do not represent any development or project. Our service is entirely tailored toward each individual client, providing you with everything you need to secure the perfect property at the best possible price. As an impartial advisor on the market, we work solely on behalf of our client and provide a service tailored to your needs and requirements.
  • Streamlined process: Our real estate agents speak English and Portuguese, and our service is completely focused on providing you with a hassle-free buying experience, saving you time.
  • Experienced team: Our expert real estate team has a vast local knowledge of the Portuguese property market. We have cutting-edge technology and metasearch tools at your disposal to provide full market coverage, ensuring the best investment choices and negotiated prices.
  • Network of partners: Lawyers, property management services, builders, architects, designers, and landscape gardeners, again saving you time and hassle by providing you with trusted experts in their field of work.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Portugal Golden Visa Program 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 Portugal Golden Visa 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Portugal Golden Visa is not coming to an end and there is no end date to the program being open to investors.

The Portugal Golden Visa remains open to investors. Fund investments are currently one of the most popular investment pathways, although there is also the opportunity to invest in cultural projects, scientific research, and job creation.

No, Portugal is not stopping the Golden Visa. The residency by investment program remains a popular pathway for investors to secure residency in Portugal for a qualifying investment, wth a range of options on the table.

Portugal has no plans to halt the Golden Visa program and Golden Visa applications are open. This residency by investment program continues to be a sought-after avenue for investors looking to obtain residency in Portugal through eligible investments, with various options available for consideration. Alongside this, Portugal has a number of attractive visa options, including the D7 Visa and Digital Nomad Visa, making it easy to get a residence permit and relocate to Portugal.

While the avenue to Portuguese citizenship via property investment through the Portugal Golden Visa closed in October 2023, the program remains open. Investors can still pursue their goal of acquiring an EU, making 2024 a promising year for those seeking this opportunity.