Updated: August 21, 2023

You may have heard the 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 here 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 program 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 Portugal by ending the country’s Golden Visa program. However, the Golden Visa program will be retained and you can read more in this article below. 


Golden Visa Will Not Come to an End

The Portugal Golden Visa will not be coming to an end. On 19 July 2023, the Portuguese parliament approved a restructuring of the program, which will entail alterations in the qualifying investment criteria. Specifically, real estate investments will no longer be considered eligible under the scheme, but the Golden Visa will not end.

Here are the key implications of this legislation:

  • All pending SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) applications will be evaluated based on the laws in place at the time of their submission.
  • The minimum stay requirement to maintain residence permits will remain at an average of 7 days per year.
  • Renewals of residence permits will follow the same initial rules as before.
  • Family reunions will be guaranteed under the same terms as main applications.
  • Investment routes related to real estate and capital transfer will no longer be eligible.
  • The new law will take effect the day after its official publication.

Despite these changes, the Golden Visa program will continue to exist, and the following types of eligible investments will be allowed:

  • €500,000 in collective investment structures, such as funds not related to real estate
  • Setting up or investing in existing companies with a minimum investment of €500,000, creating jobs
  • Donations and other types of liberalities under artistic and scientific domains

Next Steps:

After the plenary’s approval, the proposal will be returned to the Commission responsible for finalizing the text within a specified timeframe, which might be five days if not already defined.

Once the final wording is settled, it will be published in the Assembly Gazette.

Within a three-day working period, corrections to the final wording can be requested, and a decision on these corrections will be made within 24 hours, subject to appeal.

Afterward, the text will be sent to the President of the Republic, who will have 20 days to ratify the proposal, leading to its final publication. Alternatively, the President can use a political veto, which the Assembly can override after 15 days. If the veto is surpassed, the President has eight days to enact the law. The text may also be sent to the Constitutional Court, where a pronouncement could take up to 25 additional days, possibly leading to amendments or reassessment.

If requested by one-fifth of the deputies (46 out of 230), a preventive analysis by the Constitutional Court is possible. After completing all the necessary steps, the final proposal is sent to the Diário da República for official publication, and it will take effect the day following publication.

If you are interested in the real estate option, we highly recommend that you begin your application now, before the new law comes into place. The law, as of today, remains in force, but we cannot, at this stage, guarantee how long the eligibility for real estate investment will last. 


Can I still apply for a Golden Visa?

Yes, you can still apply for the Portugal Golden Visa. If you are interested in the real estate option, we highly recommend that you begin your application now, before the new law comes into place.


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

The Golden Visa will not come to an end,  and there will simply be modifications to the program, namely that real estate investmetns are no longer eligible. At Goldcrest, we understand that the announcement of the Portugal Golden Visa changes 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 proceeding with the application in accordance with the legislation which is still in force.