With the aim of encouraging investments in low-density areas, the Portuguese Government is given authority to make changes to the investment options for Portugal Golden Visa. An update to Portugal’s popular Golden Visa program was enabled through the parliament in February 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic came to rescue the program from the potential changes, at least for a little while longer. The changes are currently postponed. No wonder Portugal enjoys the incoming international funds, raised by SEF. However, it would be fair to assume that they will eventually come into effect.
1.Does it mean Portugal Golden Visa is coming to an end?
No, the proposal introduces amendments on the investment types for the Golden Visa.
2.What is the reason behind these changes?
The idea behind this proposal is to increase the investments in the inland areas and autonomous regions of Azores and Madeira. With this aim, the proposal excludes some investment types out of Portugal Golden Visa scheme.
3.Which investment options will not be qualify for the Golden Visa?
Real estate investment option in high density areas like Lisbon and Porto will not be accepted anymore for Golden Visa applications. Only property investments in low density areas will be valid for the Golden Visa.
4.Which investment routes are still valid for the Golden Visa?
Most of the investment routes remains unaffected by the changes;
- Creation of 10 job positions
- Capital transfer
- Capital transfer for scientific research activities
- Capital transfer into natural cultural heritage
- Capital transfer for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital fund
The proposal does not clarify if new investment types will be added or the existing options will be removed. Also, an increase on the minimum investment amount is expected.
5.When the changes will be implemented?
The amendments on Golden Visa which are included in State Budget Legislative Proposal 2020, still being discussed by the Portuguese parliament. It is not possible to give an exact date but we can say that the proposal might be approved by the end of February 2020.
Even though the proposal is approved, it can not be implemented immediately as it is an authorization given to Portuguese Government until December 31, 2020 to make amendments on the Golden Visa scheme.
We don’t expect Portuguese Government to start legislative procedure until 2021.
6.Will this affect the ones who already attained their Golden Visa?
No, it is not going to affect already visa holders. The changes can only be implemented after it is approved by the president and published as law.
7.After the law published, will it be possible to apply for renewal of the residence permit?
Yes, the residence permit holders (the investors and their family members) will be able to renew their permit.
8.Will this affect those who already applied for the Golden Visa?
No, the Golden Visa applications done before the legalisation of the new law, will still be conducted by the current regulations.
9.Will this affect the route citizenship?
No, the proposal which is under discussion only suggests changes in the Foreigner Act. The Portugal Citizenship Act remains unaffected by the changes. Thus, there is no change about the citizenship application process.