Portugal Plans to Replace Golden Visa with a D2

Portugal Plans to Replace Golden Visa with a D2

Anastasiia Zapevalova
16 April 2023

The Portuguese government has published the final version of the Mais Habitação bill, which will be discussed in parliament in the coming weeks. Several concessions were made from the original March 30 draft, making the final version much less controversial.

One of the main changes regarding the first draft is the elimination of all measures that would give the law retroactive effect. The government initially proposed considering the program's end date to be February 16, which would have voided all applications submitted after that date. This caused widespread criticism, since according to the Portuguese constitution, the law cannot be retroactive or affect events that occurred before its adoption. The new version of the bill emphasizes that it will be possible to apply for Golden Visas under the old rules until the law repealing the program comes into force. This is a significant relief for many investors who completed transactions after February 16 and are ready to file with the SEF soon.

In another major concession, the government is proposing to replace first-time applications for Golden Visas that have not yet been issued, converting initial Golden Visas that have not yet been issued, as well as visas that investors wish to renew, to entrepreneurial visas. D2 with special conditions. Unlike regular D2 holders, investors who applied for Golden Visas will not be subject to the 183-day annual presence requirement. As in the current program, their minimum stay in Portugal will be seven days.

Read also: Investing in funds in Portugal

In addition, the government is now proposing to allow residence permits based on investment for those who invest money to support "artistic production and the restoration or conservation of cultural heritage." Such investments will require the approval of one or more competent authorities. These bodies include the Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade, the Development Bank, the Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation, the National Agency for Innovation, the Directorate of Cultural Strategy, Planning and Evaluation and others depending on the area.

The bill states that the Golden Visa program will end on the date the law takes effect. The exact date is not known, but given the parliamentary schedule, there are at least 45 days left before the law is adopted. There is no transition period, so lawyers recommend that investors who want to get a Portuguese residence permit through real estate investments hurry up.

It is also important to remember that although the final version of the bill offers a softer approach than originally planned, this does not mean that the law will ultimately be adopted in this version. Moreover, the changes can be either towards a more investor-friendly or a more stringent option.

Overall, industry experts welcome the changes to the final Mais Habitação as they demonstrate that authorities are listening to market reactions. Investors who are ready to buy still have the opportunity to take advantage of the program.

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