Portugal to End Golden Visa Program

Portugal to End Golden Visa Program

Anastasiia Zapevalova
16 February 2023

At a meeting of the Portuguese government on February 16, 2022, the country's council of ministers approved the end of the Golden Visa program in an attempt to solve the housing problem. According to Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, the authorities hope that thanks to this decision, more residential real estate at affordable prices will appear on the market.

Once this decision is approved by Parliament and signed by the President, Portugal will stop issuing new Golden Visas to investors. Those who already have a "Golden Visa" will be able to extend it only if they or their children use the property in which they invested as their own home. It will also be possible to extend the visa by renting out this property.

Prime Minister António Costa's speech focused on the problems in the real estate market, but it was later confirmed that the program is to be phased out entirely. Those who have obtained the "Golden Visa" not through real estate investments will be able to extend their residence permit on suitable grounds outside the program. For example, if you have invested in a project related to culture, we will be able to extend the residence permit on the basis of cultural patronage.

The vote in parliament and the signing of the decree amending the legislation by the president will take one and a half to two months. Since the party representing the government is the parliamentary majority, it has the opportunity to pass the decree to roll back the program without changes, but more details can be expected to emerge in the draft as it is prepared for the vote and as it is debated in parliament.

Of the 11,535 Golden Visas issued by Portugal at the end of 2022, 10,593 were obtained through real estate investments. The total investment by foreign investors in the Portuguese real estate market since the launch of the program in 2012 has reached €6,041 million, of which €534.1 million (1,485 Golden Visas) is attributable to the purchase of urban properties for their rehabilitation.

The Portuguese Golden Visa program was the fastest route to the citizenship in EU through investment as its holders could apply for citizenship after five years without actually living in the country. People looking to move to Portugal can now use other types of visas such as D7 and D3, also known as the "passive income" and "high qualified professional" ones. There is also a special visa for Digital Nomads. These visas give their holders the opportunity to apply for Portuguese citizenship in five years as well. However, to do this, you have to live in Portugal for at least six months a year.

If you prefer to move to the EU through the investment route, you may be interested in the Greek Golden Visa program. Greece is about to double the minimum real estate investment requirements in the most popular investment regions from €250,000 to €500,000 in May 2023. Considering the time needed to find a reliable investment property opportunity and prepare the documents for the Golden Visa program, potential investors should make up their minds as soon as possible in order to get the residence permit by the old rules. You can find the information on where to invest and where to look for good investment properties to meet the minimum Golden Visa investment criteria in our detailed guide on the Athens real estate market. Here you can learn more about renting out your property in Greece on Airbnb.

Contact us today to know more about investing in real estate in Greece or about other options to get the residence permit in Portugal

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