Portuguese government moves to end popular golden visa program: Image: Adobe Stock

Portuguese government moves to end popular golden visa program

The Portuguese government is set to scrap its Golden Visa scheme following the recent local housing crisis in the country


Portuguese government moves to end popular golden visa program: Image: Adobe Stock

The Portuguese prime minister on 16 February stated that Portugal’s highly attractive residency-by-investment solution’s days are numbered.

In recent years, Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme has been a popular investment choice for those looking to move to and invest in the country. The programme was launched in 2012 and allowed foreign, non-EU citizens to gain residency status in Portugal in exchange for an investment of €500,000.

Over the years additional investment categories were introduced, reducing the minimum investment threshold to €280,000. It has been, and still is, particularly popular with South Africans seeking a Plan B residency option, due to the low physical presence requirement.

The scheme has been successful in bringing new capital and foreign national residents to Portugal. The influx of capital has positively impacted the Portuguese economy by creating new construction and renovation jobs, stimulating local markets and services, increasing tourism, and contributing to Portugal’s international financial standing. However, in November 2022, Prime Minister António Costa said he believed the program had served its purpose. 

The Prime Minister’s offerings

Now, the Prime Minister has presented general terms of a housing reform proposal. This preliminary proposal includes changes to the Golden Visa Investment Scheme in an effort to address a shortage of rentals available to locals. 

The next steps are:

  • A public consultation process with all relevant stakeholders being asked for feedback (over the next month)
  • A final proposal drafted and presented to Parliament to be voted on 
  • Considering of any further amendments
  • A return to Parliament for general approval

If approved, it will then be sent to the President of the Republic for ratification or reconsideration. 

For those who are already invested in the program, it is important to understand that no changes have yet been legislated or approved. There is a bigger underlying question, which will have to be debated, as to if the Portuguese parliament can change the terms of the Golden Visa for those already invested in the program. Sable International, alongside all its partners in Portugal, will be active in the public hearings over the next period.

If you are considering a golden visa investment, Portugal is not the only attractive option. As the Golden Visa market leader in South Africa, Sable International can help you find the right program to fit you and your family’s specific needs. 

Get in touch with an investment migration consultant now at im@sableinternational.com or call us on +27 (0) 21 657 1584.

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