The 2020 State Budget provided for some important changes to the Golden Visa programme that will come into effect as of January 1, 2022. These legislative updates limit some criteria previously established at inception almost 10 years ago. These modifications do not signal the end of the Golden Visa programme. However, these changes can significantly impact the type of investments made in Portugal. The two main measures adopted are:
▪ Restrictions of real estate investments necessary for the granting of Golden Visa to interior districts of the country as well as Madeira and the Azores. Real estate investment in Porto, Lisbon and Algarve will no longer ensure the granting of a Golden Visa;
▪ Increase in the minimum value of investments and the number of jobs required for approval of a Golden Visa.
Measures in the Golden Visa are not retroactive
All Golden Visa beneficiaries until January 2022 will maintain their benefits, even with the planned changes. Thus, those who already have a visa or who are in the process of proceeding through the current steps provided for in the current law will keep the visa as is. This measure is not retroactive, that is, it does not affect existing processes or even those that began to be processed until the date the restrictions came into effect.
All Golden Visa beneficiaries until January 2022
Thus, applicants who already have a visa or are in the process of proceeding through the aspects provided for in the current law will keep the visa. Restrictions on real estate investments necessary for the granting of a Golden Visa continue to apply to the interior territories of the country, Madeira and the Azores. Real estate investment in Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve will no longer be allowed for allotting of Golden Visa status. Increase in the criteria for investments or the number of jobs will be required for approval.
Applications can be placed until the end of the year
Despite having presented a drop in the number of Golden Visa requests in recent years, the trend is for the requests to accelerate in the coming months, since it is possible to apply until the end of 2021. However, it is worth considering the average period of three months to be able to make the request. Thus, those who still intend to apply in the current form of the programme should take advantage of the last months of 2021 to carry out all stages of the process.
Who can apply for the Golden Visa Portugal?
Foreign citizens from outside the European Union Community, that is, those who do not have European citizenship can still request the status. In addition, they must carry out one of the eight types of investments defined in the visa modality. The investment can be made in person or through a company incorporated in Portugal, or in another EU member state of the European Union with a permanent establishment in Portugal.
Golden Visa and real estate speculation
One of the main reasons for restricting real estate investment in large Portuguese cities is the impact that investment has on the real estate market. The programme was created at a time when the country was still lacking foreign investment and was emerging from one of the worst financial crises in Portuguese history.
By Dennis Swing Greene