Lisbon, Portugal

Global investors wowed by Portuguese Golden Visa upgrade to ‘Platinum’

New proposals to be discussed in parliament 

Despite months, arguably years of controversy, and several recent weeks seemingly on death row, Portugal’s opinion-dividing Golden Visa program looks set to rise, shining, from the ashes of the country’s political fireplace.

The path of Portugal’s ‘Authorisation of Residency for Investment (ARI)’, as it is formally known, has never run smoothly – especially so amid the recent and hugely controversial ‘Mais Habitação’ proposals – where critics were gleefully celebrating its curtailment.

But what a difference a few days, and the input of a few housing policy and inward investment consultants, can make.

“This political football has been kicked not just into touch, but right out of the stadium,” said João Facta, CEO of Anglo-Portuguese Investment Influencers ‘Luso Takes It All’ LDA. “We are so pleased to see that the Portuguese government has come to its senses and not only reinstated its Golden Visa, but actually taken it to the next logical, commercial level.”

Nicknamed the ‘Platinum Visa’, insiders are suggesting that central to the revised plan, is the allocation of foreclosed properties seized by Portuguese banks to foreign investors for residential and commercial use, preferably in the form of hotels or short-term lets.

“The buildings will only be available to non-Portuguese investors who will also get five years free electricity courtesy of EDP, who are proud to support foreign investment in Portugal,” said another proponent of the new proposals, Zé Nomore – a sustainable gentrification expert and social impact hedge fund manager.

“If all goes according to plan, there will be no tax payable on profit generated, at least for the first fifteen years of the scheme,” he said. “A Portuguese passport will be granted after just two years, with no out-dated language test, because English is all you need in the modern business environment. A feasibility study considering the creation of an actual gold-plated residency card has also been initiated.”

Critics have jokingly said that the new Golden Visa might as well include “a lifetime supply of pastel de natas”, an idea now actually under consideration as an additional ‘deal sweetener’.

EU officials, perhaps the fiercest of critics of Golden Visa schemes across Europe, are thought to be furious at the u-turn, and have vowed to fine Portugal heavily should its government implement these ideas. Pro -Platinum insiders are suggesting that this will literally be a “small price to pay”, given what can be gained by the Portuguese people, “or at least some of them”.

The new proposals are expected to be put before the Portuguese legislature on April 31st.

Guest contributor: Carl Munson

Enjoy a light-hearted look at life in Portugal with Carl Munson on the Good Morning Portugal! Show, every weekday morning