Portugal Golden Visa
Portugal Golden Visa: Find out about all the 2021 updates, get in touch, and let us help you speed up the process before the new changes are introduced.
Announcement of Changes to Portugal's Golden Visa Program
As of May 1, 2021, Portugal's Golden Visa initiative, launched in May 2012 to attract foreign investment, is undergoing significant transformations. The Portuguese government has officially approved a decree-law that reshapes the legal framework governing investment-based residence permits. This program has notably invigorated the real estate sector in recent years.
The forthcoming changes are designed to redirect foreign investments towards Portugal's interior regions and islands. This shift, supported by the socialist government and championed in Parliament, aims to encourage foreign investment in less densely populated areas. The initiative encompasses various endeavors such as urban rejuvenation, cultural heritage preservation, eco-friendly and socially impactful projects, productive investments, and job creation.
Acknowledging the persistent economic challenges and the vital role played by the Golden Visa program in the real estate sector, a transitional period has been introduced. This period allows the industry to adapt gradually to the impending changes instead of an abrupt implementation at the start of the year, as initially proposed. The Minister of State emphasized that the evolving legislative context necessitated a more measured approach.
Starting in May 2021, the plan to restrict Golden Visas to specific geographic regions and low-density real estate investments will not be enforced immediately. Instead, a phased implementation will unfold, extending until the end of 2022.
During this transitional period, individuals interested in obtaining residence permits through real estate investments in Lisbon, Porto, and coastal areas will still be eligible under the existing regulations. However, the requirements for obtaining Golden Visas will progressively become more stringent, while investment opportunities in these metropolitan zones will decrease.
At present, the law stipulates that a Golden Visa can be obtained by investing 500,000 euros or more in real estate or by purchasing a building over 30 years old within an urban redevelopment area, necessitating an overall investment of 350,000 euros for rehabilitation.
Over the past eight years, the program has granted 9,340 Golden Visas, linked to investments totaling 5,611 million euros. The majority, 8,782 visas and 5,071 million euros, have been in the real estate sector, with capital transfers contributing 541 visas and 5,398 million euros.
The overarching objective of these regulatory changes is to steer foreign investment away from major urban centers and popular tourist destinations and towards inter-municipal communities in the interior and autonomous regions of Portugal.
To date, only 17 visas have been issued for job creation, and three for capital transfer related to strengthening a company's financial base and the creation or preservation of job opportunities. Notably, two categories have yet to attract any investors: one requiring a minimum artistic production investment of 250 thousand euros, and another demanding a minimum scientific research investment of 350 thousand euros.
Stay updated on the developments in Portugal's Golden Visa program in 2021. If you require further guidance, consider scheduling a free consultation today.