NHR Programme 2024: New Transitory Regime in the Wake of Political Crisis in Portugal
A new transitory Non-Habitual Residence (NHR) regime has been issued by the Portuguese government for 2024. It is important to understand the current political climate in the country to better grasp the context behind the housing and tax situations in Portugal.
Portugal is undergoing a political crisis after the Prime Minister announced his resignation earlier in November 2023. The situation is concerning, especially since the Parliament has been in discussions regarding the State Budget for 2024 (OE2024).
Even though the President of Portugal accepted the request, the Socialist Party (PS) is still in power, at least until January 2024, the month scheduled for the dissolution of the parliament. From then on, PS will act with limited capacities and powers, until a new government is formed resulting from the March 2024 general elections.
Furthermore, combining this political crisis with the dissolution of Portugal’s Agency for Borders and Foreigners (SEF), the partial discontinuation of the Golden Visa, and the end of the NHR programme, it may prove difficult to understand the country’s current immigration policies.
NHR Programme and Portugal Golden Visa: Are They Over?
In 2023, the Portuguese government announced the Mais Habitação (Housing Bill) pack. This bill was originally written to improve the current housing situation in Portugal, including inflation, speculation, high rents, and difficulties in purchasing property. It was highly criticized and deemed highly controversial by many, including Portugal’s president. It was approved unanimously by the Socialist Party (PS), which had the absolute majority in the parliament at the time, despite numerous suggestions put forth by other parties.
Among the many changes was the discontinuation of the option to directly purchase a Real Estate property as a path qualifiable for the Portugal Golden Visa. Though other options exist for the Golden Visa, Portugal ended up losing a major economic boost, as it had contributed more than 6 billion EURO to the economy over its decade of existence.
Following this, in October 2023, PS also declared the end of the Non-Habitual Residence programme, which had been inscribed unto law since 2009.
Originally, PS bestowed a reprieve only to those who had signed up in Portugal’s Financial Authority (AT) for the NHR programme until the 31st of December of 2023, allowing them to still take advantage of this regime.
One week after the Prime Minister’s resignation, PS announced fresh amendments to the State Budget for 2024 regarding the NHR regime. It is still discontinued, though a new transitory regime for NHR has been approved.
NHR Programme 2024: Who Qualifies for the New Transitory Regime?
PS supplied the following note as an explanation behind this amendment: “In this sense, and regarding the discontinuation of the (NHR) programme, it is important to create a transitory regime, which allows the safeguarding of legitimate expectations of individuals who have already decided to immigrate or returning to Portugal (…) under penalty of damaging the confidence of those who have made this decision, since moving to another country has, naturally, an immense impact on any person’s life.”
The original reprieve now extends to individuals, who had already started their journey to relocate to Portugal in 2023, up until the 31st of December 2024, if they can provide proof.
PS further explains: “As such, the current proposal has to purpose of reinforcing the transitory regime, allowing the safeguarding of the legitimate expectations of citizens who have already started due diligence to change their tax residency to Portugal (…) this regime ends with the Proposal of the State Budget Law for 2024.”
But what can serve as proof for the extended NHR 2024 Transitory Regime? In the same document, PS details:
- “A promise of, or an employment contract, or an agreement signed until the 31st of December of 2023, as long as the duties are fulfilled in Portugal;
- Lease contract or any other contract that grants the use, or the possession of property in Portuguese territory, celebrated up until the 10th of October of 2023;
- Reservation or promissory contract for the acquisition of real rights over property in Portuguese territory signed up until the 10th of October 2023;
- Enrolment of dependents at a Portuguese educational establishment, completed by the 10th of October 2023;
- Residency visa or Residency permit valid until the 31st of December of 2023;
- Process of obtaining a Residency Visa or Permit initiated until 31st of December 2023 with the competent entities, in accordance with the current legislation applicable to immigration matters, through the request of an appointment, or an actual appointment for the submission of the request of the Residency Visa or Permit.”
Therefore, if the process had already been started in 2023, and if the individual can gather the necessary documents, the transitory regime applies, thus granting the benefits of the NHR programme, including tax breaks and benefits over the period of 10 years. But what if you are not eligible?
NHR Programme and Portugal Golden Visa: Is There an Alternative?
The arguably confusing situation ongoing regarding Portugal’s immigration programs and policies does not make Portugal any less of an excellent choice for investment. If you are not eligible for the NHR programme, or you do not hold any interest in the remaining options for the Portugal Golden Visa, there are alternative solutions for you.
Introducing the D2 Visa! It is a Residency by Investment alternative program, also referred to as the Entrepreneurship or Business Visa, designed to attract foreign investment in the economy via the opening of a new business, or branching out an existing one in Portugal.
To always meet the demands of our partners, and to provide the best available offers, Portugal Homes has also created new, extremely enticing, and attractive D2 Visa packages. Fill out a query form today to find out more about our unique opportunities and begin your journey towards Residency in Portugal.