Today, May 19th, the Portuguese Parliament approved in a Plenary session the “Mais Habitação” pack, the housing bill that has been making headlines for the last months. The proposal was approved by majority of deputies but not of parties, leaving up to the President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to approve, ask for clarifications, or veto the Draft Law No. 71/XV/1st.
This pack will represent a great number of changes in the Portuguese constitutional Law, especially regarding the Housing Crisis and the Portugal Golden Visa. The new law approved intends to put an end to the residence-by-investment programme, according to the Article 44 “New applications for the granting of residence permits for investment activities, as provided in Article 90-A of Law No. 23/2007, dated July 4th, are not accepted from the date of the entry into force of this law”, meaning that new applications will not be accepted under the Golden Visa Programme.
The Draft Law No. 71/XV/1st also informs that new applicants can still submit their applications, since the law will only be in effect after being published on the Gazette (the official Portuguese Government publication - Diário da República). The paragraph 2, from the same article, informs: “The provisions of the previous paragraph do not prejudice the possibility of renewing residence permits for investment activities when these permits have been granted under the applicable legal regime until the date of the entry into force of this law”.
“The Portuguese Parliament approved today at the Plenary session the new housing bill (Mais Habitação) putting an end to the Golden Visa Programme in the country. Although the decision is made, new applications are still open at the moment. This is because the Parliamentary committee still needs to review the bill before the proposition is sent to the President of Portugal for his ratification.
Once President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa received it, he will have a period of eight days to give his consideration, which can be a veto, clarifications on the bill, or the final approval. What this means from a Golden Visa perspective; currently the Programme is still running and operational and only after this bill is fully approved, and once presented in the Gazette, it will become effective. If the President decides to veto the proposition, then you will have some months in the process – the bill will be sent back to the Parliament for final approval or rejection.
Currently, if you are an investor already in the process of obtaining a Golden Visa, you should not worry – you are eligible. Like I said before, if you are ready to move on with your application, the time to act is now. Contact one of our advisors and let us help you to find the best opportunities for you to proceed with your Golden Visa application.”
On the 16th of February, the Portuguese Executive Government announced in the news the pack “Mais Habitação”, a proposition to stop the growing real estate speculation and high rents in the country. Along the topics presented in the initial document was the end of the Golden Visa Programme.
The statement by the Prime Minister of Portugal, claiming the end of the programme still in February, did not take into consideration the importance of the income generated by the Golden Visa to the economy, nor all the legal aspects of the Portuguese Constitution – since the legal process needs to be respected fully, with the vote in the Parliament Plenary Session, and the President ratification.
From February 20th to March 24th public discussion took part on the housing bill, making the government pull back on its affirmation of the end of the Golden Visa Programme would happening already in February (retroactivity of the law). On the 14th of April, days after the public discussion ended, the government rectified the housing bill with the new proposition being presented stating that the programme would be still accepting new applications until the law is in effect.
Currently, all non-European citizens are eligible to apply for the Golden Visa Programme through real estate by purchasing a residential, commercial or tourist property in certain areas of Portugal.
This is not the first time the Golden Visa has appeared in the press headlines. In January 2022 the programme was changed to give space for several new rules, including the prohibition of the real estate purchasing of residential properties in big cities, such as Lisbon and Porto.
In November 2022 the Golden Visa again got involved in political discussions, when Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa announced at the Web Summit the end of the programme. A month later, the Portuguese Parliament denied, in an internal vote, the end of the programme. In 2023, despite the announcement made on 16th February, the Portugal Golden Visa Programme remains active and available to non-EU citizens looking to obtain future property investments in Portugal.
The Portugal Golden Visa Programme officially celebrated 10 years in October 2022, bringing over 6.9 billion euros of investment revenue according to official data provided by SEF. To be exact €6 931 293 816,38 were invested from October 2012 to March 2023, with 11 921 Residence Permits issued to investors, while 19 433 residence permits were granted to adjoining family members.
For more in-depth statistics, please view our extended article HERE!
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The Portugal Golden Visa is an EU residency programme for non-EU nationals who have made a significant investment in Portugal, eligible investments must be in real estate, by making a capital investment, or by creating employment opportunities.
Official government information for Residence permit for investment activity
Applicants of the Portugal Golden Visa will be eligible to live, work and study in Portugal, which allows low physical presence requirement from the golden visa investor with eligibility to travel freely within the Schengen* area and hold the ability to apply for a Portuguese passport after 5 years.
*Schengen area consists of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The Portugal Golden Visa programme is eligible in Portugal, categorized into high and low population density; the high-density locations are primarily coastal regions, while low density will be the interior region of the country.
Now, for those investors looking to obtain property investment in prime locations of Portugal such as Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve, the eligible Portugal Golden Visa properties will require commercial or touristic property licensing. Taking this into account, Portugal Homes has been dedicated to adhering to newly implemented regulations as of January 2022 and developed a real estate portfolio exclusively for Portugal Golden Visa Programme in the most desired locations for property investment in Portugal: Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve.
Q: What is the Golden Visa Programme?
A: “The Golden Visa Programme is essentially a programme that allows you freedom of movement within the European Union. Ultimately, how it works, there are lots of different options, but the most popular one is usually an investment in real estate for an amount somewhere between €280,000 and €500,000.
And from off the back of that investment, you’re allowed to live and work in Portugal, travel freely within the EU and ultimately get citizenship in Portugal. After five years of keeping the investments and spending time in Portugal over the last few years, there’s been quite a lot of changes to the programme regarding the amount of money that you need to invest, where you can invest and what kind of property that you can invest into.”
Q: Has the Portugal Golden Visa Programme Changed? And How Long do I Need to Stay in Portugal?
A: “The programme itself hasn’t changed too much in that regard; you still need to spend an average of seven days in Portugal per year. You can still live and work here freely, and you can still get citizenship at the end of the five years. The important part is really to understand what you need to invest in and the amount of money that you need to invest.
We did a video earlier this year detailing just exactly how the visa program works and the different levels of investment. So, feel free to have a look at that, and it goes into much more depth in terms of how the programme works, and our website, we detail all the steps that you need to do have gone to Lisbon, Portugal, and what the requirements are.”
Learn more about the Portugal Golden Visa eligible property regions & types, and changes implemented as of January 2022, in this article.
Q: Is the Portugal Golden Visa Ending?
A: “So the reason that I’ve been asked to talk to you today is Mr. António Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal, made some comments on the second in November at the Web Summit here in Portugal, regarding the Golden Visa Programme and potential changes or the potential end to the program.
One thing that I can confirm is that they voted in Parliament recently since the second of November, and there’s not going to be any changes to the Golden Visa Programme, certainly not anytime soon and hopefully not even over the next 12 months.” Update: some following actions were just taken recently by the Portuguese Executive Government and the Residential Golden Visa may not be applicable any longer, although this decision still needs to pass through the Parliament; see the latest update covered above.
Q: How Has Portugal Benefited from the Portugal Golden Visa?
A: “I think it’s important to understand the Golden Visa over the last ten years and the revenue that is brought into the country to also understand why the government does not really have any intentions to stop it. Over the last ten years, it’s brought around €6 billion of investment into the country, which also results in around about €80 million per year in taxes, which is vital income for the country and for the economy.”
Q: Is the Portugal Golden Visa the Main Culprit Behind the Increase in Rental Prices?
A: “The reality is property prices are shooting up in Lisbon, and this has more to do with the tourism industry than the Golden Visa. Lisbon’s gone from 6 million tourists a year over the last ten years to 13.8 million. The airport has a capacity of 20 million, and I think it’s taking in around 26 million passengers a year. Portugal has become a popular place to be!
It’s a very small city, and when you have such an increase in tourism, rents are going to increase, and people want to do short-term rentals rather than long-term because it generates a lot more income for them. So, you know, the big issue here is trying to understand how they can help local people whilst also not affecting the tourism industry, which is around 20% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) here.
The Golden Visa is an easy scapegoat for many political discussions, which gives good traction, makes good press, and it’s very easy to talk about! And a lot of people like to write about it, but ultimately, it’s great for the country, brings in a lot of much-needed income, and a lot of high-net-worth individuals into Portugal.”
Moving forward, if you are looking to invest in the Portugal Golden Visa Programme, we have a team at Portugal Homes with a wealth of experience that can help and guide you through all the different processes and everything that you need to make your investment a success.
A Portugal Homes possui profissionais muito experientes e conhecedores, que trabalham com alguns dos promotores mais reconhecidos em Portugal . A nossa vasta experiência permite-nos guiá-lo pelas melhores opções de investimento.
Seja casa de férias ou uma propriedade para investimento, selecionamos as melhores propriedades para o seu perfil e tratamos de todo o processo do início ao fim. Mesmo após a venda! Os nossos serviços de pós-venda assumem a responsabilidade de mobilar a seu gosto, manter a propriedade na sua ausência, dar apoio ao arrendamento, no caso de querer arrendar e muito mais!
Para saber mais sobre Residentes Não Habituais em Portugal e sobre os nossos serviços pós-venda, preencha o formulário abaixo.
Thanks to Andreia Leite for the comprehensive and timely updates on the construction progress of the new development we purchased!Investidor dos EUA
Very helpful. Work with his heart. Mark is a very nice advisor.Investidor de Marrocos
Tudo correu lindamente. Consegui esclarecer todas as minhas questões.Investidor da Turquia
Ryan was an excellent real estate agent, he really steered me in the right direction based on what I said was important to me. Living in another country, I wasn't as familiar with the city as he is. Where I thought I wanted to live and what I truly wanted were not the same. He took the time to listen and figure out the best spot for me, and we are very happy with it - far more than we would have been elsewhere.Investidor dos EUA
A experiência geral foi ótima desde o acompanhamento até o pós-venda. Gostaria de agradecer especialmente ao Sr. Simon, à Sra. Francisca e à Sra. Mariana.Investidor dos EAU
George Hobson é um jovem agradável, conhecido como conhecedor, experiente, trabalhador, honesto e disciplinado; Senti-me muito confortável em fazer facilmente o meu investimento.Cliente dos Emirados Árabes Unidos