With its rich culture, pleasant climate, and a high quality of life, Portugal is not just a magnificent country that boasts an eventful history. After all, you will hardly find another state on the world map that used to be an empire, a monarchy, and a republic in the past. It is also one of the most popular destinations for foreign investors who want to obtain residency and citizenship in the European Union. The Portugal Golden Visa program, which grants residency to investors who meet certain criteria, has boosted Portugal’s economy, bringing in millions of euros in investment each year.
However, following a ministerial meeting held on February 16, 2023, the Portuguese government presented a package of measures to respond to various concerns within the scope of the housing policy in Portugal. It was in this context that the measure of apparently ending the Portugal Golden Visa scheme was grafted. With this said, Portugal’s Golden Visa program is undergoing some significant changes but will not come to an end.
To make things easier for you, we’ll summarize the latest announcements and their key implications for future investors. Read on to discover:
- What are the most significant changes to the program?
- When are the changes coming into effect?
- What are the remaining investment options for the Golden Visa program?
- What are the benefits of applying for a Portugal Golden Visa in 2023?
What are the most significant changes to the program?
The proposed law has come into effect, and the program no longer accepts any real estate or capital transfers as qualifying investment options. These changes were brought by the More Housing Law, which terminates all real estate investments under the renewed Golden Visa Program.
The main reason for this change is to address the housing crisis in Portugal, especially in the urban areas of Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, where property prices have skyrocketed due to the high demand from foreign investors. The government hopes that by limiting the Golden Visa program to other types of investments, e.g., green projects, scientific research, or cultural heritage, it will stimulate the economy in other Portuguese sectors and regions, as well as promote social and environmental sustainability.
When are the changes coming into effect?
The changes to the Portugal Golden Visa program came into effect on October 6th, 2023, after the More Housing Law was promulgated by the Portuguese Government. However, during the transition period until December 31, 2023, investors who have already started the process of applying for a Golden Visa based on real estate or capital transfers can still complete their applications and obtain residency permits. This means that if you are interested in applying for a Portugal Golden Visa based on these options, you still have time to do so before the year ends. To find out more about Australian work visas please visit Australian Migration Lawyers.
What are the remaining investment options for the Golden Visa program?
The Portugal Golden Visa program still offers a variety of options for investors who want to obtain residency and citizenship in Portugal and the EU. Here’s what you can do to obtain your Portugal Golden Visa:
- create at least 10 jobs in Portugal
- invest at least EUR 350,000 in research and development in Portugal
- invest the minimum of EUR 250,000 in artistic production, restoration, or maintenance of cultural heritage in Portugal
- invest at least EUR 500,000 in funds that support small and medium-sized enterprises in Portugal
- invest the minimum of EUR 500,000 in funds that promote environmental or social projects in the country
- invest at least EUR 1.5 million in funds that plow in any sector of the Portuguese economy.
These investment options come with different requirements and benefits, depending on the amount, duration, and type of investment. The best thing you can do to find the one suitable for your profile and goals is consult a professional advisor.
What are the benefits of applying for a Portugal Golden Visa in 2023?
Applying for a Portugal Golden Visa in 2023 can bring you many perks and incentives:
- Residency in Portugal and the EU: You and your family members (spouse, children, parents, and siblings) can live, work, study, and travel freely in Portugal and the EU with a Portugal Golden Visa.
- Citizenship in Portugal and the EU: After 5 years of residency, you have the right to apply for Portuguese citizenship and enjoy the same rights and benefits as any Portuguese citizen, including voting, healthcare, education, and social security. You will also obtain an EU passport and travel visa-free to more than 180 countries around the globe.
- Low minimum stay requirement: You only need to spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal to maintain your residency status. NB: Portugal allows dual citizenship, so you can also keep your original nationality and passport.
- Tax benefits: Feel free to benefit from Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime, which offers tax exemptions or reductions on various types of income, e.g., pensions, dividends, royalties, or capital gains, for 10 years. The double taxation treaties that Portugal has with more than 80 countries are an extra perk as they allow you to avoid paying tax twice on the same income.
- Quality of life: With its mild climate, beautiful landscapes, rich culture, friendly people, delicious cuisine, and low cost of living, Portugal offers a high quality of life that you will be able to enjoy all year round.
We appreciate your keen interest in this information. We trust that it has proven beneficial to you. Should you have further inquiries regarding the Golden Visa program for your family, including inquiries about costs, procedural steps, and additional details, we encourage you to reach out to the InternationalWealth team. We will arrange either a Zoom call or a conference call, connecting you with a Portugal expert who can address any uncertainties you may have.
Additionally, we’d like to apprise you of an alternative avenue to secure a Portugal residence card without making an investment. This option is known as the D7 Portugal visa, distinct from the Golden Visa program.
Interested in any other offshore jurisdictions and their Golden Visa Schemes? Read here how you can apply and what the requirements are.