17 de April, 2023
Golden Visa holders in Portugal, as well as those newly enrolled in the program, can finally breathe a sigh of relief. As predicted by our legal team, the Portuguese government has decided to reverse its decision and honor its commitments to renew the residency permits of current Golden Visa holders, as well as accept new applications submitted after February 16th.
For those looking to obtain a Golden Visa, this is the last chance to obtain Portuguese residency and citizenship through investment in the country. There is still time to apply for the program, but one must act quickly, as it will be ending soon.
On Friday, April 14th, 2023, the government made public the text of the Bill Proposal which, among other topics related to the housing package, provides for the revocation of Residency Permits for Investment Activity (Golden Visa).
In summary, and according to the published text, the Government officially proposes:
Thus, a significant retreat by the Portuguese government is observed in relation to the initial announcement of the termination of the Golden Visa Program, where retroactivity of the law and the violation of acquired rights of investors regarding the rules of renewal of already acquired Residency Permits were initially proposed. The retreat was due to strong pressure from stakeholders in the sector, investors, and legal experts’ opinions, which supported the unconstitutionality of such initially proposed measures.
The aforementioned draft bill now goes for discussion in the Portuguese Parliament. Subsequently, the Parliament may reject, modify, or approve the government’s draft bill without changes. If it proceeds, the final version approved by Parliament goes to the President of the Republic for consideration, who may approve or veto it, including the possibility of prior assessment of its constitutionality by the Portuguese Constitutional Court.
In terms of timeframe, there is again certainty regarding the existence of a window of opportunity for those who still wish to obtain the Portuguese Golden Visa. Considering the known agenda of the Portuguese Parliament, it is believed that the discussion in Parliament will begin from May 10, and a legislative process of this nature usually takes at least 60 days. Additionally, the President of the Republic still has 20 days to make his decision to ratify, veto, or send the draft bill to the Constitutional Court.
It is expected that in Parliament issues such as determining a transition period for the new law to come into effect will be debated, as had already happened in 2021 during the previous amendment to the law.
The scope and requirements of the proposed conversion of residency permits for investment into the residency permits for immigrant entrepreneurs scheme will also be discussed. Therefore, further changes to the proposed text and its applicability are expected.
Following Minister António Costa’s announcement on February 16th about the end of the Golden Visa, demand for the program has significantly increased. However, the government has indicated that it will not accept applications submitted after the deadline, causing uncertainty among some investors.
Given the new scenario, investors interested in joining the program should make their investments immediately to take advantage of this window of opportunity.
Do not let this opportunity pass you by: submit your Golden Visa application immediately. Talk to our consultants and find out how to do it quickly and safely.