EuropePolicy Updates

Portugal Govt. Proposes to Keep Golden Visa After All, Eliminating Only Real Estate, Capital Transfer Options

Portugal’s governing Socialist Party (PS) today submitted a proposal to amend the controversial housing bill currently under discussion in the country’s Parliament. In a hugely surprising turn of events, the governing party no longer seeks to end the program but, instead, to eliminate just two of the program’s investment options: Real estate investments (of any kind) and the capital transfer bank deposit option. The government now seeks to retain the following investment options:

  • Subparagraph 2: Creation of at least 10 jobs
  • Subparagraph 5: Scientific research contribution (EUR 500,000)
  • Subparagraph 6: Cultural heritage/artistic production (EUR 250,000)
  • Subparagraph 7: Venture capital/Investment funds (EUR 500,000)
  • Subparagraph 8: Business investment that creates or maintains at least five jobs

The proposed amendments are particularly surprising because they’ve been submitted by the very governing party that initially formulated the More Housing bill, which originally sought to end the program in its entirety, even with retroactive effect on already-approved investors, a point widely criticized as unconstitutional on which the government later relented.

“Considering that the Socialist Party has an absolute majority of seats in Parliament, these proposals are practically certain to be reflected in the law,” commented Golden Visa specialist Madalena Monteiro of Magwind, who also highlights that the proposal stipulates the retention of the 20% discount for investments in low-density territories.

Vanessa Rodrigues Lima of the Portuguese Association of Immigration, Investment, and Relocation (PAIIR) – the private sector group that’s been involved in influencing golden visa policy since 2021 and that earlier this month presented a number of concrete proposals during a Parliamentary session on the program’s future – points out that a discussion period will now follow before Parliament votes on the bill’s final wording on July 19th.

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“On that date,” she remarks, “the industry will know for sure what the program’s future is.”

Both Lima and Monteiro indicated the proposal gave the impression of having been hastily put together, both because it contained a number of spelling errors and because some elements of the proposal appeared out of keeping with the rest of the proposed changes:

“The Socialist Party’s proposal keeps the conversion to D2 [Entrepreneur] visas, but I don’t think that was intentional,” says Monteiro. “It wouldn’t make sense considering the spirit of the changes. I just think that whoever made this document, wrote it with their feet rather than their hands,” she adds sardonically.

The proposal, she adds, doesn’t stipulate any transition period, which means we are likely to see the new law take effect in early August.

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