Policy Updates

Govt. to Announce End of Portugal Golden Visa on Feb 16, According to “Senior Government Figures”

Expresso, one of Portugal’s biggest newspapers, today reports that the legislative package on housing that the Council of Ministers is set to approve on Thursday will include provisions for the end of the Portuguese golden visa program.

“The package that will be approved on the 16th,” writes Expresso, “will also include a symbolic measure: The long-promised end of the golden visas, which António Costa already said in November ‘may have served its purpose’.”

The newspaper, which mentioned the program’s prospective termination only in passing, provided no further details as to how or when the golden visa would come to a close but indicated the information had been confirmed by senior government officials.

One golden visa practitioner with who IMI has been in touch says he has confirmed the information through personal conversations with two separate senior government sources.

“Most likely, it would affect especially the real estate and fund investment categories,” says our source. “The other options might remain in place; more focus will be given to productive investment via company incorporation or participation in existing ones, and the cultural investment option should become easier. That was the plan discussed at the last Council of Ministers meeting.”

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“I think that, in the first place, we must not rush to conclusions here considering that, sometimes, big headlines don’t bring big consequences, legally speaking,” commented golden visa specialist lawyer Pedro Catão Pinheiro of Next Gali Macedo & Associados.

“Second, any changes to be made would not have immediate effect, and there are always transition phases for applications already in progress,” continued Pinheiro.

“Finally, considering that the Expresso journalist mentioned a source from the government in the context of an article that is related to housing struggles for people, dealing with the current high cost of residential mortgages, and a package of support measures to help resolve these problems, in my opinion, any changes to be implemented will not mean the end of the program. More likely, we are talking about changes in the real estate options. Let’s wait and see.”

IMI will be back with more information as the story develops.