Portuguese Golden Visa Application Doors Remain Open…For Now
18 November 2022
The Portuguese Prime Minister, Mr António Costa, informed the public that the government was actively re-evaluating the country's highly successful Portugal Golden Visa programme.
Addressing reporters during the Web Summit at the Feira Industrial de Lisboa (FIL) on the 2nd of November, Costa provided the unexpected news when reporters questioned him about the special tax regime for digital nomads. Costa gave an impromptu statement that the government was evaluating whether the golden visa has run its course, stating that it is among a host of immigration programmes under review, saying: "There are programmes that we are currently re-evaluating, and one of them is the golden visa, which, probably, has already fulfilled the function it had to fulfil."
Costa gave no further information on when the government's review will come to an end or when changes may be implemented or if the programme will be closed. Latitude’s CEO, Eric Major, weighed in on the PM’s comment stating, ‘We don’t anticipate any immediate changes, but this will no doubt cause another increase in demand thus further contributing to the current backlog of applications. There is no better time than now to apply and avoid the next wave of applications in the coming months”.
The bigger picture
Portugal introduced the Golden Visa in response to the financial debt crisis spanning 2009 until 2011. The programme has done exceedingly well since its introduction, approving over 11,000 main applicants and bringing in approximately €6.5 billion in much-needed foreign direct investment into the country.
The Portuguese Golden Visa remains a highly popular choice among investor migrants from all over the globe. The programme's simplicity, minimal residence requirement, and flexible path to citizenship have made it one of the most popular residency by investment programmes in the world.
A significant portion of the golden visa demand is coming from the United States due to a number of factors including the Euro now being on par with the US Dollar resulting in a 15% savings compared to a year ago. Many Americans are wanting a second citizenship and greater access to Europe for their family and the Portugal Golden Visa ticks all of the boxes.
The Portugal Golden Visa also provides investors with a wide array of qualifying options to choose from with the most popular being the real estate option starting from €280,000 and the venture capital fund option starting from €500,000.
There are various possibilities that remain on the table for the Portuguese government, including the outright cancellation of the programme or a significant overhaul of what constitutes a qualifying investment. However, current applicants will not be affected and any modifications or regulation changes will likely come with a transition period, similar to what happened when the government announced new regulations for Golden Visa investments in the summer of 2021, which only came into effect in January 2022. That last change caused a spike in applications which we will see again with the Prime Minister's latest comments on the Golden Visa.
The Prime Minister's comments should be considered a call to action for interested applicants wishing to avoid future uncertainty. Applying now will give applicants ample time to choose their preferred qualifying option, submit an application, and crucially, avoid the massive expected backlog before a residency by investment programme's changes or a suspension comes into effect.
To learn more about the Portugal Golden Visa, contact RIF Trust today and speak with one of our investment migration experts.