What Does the 2024 Election Mean for Portugal Golden Visas? - RIF Trust
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Europe, News feed Date: 16 March, 2024

What Does the 2024 Election Mean for Portugal Golden Visas?

What Does the 2024 Election Mean for Portugal Golden Visas?

Sunday, March 10, 2024 saw a snap election in Portugal. The Democratic Alliance, comprising the Social Democrats and two smaller fellow centre-right parties, pipped the Socialists by 79 seats to 77 with far-right populists Chega winning 48 seats. How will this affect the issuing of Portugal Golden Visas?

The Backstory to Portugal Golden Visas

The Portuguese Golden Visa dates back to 2012, brought in by the Social Democratic Party (PSD). It was the forerunner of other European golden visas, most notably in Greece and Spain.

Essentially, a Portugal Golden Visa is a Residency by Investment. In return for a qualifying investment, investors receive a Residence Permit that enables them to live, study, and work within Portugal as well as travel visa-free across the Schengen Area. In 2023, Portugal issued just under 2,800 golden visas to entrepreneurs and their families, boosting the economy by over €550 million.

Under the 8-year rule of the Socialist Party (PS), the Portugal Golden Visa came close to extinction. The popular real estate option went, ostensibly to make properties more affordable to young Portuguese. There has been speculation in the investment migration industry that the return to power of the PSD might see them commit to prioritizing focusing on foreign direct investment (FDI).

How Significant Will March 10 Be for Portuguese Residency by Investment?

While the PSD may have won the battle, they’ve yet to win the war. The Portuguese Government is a 230-seat assembly. They’re still some way short of the 116-seat majority needed to govern.

PSD leader Luís Montenegro has resisted the temptation to follow the lead of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of Spain’s centre-right People’s Party (PP). PP teamed up with the fascist Vox party to take control of 5 Spanish regions. Montenegro, however, has ruled out a pact with Chega, Vox’s equivalent in Portugal.

So the future of Portugal Golden Visas will go on the back burner whilst the PSD scheme to take full control. Assuming they do, many expect the status quo to continue. That will mean no immediate changes to Portuguese Residency by Investment.

When asked ahead of the election of its potential impact, the CEO of AICEP, the Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency, was unperturbed. Filipe Santos Costa points out that “compared with other European countries, [the incoming change] is not such a big question mark.”

“The emphasis here is on the centre. It is also a relatively stable political environment, so we don’t see a change in government that will dramatically change fiscal policy, immigration or public investment policy.”

The Green Perspective on the Portuguese Election’s Investment Migration Reverberations

Jon Green, our Portuguese Residency by Investment expert, agrees with Santos Costa as painting the Portuguese election as less polemic than forthcoming ones in the UK and, particularly, US. “Like the result of the Portuguese election itself, it’s just too early to call, ” he explains.

“We simply do not know yet whether the new government will make any changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa,“ Green continues. 

“But rather than waiting and seeing what will happen, I would urge investors interested in acquiring Portuguese residency to take a proactive approach.” “If you’re reactive, you may miss out on the chance to formulate a much-needed Plan B asap.”

Read about the 2024 Portuguese election’s likely effect on investment migration.

Why Applying for a Portugal Golden Visa Sooner Rather than Later Makes Sense

Despite the best efforts of the Portuguese Golden Visa to clear a backlog of applications, a processing bottleneck remains. If you want to reap the benefits of a Residency by Investment that can lead to Portuguese citizenship within 5 years, you’re going to need to act. So, don’t delay and contact RIF Trust today.

What Does the 2024 Election Mean for Portugal Golden Visas?

Date: 16 March, 2024

Posted in: Europe, News feed