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Portugal’s Golden Visa… 45 Days Left so Proceed As Soon As Possible!!!

Portugal’s Golden Visa regime (ARI - Authorization for Residency by Investment) WILL NOT GO AWAY until new law comes into place!!!

Portugal’s government published the final wording of its controversial“Mais Habitação” (More Housing) program, showing significant u-turns when it comes to ending the golden visa regime.

The program will now go forwards for debate in parliament. With its absolute majority, the government is sure of ‘final approval’ – the only ‘sticking point’ being whether or not President Marcelo will give his rubber stamp, which in view of the ‘decisive’ changes could well come.

I have no doubt the golden visa program WILL BE TERMINATED AT SOME POINT, but the blow would be softened in the following ways…

No retroactivity clause – meaning the February 16 cut-off point introduced on the very day the government’s plans were presented bites the dust. Now, the programme will end ONLY on the day the government’s new housing legislation comes into effect (see below). This means all the applicants who believed they were ‘caught out’ by the announcement in February are still ‘good to go’, and even new applicants could be considered.

No 183-day requirement on conversion to D2 visas – again, the original proposal was for renewals of existing golden visa holders to be converted to D2 (entrepreneur) visas. These require holders to be present in Portugal for 183 days per year (when golden visa holders only need to be present for seven days a year). The new text sees the government accepting that golden visa conversions can retain the ‘seven days a year’ requirement.

Investor visas still available for cultural investments – this is another significant u-turn: the government will allow investment based residence permits for individuals who invest in support of “artistic production and the recovery or maintenance of cultural heritage”. These investments will need the rubber-stamp of one or more competent authorities (the selection involving The Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade; the Development Bank; the Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation; the National Innovation Agency; the Office of Cultural Strategy, Planning and Assessment, and “other authorities deemed appropriate”).

Investors able to proceed should do so immediately!!!

And so the scramble to make the most of the golden visa regime is ‘back on’. Very much in the way that property owners desperate to squeeze through the closing door of Alojamento Local (AL - License to operate Airbnb) have been reacting, advice to those attracted to the golden visa regime is “proceed as soon as possible”.

The window of opportunity “is likely to be at least 45 days in light of what’s known about the parliamentary agenda”.

The changes have come from the enormous pressure mobilised by industry associations, property developers, regional governors, stakeholder groups and constitutionalists. At least two petitions were raised in outrage over the government’s original wording, both of which gathered thousands of signatures.

These latest concessions are still not enough in my opinion… The new text drawn up by the Government “does not give a date on when all applications should be approved, which makes me even more uncertain about the future of those who invested in good faith in Portugal”.

In other words, pressure should be maintained. People caught up in this confusion should “reach out to their embassies” to “let them know that you need their help to protect your interests as investors”.

What does seem more than likely however is that these new changes will avert the likelihood of a ‘massive recourse to the courts’ – satisfying the focus of the petition, entitled “For the defence of the image and reputation of Portugal when it comes to international investors”.

Feel free to schedule a call at your convenience on our calendar through Calendly, and let’s see where our team and I can add value to you investing in Portugal through the Golden Visa program.

Link to schedule call on Calendly

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