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Portugal Golden Visa Changes 2024


A lot has happened in Portugal over the last 12 months, especially relating to the GoldenVisa programme. Here is a quick recap of the highlights:


GOLDEN VISA RULE CHANGES

1. Real Estate investments in Portugal became ineligible for the Golden Visa from 6th October 2023 (foreigners can still buy property, just not eligible for the GV).


2. Investment in Venture Capital Funds which invest in Real Estate also became ineligible for the Golden Visa. The option to simply park €1.5mn in a bank account in Portugal (Capital Transfer) was also taken off the table. Following are the options that remain available & eligible:

a. Investment in Venture Capital Funds (excluding direct or indirect investments in Real Estate (Minimum €500,000)

b. Creation of at least 10 jobs

c. Investment in an existing company or starting a new company (Minimum €500,000), and creating at least 5 jobs

d. Donation towards the support of Art & Culture (Minimum €200,000)

e. Donation towards the support of Scientific Research (Minimum €500,000)


3. As a fallout of the above changes, the minimum investment threshold moved up to €500,000, from the €280,000 that was earlier available for real estate investments. (Donation threshold remains unchanged at €200,000)


BACKLOG OF APPLICATIONS

4. On 29th October 2023, SEF (the government department that processed Immigration applications) was disbanded and it's duties were transferred to a new department AIMA. AIMA has declared that it's priority is to clear the backlog of applications for Family Reunification. As on date, there is no news of any significant movement on the backlog of Golden Visa applications :-(.


DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT & FRESH ELECTIONS

5. On the 9th of November 2023, the President of Portugal announced that he was dissolving the Parliament after the resignation of the Prime Minister over a corruption scandal. The elections to select a new government will be held on 10th March 2024.


CHANGES IN CITIZENSHIP LAW

6. In what was finally some good news for Golden Visa investors, on 5th January 2024, the Parliament approved a law which, among other changes, counts the 5-year period of holding a Portuguese Residence Permit before one can apply for citizenship, from the date of application for the residence permit (and not from the date of granting of the permit). This would address the issue of the long delays between application, and grant of the permit, which was in turn, extending the time before one could apply for Portuguese Citizenship. It is important to note though, that this proposal has not yet become law (although it is widely expected to very soon). More importantly, the fine print and interpretation of the wordings are yet to be understood for full clarity to emerge (for instance, what exactly is considered as the date of application?).


STILL THE ONE?

7. The turbulence of the last 12 months in the Portugal Golden Visa programme has definitely taken its toll on the demand, and we at Golden Homes Portugal have seen a marked muting of interest in recent times. However, as a country, Portugal (read more at Why Portugal?) continues to burn up the charts on various parameters.


a. The 2024 Annual Global Retirement Index by International Living ranked Portugal as the 2nd best Retirement Destination in the world, and THE BEST in terms of Healthcare.




b. Portugal was among the most sought after tourist destinations in Europe, alongside Iceland, Netherlands and Serbia, according to the European Travel Commission.


c. Time Out Global 2024 ranked Porto (#10) and Lisbon (#13) among the best cities in the world (Mumbai was at #12, yayyyyy!).



There is no denying the allure of this Southern European paradise!


OPTIONS?

So what’s the bottom-line? Portugal still remains among the most attractive options for immigration, a Plan B, or even just a gateway to European Residency. The Golden Visa is alive but not kicking as hard as it was, so one must explore this option with cautious optimism and with eyes wide open. But there are other, very promising, and not as arduous paths to fulfil the Portugal dream - like the D7 visa and the D3 Visa. However, these require a deeper commitment in terms of either time spent in Portugal, or involvement in an activity.


Do contact us +91 98330 22897 for an in-depth discussion over a cup of tea or coffee.



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