The Door’s Closing BUT There May Still be Time
A Golden Visa for Portugal has been the Rolls Royce of Golden Visa schemes for the last 10 years. It enabled investors to profit from Portugal’s property boom and pick up an EU passport along the way. All this, while spending hardly any time in the country.
Unfortunately, Portugal’s golden visa scheme is ending. But it’s not gone yet. Portugal’s Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, announced in November that the scheme had ‘served it’s purpose’ and would end soon.
In a speech last month on domestic housing policy he reiterated that Golden Visas would be ending. He also said that conditions for renewing Golden Visas would change. In future, houses that people bought to get Golden visas, must either be lived in or available to the rental market.
Although Costa announced the end of Golden Visas, the legislation has not yet been put in place. You can still apply right now.
Portugal has a history of allowing some time before implementing a new policy. For example, the last time they made a change to Portugal’s golden visas, it was announced in December 2020 but not implemented until January 2022.
Of course, we don’t know exactly when this change will be implemented. There are many misleading articles out there that claim that the program is already closed. This is not the case. It’s still possible today to submit golden visa applications. Anyone considering a golden visa for Portugal should act quickly. The window will only remain open for a short period.
What is a Golden Visa for Portugal?
The Golden Visa for Portugal was unique amongst golden visas. It was the only program that offered a path to EU citizenship without having to spend significant time in the country. It was possible to buy a property in Portugal and spend as little as three weeks in the country over 5 years. At the end of 5 years you could acquire Portuguese citizenship. There’s no language requirement either. The program was originally introduced in 2012.
11,600 golden visas for Portugal have been issued. Almost half went to Chinese investors. 16% have been issued to Brazilians, according to SEF, Portugal’s immigration service.
How do I Qualify for a Golden Visa for Portugal?
Most people choose to buy real estate to get a Portuguese golden visa. After changes to the program, implemented in 2022, it’s no longer possible to buy residential real estate in Lisbon, Porto or most of he coastal areas. It’s still possible to buy commercial real estate and residential real estate in inland areas. There are other categories for getting a golden visa for Portugal too, such as investing in or starting a business that creates new jobs. You can also make a bank deposit of €1m.
Are there Other Ways to Get a Residency Visa for Portugal?
There are other ways to get residency in Portugal. There is the D7 visa which we’ve written about here. There’s also a digital nomad visa, which is a more recent development. The digital nomad visa is for remote workers who want to live in Portugal. Provided you can show income above €2,800 per month in the 3 months before the application you qualify.
All programs like this come and go. Golden Visas for Portugal have been around for more than 10 years now. Some politicians in Portugal have blamed them for rising house prices, so they don’t have much public support. However, for anyone who wants to make a last minute application it’s still possible. I’d recommend acting in the next few weeks to get in before the door closes permanently.