Over the past year there has been much speculation on the proposed changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa (GV) program of which we have reported in our Blog.
In February 2020 the State Budget Law for the year contained an authorization allowing the Government to amend the program. The authorization was finally used and the new rules for the program were passed on December 22, 2020 by the Council of Ministers.
Although a law has not yet been passed, the following is already known:
1) The program will continue in its current state until June 30, 2021.
2) The amendments will kick in on July 1, 2021. GV applications based on real estate investment in high population areas (eg, Lisbon, Porto, Algarve) will over time no longer be possible.
3) However, fears of an immediate implementation of the changes have been somewhat allayed by the long phasing out period which will last until the end of 2022.
4) Until then, the investment threshold for real estate in high population density areas will increase while eligible areas will decrease.
5) At the end of this period the real estate investment option will be circumscribed to low population density areas ; eg, the interior of Portugal and the islands of Azores and Madeira.
Being Portugal a rule of law nation there will be no retroactive application to Golden Visas previously approved until June 30, 2021, so investors that are still interested in this type of investment and in the places already identified, can submit their applications up to June 30, 2021 and all their investment rights will be protected.
Please also note that the Golden Visa remains fully open to other types of investments, such as financial investments, thus offering alternative investment routes to Golden Visa applicants.
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