Class Action against Portugal for proposed termination of GV

The time of talk is getting to a close, and it’s probably time to start thinking about how we are all going to proceed in the worst-case scenario. If it does not come to pass, nobody will mind, but if we do have to go ahead with litigation, now is the time to get organized.
As I see it, there are people here who are in different stages of the GV process. As such, a one size fits all Class Action may not be suitable. Broadly, there are the following stages:
Not applied
Those who have applied after the 16th of February
Those who have applied before 16th of Februarybut not yet Pre-Approved
Those who are Pre-Approved but awaiting biometrics appointments.
Those who have completed biometrics but have not received their final approval.
Those who have got their residency cards and are in various stages of renewal (years 1-5)
Obviously, there are overlapping considerations, but can anyone suggest how to approach this?


I am not sure “those who haven’t applied” will need a lawsuit? And it was Feb 16 rather than March.

But I will definitely be considering legal action!

Those who haven’t applied should stay away from the whole thing They are, however a class of people. I know of someone who is still trying to get in, who will still sue, and will claim that until the Republic actually changes the law, the old rules stand.
I have edited the month.

What is the damage to Portugal in granting residency to maybe 10-20,000 people who have sufficient money not to be a burden on their system, but more importantly should have been meticulously checked to have clean backgrounds, including how they obtained those funds in the first place. The latter means they probably also have sufficient human capital and could bring valuable skills if they were to migrate to Portugal. If they don’t migrate, then again what’s the damage to Portugal?

IMO, keeping an implied promise is necessary to ensure people can trust their governments. Obviously the present government disagrees.

I applied because I liked Portugal a lot as a tourist over quite a few visits and I got hyped up enough to start learning the language even before getting pre-approved. Now I’m still not pre-approved and don’t have the motivation to keep learning.


Learning is never wasted, at least the language is also useful in Brazil and helps with learning Spanish which is even more widely spoken.


Yes, but there is a whole number of languages to learn and only one that triggers painful associations.


I agree, every time I think of Portugal or Portuguese, it’s like a slap across the face


in Portuguese Govt. Insists on Feb 16th Cut-Off, 183-Day Presence for Golden Visa in Final "More Housing" Draft Bill - IMI - Investment Migration Insider, i see the following listed:

Preparations for litigation and counter-ofensives are already underway. The Portuguese Association for Immigration, Investment, and Relocation has set up a WhatsApp group for golden visa stakeholders (major developers, law frms, fund managers, etc.), in which it has launched a “Task Force” initiative aimed at “a concerted reaction to the Government’s decision to abruptly end the Golden Visa Program.”

anybody know where this whatsapp group is?

i am wary of lawyers but i want to prepare for the worst-case scenario where the government attempts to move the goal posts for folks already in the game. i disagree with this:

“I think there is a lot of merit to Spencer’s theory that the absolute most the government “owes” existing applicants is one term of GV, and they do not owe GV renewals to anyone. So a lawsuit might earn us the one GV term we paid for, but nothing else.”

i would never have purchased real estate and applied at all if the original rules stated that the residency requirements are 180+ days after the first term. i applied on the basis of which states:

Living and working in Portugal, on condition that they stay in Portugal for a period of 7 or more days, in the first year, and 14 or more days, in the subsequent years;


That article also says they will still be accepting other GV pathways like Cultural Heritage, but that all pending applications will be treated as entrepreneurial. These are incongruent IMO, so we really need to get the language of the proposed law before anything can be determined.

I would love for them to decide it is illegal to not give all existing and pending GV participants their 5+ years as expected. Let us ride this spiral to the end…


Moreover, it’s not even factually correct. The law clearly and unequivocally details the renewal entitlement; another poster cited the exact text of the law. It is unconstitutional to revoke this agreement with retroactive effect.

It seems like a few of the most prolific posters on this site are really enthusiastic about discrediting GVs, even using “alternative facts”. I find that puzzling and not at all welcome.


Moreover, it’s not even factually correct.

which article are you referring to @gwytb?

The law clearly and unequivocally details the renewal entitlement; another poster cited the exact text of the law. It is unconstitutional to revoke this agreement with retroactive effect.

if it’s unconstitutional to revoke this agreement with retroactive effect, why is the PM proposing it? i think the PM is a lawyer himself.

by retroactive, do you mean for people already with GVs? or retroactive even for us poor suckers who are awaiting pre-approval?

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please provide a link to the whats app group if available.

(btw, it seems if i mention wutsapp, the post needs to be reviewed by a moderator. that’s why i have it mentioned as wutsapp and whats app. sorry about the confusion this might cause).

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Search for a recent post by Joel Vogel. He explains all of this in crisp detail.

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btw, i purchased an apartment in lisbon (in nov 2021). are there others in the same boat? i know many folks have gone through places like mercan and la vida; i wonder if i am in the minority having purchased an apartment.


hmm … this turned up nothing for me (other than your post mentioning ‘Joel Vogel’). can you please link the article here? thx.

Post linking to the law, indicating that renewal is an entitlement that can not be revoked:

More about the legal and constitutional reasoning:

In reference to your other point, lawyers propose unconstitutional laws all the time.


thanks. this is a nice writeup. @joelvogel what about folks like me who are still waiting for pre-approval? i feel we are also in the same boat as those who already have their GVs but haven’t received permanent residency / citizenship yet. as you note - misleading individuals to spend money for x reward and then eliminating the reward or requiring you to spend more money or lose something implied to you, i.e. the use of your real estate, residency, citizenship - this applies to folks waiting for pre-approval as well. would you agree?

@joelvogel i agree with this statement you made later:

This is the reason we need to get organized get a constitutional lawyer who points this out. New are just talking in an echo chamber, we need to get a megaphone that gets the flaw out now and saves us time and money if we were to wait and challenge the law in the constitutional court.

how do we find an excellent constitutional lawyer who can help us here?

I think it is less about discrediting and more about trying to be realistic. If the law says we are entitled to renewals and then possibly citizenship, awesome.

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Unfortunately there is nothing in that law about citizenship, so even if it is determined that the Golden Visa law cannot be changed for those who applied before (a yet to be confirmed) cutoff date, the government is free to change the Citizenship law to make it more difficult. The last time they changed the Citizenship law was 2022, but this made it easier to get citizenship (only need 5 years residence instead of 6 etc).

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I have met with many people personally and chatted with many more who are applying for the golden visa.
99% of these people love Portugal. They are real people who worked hard and saved money to invest in a new life in a new country. These people are not terrorists or money launderers . This is a smear by people who hate the program or are jealous . I personally have become disenchanted with my home country. I would rather support with my time and money a people and country that welcomes me and gives a chance to start fresh.