Golden Visa to D2 Visa

Given that the Portuguese government seemed to back off a lot of the initially proposed changes to the ARI/GV scheme, I thought we should create a discussion thread specifically on the proposed Golden Visa change to D2 (entrepreneurial) Visa. There seems to be a lot of concern and confusion regarding this wording in the final proposal. Specifically, how will GV golden current investments be evaluated under the new scheme? Will it differ for those who have applied but have yet to be approved vs those holding permits and coming up for renewal? While you have always been subject to SEF confirming your investment, will there be any new requirements or will your investment be evaluated as it was under the previous GV scheme?


This is what Portugalist have to say:

“The government still plans to move current permit holders from the golden visa to the D2 entrepreneur visa, but they will not be subject to the 183-day rule and will still only need to spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal.”

The unanswered question is how much friction there will be in the transition?


Finally some good news after 2 month .I most resign from company to shift to Portugal. Party time :beers: :champagne:

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Yeah this is what I’m asking my lawyer about. I invested in IMGA, just did biometrics in Faro, and presumably am on track to get a 2 year card in a few months. Will it be a Golden visa and I have to change to D2 with no stay requirement for the renewal? Even for a fund option, not real estate?


Just gathering the current state of regulations for reference.

The proposed law states:

5 - In the cases foreseen in the previous numbers, the renewal determines the conversion of the residence permit into a residence permit for entrepreneurial immigrants under the terms of no. 4 of article 89 of Law no. 23/2007, of 4th July, in its current wording, and its holders must comply with [current GV residence requirements]

and para 4 of Article 89 of Law no. 23/2007, of 4th July

4 - A residence permit is granted to a third-country national who develops an entrepreneurial project, including the creation of an innovative based company, integrated in a certified incubator under the terms defined by decree of the members of the Government responsible for the areas of internal administration and the economy, provided that fulfills the general requirements of article 77.º, with waiver of what is established in paragraph a) of its paragraph 1

The SEF page on article 89, para 4 asks for “Supporting document in which he/she is included in a certified business incubator…”

Most likely the D2 rules will see some tweaks to squeeze in ex-ARI people.


I wonder if the conversion to D2 will allow ARI people to move to other countries under the proposed EU changes for people with long-term (3 years) residency in one country. They specifically excluded investment visas from that, but an entrepreneur visa might be different!


As for the D2 itself, it seems like they are creating a special D2 just for ARI holders?

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How is this not retroactive? We made an investment that complied with the GV rules and upended our lives to do it, and now our applications will be evaluated under a completely different set of criteria and if we don’t meet them, we won’t get visas? That’s…retroactive.


For me, if they are only changing the name from GV to D2, then I do not have a retroactivity problem. But if there are other changes (like I have to do things differently with respect to my property) or I have to comply with different renewal requirements, then it still has retroactivity issues.

From the draft, this is not fleshed out, which means it could be up the the government to interpret when they implement the new law. That could be problematic depending on how it’s implemented.

I hope the parliamentary process provides more clarity and that clarity is written into the law before it passes.


This announcement is evil genious if you ask me, they both look like they are listening to investors, hear our concerns, and are acting in good faith, whilst simultaneously creating new doubt with the D2 conversion which sounds like a backdoor to be retroactive on renewals and applications.

They want new investors to keep asking questions and doubting if they should risk given uncertainly, they are trying to stop a December 2021 surge in new investors, this might make December 2021 look like nothing!

Ironically if they just honored existing rules, had this GV proposal separate, they probably could have passed it in late February as there would be no existing investor push-back (the GV industry would still push back of course, I’m concerned for the significant job losses for GV-centric firms. They might replace some work with D2/D7/etc. but surely 50%+ of the GV work can’t be replaced.

There will never be clarity until the next draft finally hits parliament (e.g. in May).

That bill will get the same push-back (from President, lawyers, etc.) and they’ll quickly amend it to treat everyone under current rules. I think they really want to avoid the constitutional court and delays.

I even think they’ll put a tight grace period in, it might be very strict though, like end of May and you probably also need to have your investment completed before the date of the law comes into effect. I think they want something that stops brand-new investors after the law passes (unlike the 2021 changes)


Anyone (like me) who applied more than eight months ago should, by law, already have their first residence card in hand, based on the legally mandated timeframes for SEF responses.

So if I’m dumped into the Article 45 process, and told my investment doesn’t qualify for D2, I’ll be investigating whatever legal process may exist; for the State would be discriminating against me due entirely to its own unlawful conduct.


Even just giving pending applications a different visa is a retroactive change, but if nothing but the name is different I will be fine with that. Especially if it circumvents the pending EU rules that exempt investment visa holders from moving around the EU.


The Article 45 language, if it goes forward as written, appears to create a class of people who have submitted applications before the new law goes into effect (some many months or even a year before, others more recent) who’s investments will be subject to a qualification review that did not exist when the investment was made. The size of that class depends on how many applications SEF process before the new law goes into effect which, as you @cj807 say, is entirely SEF’s making.

That is such an arbitrary outcome that I can’t believe it would stand. But, like you, I might end up in that group and will do whatever I can to ensure a fair and reasonable outcome.


Thanks for this, TK. I was about to post almost the exact same thing. I am seeing a lot of posts attributing the confusing wording and various contradictions as being some kind of “evil genius” trick, whereas I think a much more likely explanation is simple incompetence on the part of the drafters. Costa’s government doesn’t exactly fill me with a sense of confidence in their ability to draft clear laws. That doesn’t mean we can simply ignore the contradictions, since lack of clarity leaves us open to getting different results from different people in SEF or its replacement. But I really doubt that the draft law is written in such a way as to purposely give them a chance to retroactively screw people over by disallowing investments made under the previous law when they are converting people to the D2 visa. Again, that’s not to say that getting clarity is not important. But I don’t think they wrote the draft to intentionally give them the specific ability to screw over people with pending applications. Costa doesn’t really have anything to gain by doing that, anyway. Whatever political points he’s going to score with this change are not going to be meaningfully increased by targeting “people with pending applications”.


My biggest concern is upon renewal, GV become a 7-day D2, but no law govern what happens when this 7-day D2 expires. No law provide renewal of special D2. So it is possible that GV investor will only get this D2 for 1 term only, right?


Unfortunately the government’s initial proposal in February had serious retrospective effects, and that has opened a trust deficit which is going to take a while to heal.

However, IMHO we are back in the ‘normal’ zone of lawmaking; the rules will change but not screw over anyone already invested in the system. The new proposal clearly signals a change in direction away from rug-pulling, though the details are far from complete. I am optimistic that when the dust settles, and new rules are written up for the special D2, we will all be OK with them. Yes, I have sunk cost bias :slight_smile:


I posted this yesterday and did not see this new thread. I think this may be more appropriate here. I agree with many of the comments to date and they way as stated below is to push our advocates, lawyers and bring up our concerns in other forums so they are addressed and not forgotten on the parliamentary floor.

To this forum, I agree this proposed amendment to the existing law is an improvement over what Prime Minister Costa had stated in his press conferences with PowerPoints. However, my analysis of the proposed amendment as outlined to the 23/2007 of 4 July law (The Law) is as follows:

  1. Article 43
    The revocation of the existing parts of The LAW as outlined is very thorough and complete in its removal of all sections that created the ARI scheme under which we all invested and were protected even revoking paragraph r) of paragraph 1 of Article 122 which in reviewing the laws before investing I did not even know existed.
  2. Article 44
    a) In Paragraph 1 they have complied with the precepts of paragraph 2 (protection of trust) and paragraph 18, non-retroactivity of any new law enshrined in the constitution.
    b) In Paragraph 1, hurry up, because the ARI schema and the laws which underpinned it will be revoked in a matter of months.
    c) Paragraph 2 is a positive because as written it appears to be the way those that have gotten residence permits to date are allowed to renew under the ARI schema as we know it now (which is being revoked as noted above)
    d) Paragraph 3 is a positive in that it accommodates family reunification as defined under Article 98 of The Law
    e) Paragraph 4 is where the old and the new start to collide. In referencing paragraph 2 (c above) it appears to be positive, but then it states, "…who meet the requirements set out in Article 80 of The Law in its current wording. In its current wording Article 80 includes “1) d) have accommodation” which is good for those with housing real estate or can somehow claim accommodation, but bad for investments in which you cannot claim accommodation. There is more confusion created in that Article 85 “Cancellation of Residence Permit” of The Law references in paragraph 2)a) the residence permit can be cancelled "Being the holder of a temporary residence permit , six consecutive months or eight interpolated months, within the the total validity of the permit. 2)a) of Article 85 is not excepted. Is this where the (7 or 14 day clause of paragraph 5 which has not been read yet trumps 2)a). Paragraph 2)b) and paragraphs 3 and 4 are excepted. This may have been covered previously and I missed it but with Article 43 revoking the ARI scheme, people are relying on references to a revoked law.
    f) Paragraph 5 is where the old enshrined in paragraph 2 (c above) runs head long into the new (existing) laws of a non - ARI investment.
    i) By stating, "the renewal determines the conversion of the residence permit into a residence permit for entrepreneurial immigrants (not ARI immigrants) under the terms of paragraph(no.) 4 of Article 89 of The Law in its current wording. The current wording of paragraph(no.) 4 is “A residence permit is granted to a third-country national who develops an entrepreneurial project, including the creation of an innovative based company, integrated in a certified incubator under the terms defined by decree of the members of the Government responsible for the areas of internal administration and the economy, provided that fulfills the general requirements of article 77, with waiver of the established in paragraph a) of its paragraph 1”. Perhaps some ARI investors did this, but not if you invested in real estate or funds.
    ii) Article 77 of The Law is lengthy but the problematic sections are paragraph 1)c) presence in the Portuguese territory (I doubt the 7days or 14 days are what is contemplated here but maybe this is why it is stated later?) 1)e)accommodation, 1)f) enrollment in social security, whenever applicable (the whenever applicable may negate the concern) . So we are back to at least accommodation, which is not a hotel stay.
    iii) The exception of paragraph 1)a) of Article 77 may be appropriate because people will have a residence permit, not a residence visa when applying for a renewal, but the fact they got this detail right and others are confusing seems odd.
  3. Article 45
    a) Applications in process but not granted temporary residence permits yet are still valid under paragraph 1 and 2 of Article 90-A (which is being revoked in Article 43). Awesome!
    b) Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 90-A are lengthy but reference article 77 which has the problems outlined in 2(f)(ii) above which may be overcome with the 7-14 day of Article 44 paragraph 4, but accommodation is worrying.
    c) Also paragraph 1)c) of Aricle 90-A states “regularize their stay in Portugal within a period of 90 days from the date of first entry into national territory”. Perhaps this is where the 7 or 14 day stays in Article 44 paragraph 5 saves us, but why not make this more clear like was done when the ARI scheme was created.
    d) Paragraph 1)d) of Article 90-A (which is being revoked) has to be the savior for the type of property, because it references the lengthy ARI list from Article 3 paragraph 1(d) of The Law which everyone has been using.
    e) Lastly on this section, paragraph 2 of 90-A of The Law, states that the residence permit is renewed for a period of 2 years. Great! However…Paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of Article 45 got included and confusion starts.
    f) Paragraph 2 - Great thanks!
    g) Paragraph 3 is so confusingly written when its meaning is literally applied. It throws everything in the first 2 paragraphs of Article 45 (which were great wins!) into complete question because, “With the necessary adaptations” of paragraph 5 of Article 44 are not defined anywhere. Are we now D2 Entrepreneurial Investors with the requirements of paragraph (no.4) of Article 89. I hope not, I already invested and had my application accepted.
    h) The fact that paragraphs 4 and 5 are included seems to reinforce the point that we are D2 Entrepreneurial Investors per the language of paragraph (no.) 4 of Artcle 89 of The Law, so I need to sell my investment and find a certified incubator.
    i) Lastly, none of the list of agencies that will certify any of the investments is SEF or its successor agency APMMA the only possibly help is the line for “Others that prove appropriate due to the matter”
    j) In light of Paragraphs 3-5 how much longer will it take to get my application approved now?

In conclusion everyone got a win with this draft, NO DOUBT! However, the devil is in the details and until we all push the appropriate people to advocate for the details to be cleaned up we are not out of the woods. Any legal document should be written so it is clear, concise and leaves no confusion. If it does, you have failed. A wise person texted me to look at how clean and simple the real estate purchase contracts are in Portugal.

If we do not get these details cleaned up many of us could face very differing outcomes based on how the new laws are finally written and if unclear applied by whomever is sitting in a particular chair on a particular day.

P.S. For those doing cultural heritage. You are safe. I wish it had been available because I would have done it. However, the fact that avenue is still open seems a bit hypocritical because I thought all golden visas were to be stopped. I hope not, because many of them need funds.


I just got this analysis from the law firm that we use.

To Our Esteemed Clients and Partners,

Following the conclusion of the Public Discussion to the preliminary draft of the Law presented under the ProgramaMais Habitação, the Government delivered to the Parliament, on April 14th 2023, the Law Proposal no. 71/XV/1.ª, which revokes the Residence Permit for Investment Activity (Golden Visa) for new applications, and changes the formalities in the respective renewal processes.

Having analysed the Law Proposal no. 71/XV/1ª, we hereby provide our valued Clients and Partners with our opinion on the main changes included in this new legislative text:

1) New Golden Visa applications will not be admitted, as from the date of entry into force of the Law Proposal no. 71/XV/1.ª,but the possibility of renewing current processes is safeguarded, for investors and their regrouped family members.

2) The access to Permanent Residence Permits and Portuguese citizenship through the

Golden Visa is also safeguarded, under the terms currently in force.

3) The renewal of Golden Visa processes will be converted into a Residence Permit for Entrepreneurial Immigrants, calledD2, but its holders will only have to comply with the minimum permanency requirement of 7 days, consecutive or not, duringthe first year, and 14 days, consecutive or not, during the subsequent two-year periods.

4) Regarding to pending Golden Visa applications, the current requests for concession and renewals waiting for the SEF´sapproval on the date of entry into force of draft Law no. 71/XV/1st, will remain valid, and will also be converted intoResidence Permits for Entrepreneurial Immigrants, called D2, but its holders will only have to comply with the minimumpermanency requirement of 7 days, consecutive or not, during the first year, and 14 days, consecutive or not, during thesubsequent two-year periods.

5) For the purposes of the abovementioned Residence Permits for Entrepreneurial Immigrants, the competent entitiesmust verify the compliance of the investments to the

respective entrepreneurial project.

6) The submission of new Residence Permits concerning investments or support to artistic production, refurbishment ormaintenance of national cultural assets, provided with a declaration issued by GEPAC (Gabinete de Estratégia Planeamento e Avaliação Culturais) before the entry into force of the Law Proposal no. 71/XV/1st, will be allowed, and will also be processed asa Residence Permits for Entrepreneurial Immigrants.

Contrary to what was released in the preliminary draft of the Law subject to Public Discussion, the actual Law Proposal no.71/XV/1.ª also confirms the revocation of the Golden Visa (as we know it) for new concessions, and the change of formalities inthe respective renewal processes, but it does not propose any retroactive effects.

It should be noted that the Law Proposal No. 71/XV/1.ª will still have to be discussed in Parliament, and then approved bythe President of the Republic, who may refer the document to the Constitutional Court, so we foresee a legislative processthat may take several months to be completed, and therefore its date of entry into force and production of effects is still very uncertain.

On the other hand, considering the legislative route and the respective formalities yet to be fulfilled, it is also expected that thecontent of the Law Proposal no. 71/XV/1.ª could be adjusted, depending on the contribution and proposals of the several playersin the process, especially given the political position of some Parties in the sense of maintaining the Golden Visa program, but in amitigated form.

In this sense, and only considering the text of the Law Proposal no. 71/XV/1.ª, we clarifiy and confirms to its Clients and Partners that the current Law that allows the access to the Golden Visa remains valid and in force, and it is stillpossible to make new investments and submit new processes, but we also recommend that these investments and the submissionof the respective processes are made on the SEF´s platform as soon as possible.


Hello Steve,
Thank you for posting your law firm analysis. I am wondering about the impact of the new law on new investments in open-ended mutual funds (e.g. IMGA). Do you know if these funds are accepted under the new special D2 visa regime?