Help safeguard GV for current investors: Contact your ambassador to Portugal today

I’ve seen elsewhere that people were suggesting that Golden Visa investors contact their respective countries’ ambassadors to Portugal and alert them that their country’s citizens would be severely discriminated against if the PS’ proposals were to pass as currently outlined (with the proposed retroactivity and removed possibility to renew under the original conditions).

I think that’s a great idea—probably one of the most impactful ways for most people here to contribute at the moment—and I propose that we use this thread to organize the effort.

Contact details

Here are some contact details for ambassadors of various countries:

United States’ Ambassador to Portugal

Ambassador: Randi Charno Levine

United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Portugal

Ambassador: Chris Sainty

India’s Ambassador to Portugal

Ambassador: Manish Chauhan

If you have the contact details of other embassies and ambassadors, please let me know or edit this post (I’ll make it a wiki).

Perhaps someone could suggest a template (to be individually customized) that would make it easier for people to get started with a message. I think it’s important to highlight each individuals unique circumstances and how the proposed changes would negatively impact them and violate their rights.

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Is it worth considering the idea that ambassadors might not be too excited about helping people become residents of other countries? Maybe they don’t care, but I can also see this being an opportunity for them to stop their citizens from obtaining residency elsewhere.

Particularly for non-US countries that lose tax revenue when citizens leave.

Well, the current proposal would mean that GV investors would need to move to Portugal and become tax residents there to continue renewing. Currently they may still be resident of their home country, still paying taxes there.

Either way, I think most ambassadors would still be sympathetic to their own citizen’s concerns in this case. After all one of their primary roles is to facilitate trade and investment between countries, as well as protecting the interest of their own citizens (not necessarily residents).


This is the letter I’ll be sending, in case of use to anyone:

Dear Ambassador Sainty,

Request for Representation on Proposed Changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme

As you will know, the Portuguese Government has recently proposed a package of reforms to housing policy, known as Mais Habitação. One aspect of the proposals is to end the ARI, popularly known as the Golden Visa. Recent comments from the Prime Minister have raised concerns that the way this will be implemented will have severe consequences for a number of British citizens.

The ARI is a residence permit issued to individuals who are carrying out an investment activity in Portugal, including the purchase of real estate, or investment in Portuguese companies. Permits are issued for an initial two years, and assuming the conditions are met and the investment maintained, the law requires the visa to be renewed for successive two year periods. The holder of the ARI is obliged to spend an average of seven days per year in Portugal, and once the individual has held residence for five years, they become entitled to apply for citizenship.

On 16th February, Prime Minister Costa announced that the Government planned to end the scheme, but indicated that applications submitted before that date would be allowed to proceed under the existing rules. Draft legislation confirmed this, albeit with new provisions for renewals for those owning real estate.

On 30th March, following a public consultation period, the Government made further announcements. This time, the Prime Minister seemed to suggest that ARIs would be replaced by a different form of visa, when initially issued or upon renewal. This would remove all the promised benefits of the ARI scheme, most notably the limited physical residence requirements.

In [date], I applied under the scheme, along with two family members, having made an investment of €X in a fund investing in Portuguese companies; I retained a Portuguese lawyer to assist with my application. In [date], I received preliminary approval, and on [date] we visited the SEF in Lisbon to submit paperwork and have our biometric information registered. To date, over the last 18 months I have incurred expenses of around €X, and I have made a very substantial commitment of time, energy and resources to pursuing my application.

I applied for the ARI in good faith, complying with the rules of a scheme which Portugal created to encourage investment following the financial crisis. The Government is, of course, free to change its policy and terminate the scheme to new applications. However, it must be reasonable to expect an advanced economy like Portugal to honour commitments it has made.

Applicants have a right to receive the ARI they applied for, and to have it renewed as originally intended. For the Government to move the goalposts in the middle of this extended process would be unfair to people who have made significant investments and incurred very high costs, and who placed their trust in Portugal. It would surely create doubt in the minds of international investors and others about whether Portugal is a reliable counterparty.

There are tens of thousands of individuals from many countries who either hold the ARI, or who have applied. Some have invested in funds which they are locked into for years; others have bought property in Portugal. I am aware of a number of UK citizens who are affected. The popular image is that we are billionaires from dubious countries seeking to launder money; in truth, many have invested large portions of their savings, seeking to expand opportunities for themselves and their families.

I urge the British Embassy in Portugal to make representations on my behalf, and on behalf of other affected UK citizens, to convey the concern we have, and request that the Government fulfil the commitments it made to us when we applied for the ARI.

Thank you for your attention and consideration.


(But I think these things are much better when people write their own letter in their own style.)


Yes, for sure! But it’s always nice to have some inspiration for points to raise, and how to raise them nicely… :smiley: Thanks for sharing your letter!


Howdy, all. Reader, first time to submit anything. Family began the process with Fund investment in Q42021. Received prelim approval 4-5 months later. A year after that, Biometric appointment (so now, late Jan.). No further contact from SEF.

I have taken a slightly different path - to send my appeal to the Portuguese Ambassador to the U.S. Here is his address:

His Excellency Francisco Duarte Lopes
Ambassador of Portugal
Embassy of Portugal
2012 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

The verbiage on the various websites speak to the desire for increased business and exchange…the very opposite that the current shenanigans are achieving.

Here is text we sent.

Dear Ambassador Lopes,

I write you today to ask for your help and support in conveying our concerns regarding pending legislative changes to the ARI (“Golden Visa”) program announced by Prime Minister Antonio Costa under the guise of housing reform. In summary, these changes are both disingenuous and harmful both in their scope and retroactive nature, and impact families/investors who sought a Portuguese life - ours being one.

The legislative drafts that have been broadly reported this past week suggest an extensive and retroactive recasting of the program happening at a speed which erodes confidence in the overall investment environment in Portugal. One attorney observed: law that aimed to attract investment “can after all be revoked with retroactive effects, irreversibly affecting acquired rights, without any care for the legitimate interests of those who invested in national territory.”

While a nation always has the right to alter direction or strategy, a general expectation we hold is that in well-performing democracies where rule of law is present, major changes will be done methodically, with suitable transitions and due notices, and with an eye to continuity that respects the rights of individuals that have engaged under prior policy regimes.

The current proposal has none of these attributes.

In contrast, administrative changes implemented last year increasing investment thresholds and redirecting funds for real estate purchase to the interior of the country met a strategic goal and were astute and appropriate.

Dismantling the entire ARI program does not serve Portugal nor the many thousands that have invested time and money with a goal of earning the privilege of residency and citizenship in your wonderful nation.

The arguments tying the ARI investors to the rapid appreciation of real estate pricing are absurd; since 2012 – the date on which this Program was launched – and so far, 11,758 Residence Permits for Investment (ARI) have been issued in Portugal, of which 89% were for reasons of property acquisition (or about 10,500). Yet, in the year 2022 alone, 167,900 dwellings were transacted, 1.3% more than in 2021. In value, transacted dwellings totaled 31.8 billion euros, which represents an increase of 13.1% over the previous year. (Source: INE PT).

Just to illustrate the degree of absurdity, if one takes the entire number of properties purchased under ARI vs. just the 2022 number of transactions, it amounts to 7%. The assertion that the ARI program is a material contributor to the current housing supply/price crisis is simply invalid.

We are not money launderers or housing speculators. Our family thoroughly enjoys your country, its people, and culture. We hope to make it our own. We have traveled multiple times since 2009 (when our son was 8 years old), mostly in the northern region, and intend to visit again in December to include Madeira and some of the southern regions. Just one of our fond memories is of an evening dinner in a small village along the Douro. We had travelled most of the day; it was late and we were hungry, spoke little Portuguese and the restaurant owners spoke no English. Nonetheless, we were warmly welcomed, worked our way through the menu with their help and were served a wonderful dinner.

A simple thing, really, but it’s indicative of the nature of the Portugal we have experienced, as we found similar kindnesses where we traveled - and it has made a strong impression on us. When combined with your country’s stability, political balance, natural beauty, history, location, and other aspects - we had decided several years ago that we would strive to find an opportunity to move and live there.

The ARI turned out to be the answer. In July of 2021 we began the process of pursuing the ARI in accordance with the policies in effect. Of the various methods of qualifying investment defined in the ARI program, we chose to invest in the venture capital funds. Our participation, along with that of many others, is being used to fund and accelerate the process of growth for Portuguese firms - creating home-grown employment and business expansion.

Why would the government wish to retard that type of investment?

We have planned and hoped for the opportunity to complete the multi-year process and culminate it with taking the language exam and earning the privilege of citizenship. Despite numerous delays in processing (4 months for initial electronic pre-approval, then one year to the biometric appointment), our enthusiasm has not waned…until now. Meanwhile, our invested funds have been productively working for 18 months inside Portugal helping build businesses and now there is a possibility that the entire basis for our investment is about to be disbanded.

We feel disappointed and betrayed by process and politics.

To the degree you are able, our request is that you convey the negative impact of this proposed change to your legislative colleagues and urge them to rework the ARI model (if needed) vs. abandonment.


Very well stated - thank you!

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This is brilliant!! Bravo!!!


Does anyone have an email for Portuguese Ambassador to US?

Already emailed the US ambassador in Portugal

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Info from their contact page follows.

The auto-reply I received from my email had a bunch of additional links and said (paraphrasing) send another email if none of these links solve your problem. It gave me the impression that they don’t monitor the email actively.

Also tried faxing my letter, but one of the lines was disconnected and the other just rang and rang.

Let me know if you have a better outcome with email or fax as I’d like to try again.

Contacts - The Embassy - Embassy of Portugal to the United States of America (


2012 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036

+1 202 35 054 00 (Chancery)
+1 202 33 230 07 (Consular Section)
+1 202 46 237 26 (Chancery)
+1 202 38 727 68 (Consular Section)
E-mail (Chancery) (Consular Section)

Quick update. I just got a very nice personal email reply from a person at the embassy in DC. So they definitely are monitoring the email inbox.


I have emailed the Australian Ambassador to Portugal asking for representation and a call with me. Fingers crossed we can get enough Ambassador’s to put some heat against the retrospective aspects and the lack of a reasonable transition period.

If I get the ambassador’s team on a call, I’ll also ask them to represent that we aren’t rich foreigners and we have very little impact on housing prices (no where near as much as other visa holders, and the fact they don’t fix the supply issue)

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That’s great, @michaelsmith! Would you mind sharing their contact details in case there are other affected Aussies here?

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I just had a very nice conversation with a Consular at the Portuguese embassy in DC in response to the letter I sent earlier in the week.

They are aware of the GV situation, are collecting information regarding the chaos and possible damages, and communicating the concerns back to the capital. Whether this will ultimately affect the outcome of the proposed legislation is anyone’s guess. But, it was a very nice conversation and I feel good about trying this path.

Americans who are in the GV process, I encourage you to contact the Portuguese embassy in DC (contact information posted above or just google) and let them know your situation and concerns.


The US Ambassador to Portugal can be better reached at:

The other address goes to their webmaster, which auto replies with this as a better email for American Citizen Services (which I think this would fall under)


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