Impact of recent election on the Golden Visa program

Hi all. Many of you may have seen the recent elections which placed the socialist party in the Prime Minister role. They had a fairly strong majority in parliament. I’m wondering how, if at all, the party may view the Golden Visa program? Perhaps someone with some knowledge of the party and their positions on these types of issues could weigh in?

Short answer: no one knows. PS party has formed alliances with PCP and BE parties in the past. With new majority this is no longer necessary. But keep in mind even before this election incremental changes were already underfoot to tighten availability of GV program. It is constant dichotomy of wanting investment/infill of population but weighed against increase in popularity of Portugal in general means increase in housing prices. 2022 changes to GV program will do little to affect continuing rise in housing prices because that was never the main reason for it. It is possible that bigger concern now is popularity of D7 visa bringing 50x the numbers as GV. More incremental changes to GV program are also possible because immigrants are historically a scapegoat for underlying societal problems. But honestly, I think Portugal is in good position right now. Portugal is on the world stage for desirability and new investment for the first time in many years and it is good to have policies that continue this trend. Of course, inflation and increasing housing prices are a problem in most major cities worldwide. No country has a solution for this yet.

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Nonsense, there’s a very easy solution to housing prices increasing - building more housing!

What prevents building more housing in Portugal? In the USA it is zoning laws and land use restrictions, I’d guess Portugal has something similar

Generally “the left” (to use a term I dislike) has been very bad about acknowledging that supply and demand is a thing across Europe and in the USA, and tend to support things like rent control rather than encourage building. Notably different is Vienna, with tons of public housing being built all over. Fingers crossed Portugal does that if anything

I don’t care how it’s done, i just want more housing built!


Moving to a different thread


We’ll, the main thing that changed was that the so-called socialist party, PS (center-left), no longer has to rely on support from two far-left parties (the communist party, PCP, and the Left Bloc, BE).

I think the new government is less likely (yet not completely unlikely) to mess with what’s already working. A center-right government would be less likely to do so, though.


The Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) and GV programmes were initiated in 2009 (PS-Socialist- premiership) and 2012 (under a PSD-Social Democrat premiership) respectively. Over time the main change to the former has been a halting of zero-tax NHR rates towards a fixed tax rate and in GV, a shift in residential investments qualifying for GV towards regions with a lower population density outside Lisbon and Porto, from 2022.
Complaints about GV originate from those disenfranchised by the liberalisation of the property market (implemented since 2012- when GV also began implementation). Property market liberalisation came about via the “Novo Regime de Arrendamento Urbano” NRAU, a major reform of the housing & rental laws. In broad terms, from 2012 the NRAU reform rapidly enabled owners to repossess their properties from sitting tenants and market them [refurbished to tenants/or as Airbnb lets] or sell to investment companies or individual investors, many of the latter applying for residence via the GV programme. The law change substantially altered prices in the housing market. Those who could afford rentals before, could no longer afford it.
The Bloco Esquerda (Left Block party) and the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and Greens are vocally against GV. However, PS, PSD, CDS and PAN voted against elimination in 2019.
The crucial issues for the future of GV are how it is managed (allegations of mismanagement came from within SEF) and how it fits in with EU policies. In relation to the former, the appointment of the next Minister of Internal Administration is key. The current acting Minister (appointed in December 2021) is also Minister of Justice (with a reputation for a calm, discreet and efficient approach in both ministries under her current jurisdiction) but she has stated that she will not take a political appointment in the new Government. Something to watch.