It's official: Portugal's Golden Visa program changes on Jan 1, 2022

Here’s the official summary of the changes (in English):

Or you can check out the full decree (in Portuguese).

From what I understand these are the main changes:

  • Real estate investments will only qualify if located in the interior of mainland Portugal (defined here on page 2-4), on Madeira, or the Azores.
  • The minimum investment for capital transfer increases from €1 million to €1.5 million
  • The fund investment minimum increases from €350K to €500K
  • The same goes for capital transfer for R&D and company incorporation

The creation of at least 10 jobs option and the art investment option (€250K) are not affected by the changes.

So if you’d like to invest in real estate along the coast, in Lisbon, or Porto you have until the end of the year to finalize the transaction and apply for the Golden Visa.

The same goes if you want to make a qualifying €350K fund investment (rather than €500K).

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How certain are you that one needs to simply submit the application before the deadline (rather than have their application approved and/or actually have their visa issued)?

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I myself am not certain at all. To the contrary I think you need to have the application approved before the deadline.

I did see this article in IMI Daily that quotes local attorneys and if you believe them, it does clearly state that the application just needs to be submitted by the deadline:

It would be pretty onerous for a government to say the deadline applies to a step in the process that is within their own control, rather than the apllicant’s.

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I am reading the law differently. According to Article 3, section 2 (highlighted below). It seems to state that the permit must be granted (not applied for) before the effective date of this new law.

2 - The provisions of Law no. 23/2007, of 4 July, as amended by this decree-law, do not affect the possibility of renewing residence permits or granting or renewing residence permits for family reunification. provided for in article 98 of Law no. 23/2007, of 4 July, in its current wording, when the residence permit for investment has been granted under the legal regime applicable until the date of entry into force of this decree-law.

Good point. Unclear. For a government that is intending to attract foreign investment, is it too much to ask for them to provide clear guidelines in plain English? It’s pretty ridiculous!

Actually, i do see now what they are trying to do.
If you read section 1 it does apply to Applications. I think the section 2 only relates to renewals, so I think it wont be a problem. It may be a translation issue because this could be interpreted a number of different ways.

Time application

1 - The provisions of Law no. 23/2007, of 4 July, as amended by this decree-law, are applicable to all applications for residence permit for investment required after the date of entry into force of this decree-law.

Yea you may be right. However I still don’t know why they’d use “granted” (understand that it’s auto translated to English) for language surrounding renewals. If the first paragraph says we can get the visa if we apply before Jan 1, it makes it sound like you may not be able to renew if it was granted after Jan 1.

yes I agree. The language is not ideal. They have stated it in a rather backward manner:

  1. the new law applies to applications received after the date of 1-Jan-2022.
  2. the new law does not affect renewals when the residence permit is granted under the law prior to 1-Jan-2022.

I suspect what it might mean in an untranslated sense is that if you APPLY before Jan 1, 2022 then you are under the old legal scheme and therefore your application is granted under the old scheme, not the new. Thus, you can renew without issue because your application was granted under the old scheme. This is just my guess.

Yea. I think that’s what they’re trying to say. Its just that they could have said with just the first paragraph (about applications) and omitting the second paragraph (about renewals) altogether!

This is exactly my understanding of it. I’m no lawyer (although the ones I’ve spoken to agree), but it seems quite straight forward when reading the law text. It doesn’t leave much room for doubt, IMO.

The highlighted word is poorly translated. Requeridos in this context means requested or applied for, not required. That makes it a bit easier to read.

The only slight uncertainty is how they define the submission of the application. Is it when you start the application in the online system, when you hit submit (even if they request further supporting documents at a later date), or is it when you have filed everything 100% correctly, including any supporting documentation?

My guess would be when you actually submit the application online, but it leaves enough uncertainty that I’d recommend getting it done well before the deadline.

Is this increasing to 500k as well?

Acquisition of real estate with construction completed at least 30 years ago or located in an urban rehabilitation area, with the execution of rehabilitation works. The minimum investment is reduced to €350,000.

Does that mean the “€280,000” option is also changing?

The real estate investment amounts will remain at €280K/€350K/€400K/€500K as before, what’s changing is where you are allowed to buy residential real estate. Commercial real estate seems to still be allowed in all areas.

Does anyone know if there will be any changes for acquiring NHR tax status by the means of staying on Portuguese territory for a minimum of 183 days of the year (with an existing EU passport) - and in general if/how these 183 days have to be proves (since my wife and I are nomads we don’t really have a rental contract to show)

Thanks so much and sorry if slightly OT

Chinese seem to favor the real estate option. Americans seem to be more willing to go with a fund. Some of that distinction may be cultural. With the fund option increasing from €350K to €500K (40% increase), will this put a damper on the fund option , or is the thought that is won’t have much impact on investor mindset because other options are also increasing?

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Hi does anyone know if after getting the residence permit by investing in real estate we can take a home equity loan against that property in portugal? Is it against the terms of the residency program?

Execuse me for asking, but are you 100% sure that the €280k option will remain valid after jan 2022? As my investment planning will be heavily dependent on this answer, I request you to kindly resolve this query. I’ve read the actual decree, it doesn’t say anything about the 280k option-- whether it’ll remain valid or not under the new GV rules regime. Hence that leaves a scope of confusion. Thank you very much.

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I asked a law firm and they said it will remain.

Ok. Thank you very much.