Portugal Golden Visa - The New Law of 2023

And quite a long article here, on GVs but also the wider housing issues. The writer interviews the head of Kleya, a relocation/investment advisory firm, who expresses concerns about risks to Portugal’s reputation for trustworthiness and reliability. Also talks to the Portuguese Association of Investment Funds, Pensions and Assets (APFIPP).

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The €600 million golden visa hole

The Portuguese Association of Residential Tourism and Resorts (APR) estimates that the end of golden visas could lead to the immediate suspension of investments of more than €600 million.

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@cj807

Great article! Thank you for sharing. It clearly states that few high-profile Portuguese believe the final text of the law, even if it is to become a law, would not reflect any of the original proposals. It is just too detrimental to the overall health of Portuguese economy and Portugal’s reputation as a stable and lawful democracy.

And so, everyone - patience please! It is best to proceed with your plans and stay the course rather than resort to premature panic. This is first and foremost a political maneuver rather than a concrete plan of imminent action.

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@tkrunning Did you hear anything about the melon?

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Not sure if there were others on this forum that attended the webinar hosted by Nomadgate / Rossio Palace’s promoters. Very informative on the entire Housing Law proposal, thank you to @tkrunning for organising!

I just received an email from the presenter which shared this encouraging update:

“The Government prolonged the public discussion period for part of the new law package. The discussion on Golden Visa and short-term rentals was extended until the 24th of March. For the remaining proposals — focused on the residential market — the public discussion will run until the 13th of March, as planned.”

At least the Government is realising that more time is needed to listen to all stakeholders involved.

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Yeah, the interview just aired and the part relating to the housing package is transcribed here:

While Marcelo didn’t touch on anything related to the GV specifically, he’s critical to everything being so rushed and is strongly suggesting that PS should make sure things should be properly discussed and evaluated before trying to pass any laws.

He also said that he will evaluate the law not only on constitutionality, but also of whether the measures are likely to be effective.

He’s now waiting to see how the slices of the melon :watermelon: will look like after being discussed in the parliament…

In other words I think it’s quite likely that this process will drag out, and it could be May or later before anything is signed into law.

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Yeah, probably nudged by the president’s comments today :slight_smile:

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I so hope you are right, @tkrunning! Thanks once again for sharing this valuable info.
And thanks @PCERoman for calming our anxious minds.
The NomadGate forum has been an incredible resource during this tumultuous period of time…

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My lawyers are of the view (like others) that GV via property ownership will go away altogether at some point.

The programme will be ended I think. The writing was on the wall 5 years ago as the EU was already against the idea of monetising citizenship back then especially with the refugee crisis in full swing (now even worse). The real reason the PIGS countries were allowed to do this (you don’t see France nor Germany doing this at such low cost) is because the subprime and European debt crisis saw those countries get hit particularly hard. Neither did those countries get as much enough assistance as they had wanted from the EU. So to placate them and for the sake of stability, Brussels was like ‘ok - we’ll let you do this for a short while but we don’t like it’. Shortly thereafter, the investment requirements for countries shot up exponentially (Malta and Cyprus are prime examples). The GVs are not the reason why property prices are rising. To date, only 11k GV visas have been issued since its inception 10-11 years ago - a tiny number of people. The real reason prices are going up is because Porto and Lisbon are being gentrified due to all the quantitative easing that’s been going on since 2007 and many people in certain positions got rich in the process. They tend to snap up the properties and Airbnb them out cos the rental yields are better. Hence the rise in housing costs. But this is global in nature and not unique to Portugal. As this gentrification increases and the cost of living continuous to be so reasonable (especially if u are getting paid in dollars) and tax profile favorable - one sees more accomplished people set up shop there and a virtuous cycle is established and the authorities know this. So why end the program?

Politics

Is it really about not letting in undesirables? Yes and no. We all know the geopolitics have changed since a few years ago. But at the same time they let in refugees from all over (not just people from Ukraine). 20-25% of the applicants are northern eu citizens and the get the GVs for tax reasons (domiciliation). But the EU is strapped for cash and they want taxes from those guys as well. Overall the program was too conspicuous and successful ans bad optics if they don’t end it.

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I believe the rule is that you can terminate a lease after renting the property for 1/3 of the original lease term.

Could be. This is what my estate agent told me.

In general, the laws in Portugal are on the side of the renter, and that was very well articulated in the article shared by @cj807 https://executivedigest.sapo.pt/fim-de-vistos-gold-pode-suspender-investimentos-de-600-milhoes-de-euros-e-1-000-postos-de-trabalho/. That’s why so many landlords would happily opt for Alojamento Local option as they can generate much more revenue, in shorter time, and with no long-term tenant headaches. This is far greater contributor to the housing crisis than anything GV could ever muster.

I agree with you about the global rise of property etc. In Portugal’s case their success in attracting tourist has been a significant factor.

Portugal does not allow EU citizens to apply for GV’s, in general they already have the right to enter Portugal and take up permenant residence in most situations ( usually around employment & family reunion). They can apply for NHR and benefit from low tax ( and spend on property!!)

GVs seem to get all the blame :pleading_face:

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A great potted summary Marcus.

Just add to it:

  • the insane nature of inheritance laws in Portugal;
  • the high (& unused) number of properties owned by the government;
  • the “soft headed/romantic” automatic visa entry program for Lusophone countries to Portugal, and;
  • a big river bisecting Lisbon (creating huge angst for the many living on the other side & working on this side);

and we then have our current “perfect storm”…

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For any who are considering Mercan’s side letter as a safety net, I urge caution.

I had a chance to review it and it only covers the scenario under which the law changes between recording the deed and submitting the application.

It does not appear to cover the case I’m most afraid of, which is the law passing with retrospective effect. I know there’s questions around the legality of such a move but it was my biggest concern since the period between investing and submitting is only going to be a couple days in my case.

Not sure what other firms are offering in terms of refund guarantee but as others pointed out an open fund may be the best option at this point.

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Thank you so much for alerting me to this caveat! We are probably at similar junctures in our application process, and this really helps me evaluate options with respect to credibility and risk.

I’m inclined to back out of Portugal completely. At this point, I don’t trust any entity in the GV space.

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Hi all,

As this is a pure discussion I would like to put my opinion forward.

It’s just my opinion for anyone who is evaluating the options to take the risk before any formal decision is made by the Portuguese government.

If the target of your investment is naturalization based on residing outside Portugal and only complying to minimum commitment, I would advise to hold your application and wait. The reason is that even if the application does go through and is approved you have a new risk which involves the criteria and requirements for naturalization. The process of naturalization is not actually connected to the GV scheme in any way by law…nor is it promised by the Portuguese government for any GV investor. The only guarantee given is a temp visa allowing you to reside legally in Portugal. Until today a GV holder for 5 years, is able to invoke the naturalization by residency clause which allows anyone who has legally resided in Portugal for 5 years to submit a request for Naturalization.

The risk is the clause is already vague as it is, and if the Portuguese government decide for some reason to limit the GV naturalization they can do so without even changing any law, and pressuring the relevant government agencies to use the ‘ties to the Portuguese community’ as an excuse.

However, if your target is limited to residency only for any reason, I suggest you take advantage for the remaining time, and accommodate the facts already announced… and proceed with your application keeping a backup plan in mind.

I have held the GV for 4.5years, so my concerns are related to Naturalization. It was no walk in the park, but until now I am still happy with my decision.

Just my opinion for those who have not started yet.

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As someone who started the GV process well before this cancellation announcement, I agree (I’m also concerned about renewal, but I suspect they will allow that).

I hope learning the language counts as a connection. Apparently Portugal is making it very easy for people from Lusophone countries to immigrate? And for us non-native speakers, learning Portuguese is a very real effort that should demonstrate a real connection in my opinion.

One factor of other countries selling Golden Passports like Cyprus and Malta, was that they never required any language proficiency. This does set the Portugal Golden Visa path to citizenship apart - naturalization has always required a Portuguese test.

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Goal posts of government’s housing programme ‘keep changing’ - Portugal Resident

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I just wrote in a longer post about my SEF appointment today, but my lawyers in Lisbon don’t think that renewals will be an issue. But who knows

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