Portugal Golden Visa - The New Law of 2023

Seems like being a resident is a big part of HQA?


Madeira wants to maintain golden visas - The Portugal News.


My lawyer reports a sudden rush of clients since Thursday :smile:


What’s ironic is that some of these fellow D7 folks have long been teasing and now “celebrating” about the GV ones, despite both are from the same boat as you said. They don’t realize they have more direct effects on helping Americans “discover” PT the past 10 years (i.e., the expontential growth of tourist interest) as well as all the cons. So GVs become the scapegoat for now.


They aren’t offering citizenship. They’re offering residency. Nowhere in any of these visas is citizenship being offered, except in marketing literature from third parties.

A GV, anyone can get by showing up and handing over a bunch of cash, and that’s it. You don’t have to do anything or in most cases even take any meaningful risk. (Funds represent a bit of risk, but it’s professionally managed monetary risk that’s little different than buying shares in the stock market - hell, what is IMGA Acoes, and that’s ok. Completely and utterly passive risk.)

The difference between HQA and GV is that HQA is active. To my understanding, there is a corporation founded, in your name, that is funded, hires people, has to actually do something, pays significant taxes as a result, and puts capital at risk. (Ok sure there’s a requirement that you be highly qualified, but resume inflation can probably take care of that.)

Now sure, you can use one of these specialty firms to do all the setup work for you and put it all on auto-pilot. Of course then your business will most likely bleed money and die, all the while paying a ton of taxes. Your little business has to play by Portuguese law, which means you better care a bit about that. If you’re not careful your little company will find itself in a ton of debt, even - that you might well be on the hook for. There is genuine risk here and it really behooves you to give a damn and learn at least something about doing business in Portugal, or at least hire a professional manager and keep an eye on them. I suspect the specialty companies in this space provide the support services to let you not have to care THAT much (they say “as much or as little involvement as you want”) but it’s definitely non-zero.

This will winnow out a ton of people who really want a low-risk investment and an easy residence-to-passport, because it means your visa could potentially cost you multiple 6 figures and will cost you some attention.

Most importantly - this visa looks a LOT like the German investment visa program other than the magnitude of the investment involved. So Portugal can quite easily say “well you let Germany get away with this, why can’t we?” All arguments die there.


Yes, it HQA looks a lot like the German program, indeed! Does anyone know what the actual residency requirement is for HQA? I’ve seen some sources state that it’s the same as e.g. D7, others saying no minimum. It’s not a program I’ve dug deep into myself yet (although should probably do so), so I’m not quite sure about the details.

By the way, I’ve started hearing from various companies how they are scrambling to get those interested in before the new law would come into effect (or otherwise helping those potentially impacted by the changes). I figure it makes sense to include those in this thread. If you know of others, let me know or share!

Commercial real-estate investments

Mercan Group

  • The upfront IAS legal fee is just €500 (which will let the lawyers start opening bank accounts, get tax number etc ASAP), with the rest due when application is submitted (which can also be reduced if contacting them here)
  • For those who are willing to fly in and open the bank account (which is much faster than doing it remotely + you can apply for several at once and then use the one that activates first) they will provide free hotel accommodation for two nights
  • Deed can be issued in three days or less from the transfer of investment funds, application submitted and “locked” within 24-48 hours after that
  • Criminal records from home country is needed for the application, however the apostilled version can be submitted later
  • If the law changes after the issuing of the deed and before the valid submission of the application, the investor will be refunded by the developer
  • This program runs for a limited time (I believe until April 1, so they have capacity to help everyone that’s interested)

Rossio Palace

  • If the law changes before application they will refund the investment

Fund investments

If you want to go the fund route, it’s important to choose a fund that has already raised enough capital and are now “active”. This includes many of the most popular funds, such as Lince Innovation Fund II, Pela Terra Farmland, and Prima Europe. Listed/open-ended funds like Optimize Portugal, IMGA Ações Portugal, and Sixty Degrees Ações Portugal would also make good candidates.

Residential real estate

This is more for those who already have purchased residential real estate that they are not using themselves that want to make sure they qualify for renewals: Property Finder Portugal has a long-term rental program that may come in handy.

Art/cultural donation or investment

If you feel more comfortable with this path, I think the best law firm to reach out to is Edge as they are the ones most experienced with this path. I believe @ohbee used them, for example.


First they came for the Jews, and I supported them. Then they came for the Muslims, and I did nothing. Then…

familiar songs.


SLIGHTLY over dramatic.


We have indeed chosen the cultural heritage / arts path, although I find it difficult to recommend a non-refundable GV option nowadays…at least a house can be resold and a fund can be divested from!

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Yeah, that’s a good point! You might lose some time and transaction costs, but it’s indeed less risky from that perspective.


Don’t forget the imga fund Thomas.

My lawyer is in the same boat as the rest of them, don’t worry since you’re already applied and especially don’t worry because I invested in a fund

She also says it’s likely Costa is basically grandstanding and it won’t go anywhere. We’ll see


This last minute rush to apply for the program now isn’t helpful to anyone already approved. It is just adding fuel to the fire. Of course, people always want what they can’t have so the rush to apply is to be expected, but quite dumb. Costa announced in November the program was ending…where were those people then? I know the lawyers and promoters are saying anyone who applies now is fine. Maybe, or maybe not. It certainly smells of opportunism. I can’t say I blame someone from applying but I would not want to be in that position right now.

As for the “more housing” plan, I hope it works. But where is the government going to find the money and workers to restore hundreds of ruins into livable housing units. At least with the inflow of GV money there was plenty of money to keep those processes going. It seems a much smarter approach to this would have been to mandate that any future GV funds MUST be strictly for low-income housing meeting the “more housing” requirements. Instead of vilifying people who love Portugal and want to make Portugal better, why not use them as a resource?

In my local newspaper there were 3 articles today about how a certain group of people were mistreated by another group. This identify politics warfare is so unhealthy. The United States politicians have mastered the art of identity politics and look where it is leading the US.


Yeah, it would be a great idea to redesign the program in a way where the GV applicants were contributing to a solution to the housing problem, not being part of it. At the end of the day I suspect the total closure of the program had little to do with housing.


Good points abc…

This next link will probably provide some “factory/building site fodder” but for the life of me it seems nuts - just going to add to the housing shortages/create more slums/add more tagging & graffiti/depress wages:

Portugal to grant "protection status" to immigrants - The Portugal News

But of course, one could probably guess in which direction most of these new burghers will vote, and what their skill levels will be …

Overall, there seems to be no “master-plan” - just short-term/knee jerk political opportunism…

I wonder if the recent addition of online / easy renewals is a longer term part of the plan to phase out the GV. Requires very little human resources, just a website that accepts large payments every couple of years. Then the government can say, look, we are already winding it down!

Perhaps online renewals will stick around until everyone in the program “ages out” via permanent residency or citizenship…


I hope so ohbee, at least we might then get back “towards” the promised 5 years to citizenship spiel…


True enough. Easy EU citizenship without real residence is potentially also likely to die. That was also something an outlier and I’ve been a shade concerned about that as well. That said, I suspect that throttling GV will serve the purpose at least for a while. But really, for many people, PR may well be good enough to purpose. It just depends on your purpose. On the whole I’ve been lowering my sights cross the board.

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@tkrunning, thanks for sharing! We were initially planning to purchase a house but due to the time constraints are now looking onto Mercan Group’s and other companies’ projects. How reliable are they? Do we have anybody in this community who invested with them and got approved for GV? Does it make sense to use their in0house legal services (anyhow independent will their legal opinion be?)? If anybody can share their experience with Mercan projects, that would be great!


If you want a quick and easy investment that is transparent, open ended, and low fee, check out the IMGA ações fund


It’s super common in the US and other countries to say there is no housing shortage, and to essentially scapegoat investors. Gee, I wonder why people are investing in a good with inelastic+growing demand with a legal supply limit

As I’ve said before, an actual solution to this is to make it easy to build new housing. It seems a very questionable investment due to laws preventing construction and also laws preventing you from making a profit on your constructed building. So of course not much is built.

The gov’t announcing it wants to cut red tape is good news, but from the other side of the language barrier it’s hard to tell how serious they are.

As for labor to work on repairs/etc, plenty of immigrants happy to do the work I’m sure.