President Marcelo Vetoes "More Housing" Package, Delays Changes to Golden Visa Program

In a recent development, President Marcelo has vetoed the “More Housing” package, which includes significant changes to Portugal’s popular Golden Visa program. This move will send the law back to parliament, which is set to commence a new session in early September after the holidays.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

We are hopping for the best of laws that will favour investors going forward

1 Like

I need to renew my Golden Visa and my lawyer says,

“Until this moment, the present law is still in force since the new law has been vetoed by the president. Hence, at this point the requirements regarding personal documentation remain the same, but we will not know if they will apply it or not until Parliament approves the new law. In fact, at this point we still don’t know if your application will be submitted under the present regime or if will be affected by future changes. Please note that this new law puts an end to the residence permit regime for investment, the so-called golden visas. We believe that for that reason, SEF has no vacancies for the renewal of these residence permits and visas related to the permanence of foreign citizens in national territory has been extended until December 31, 2023.”

Are there any indications at the moment that the government will not honor the terms and conditions that were originally presented to people who already hold a Golden Visa? Does it mean that going forward I can only apply for D7 or permanent residence (after 5 years), which will require that I spend much more than 7 days per year in Portugal?

Thank you for your insights if any.

Check the thread about automated renewals, you may be able to get renewed very quickly if you’re lucky

1 Like

Here’s my take (usual ‘not a lawyer’ disclaimer applies). In this, I assume that your investment is related to real estate or a large capital transfer. If it’s not, then nothing at all will change.

The new law says that when you renew, your ARI will be converted into a D2 ‘entrepreneur’ visa. This new D2 will maintain the same 7/14 day physical stay requirements as the current ARI.

The wording of the new law is a little vague, but it suggests that ARI conversion will be an automatic process, with no requirement for evidence that your investment is in any way ‘entrepreneurial’. (The initial issue of a visa for pending applicants is worded differently.)

However, SEF (or AIMA) doesn’t yet have any procedures or regulations to cover this “conversion”. (For example, there is no regulation about what fees apply to an ARI->D2 renewal/conversion.) SEF doesn’t make coffee without proper procedures, so I would expect the renewal process to be on hold until Regulations and Ordinances are issued by the Government and promulgated, and SEF re-writes its Manual. This will take time, so if you can renew before the end of September, you definitely should.

D2 visas normally come with other requirements including “subsistence” and “accommodation”, under Article 77(1) of the 2007 law. These obviously don’t apply to ARIs (I think this may rely on the phrase ‘Without prejudice to special conditions that apply’ in Article 77) and the SEF Manual confirms this. The presumption is that these also won’t apply to ARI->D2 conversions, but it will be helpful if this is clarified in Regulations and the revised SEF Manual.

By the way, your lawyer is wrong to say the new law “puts an end to the residence permit regime for investment, the so-called golden visas”. It only ends new applications backed by a real estate investment or large capital transfer. The ARI continues for other types of investment.

None of this changes your rights at the end of your term of residence.


Dear Chris J,

Wow, thank you very much for the detailed information. I feel much more at ease than when I did after receiving my lawyer’s email!

Unfortunately, my real-estate-based ARI expires on Jan. 5, so technically, I can only renew after Oct. 5 (3 months in advance). I think that my lawyer did not submit the paperwork for renewal 2 years ago because apparently SEF was not accepting appointments due to COVID and ARIs were extended by law until Dec. 31, 2023.

Even if the “new” legal expiration date of my ARI is Dec. 31, 2023, it doesn’t look like I can get it renewed in September. I suppose that I need to wait until the new law is passed. Thank you very much once again!

1 Like

Dear Garrett,

Thank you for your advice. Chris J above also advised that I try to get a renewal before the end of September and I checked the automated renewals thread as you recommended. Would you happen to know when the expiration date of the new card would be if I happened to get approved via autorenewal? I read comments in the thread but I couldn’t understand what people were saying.

The printed expiration date on my card is Jan. 5, 2022. If I get approval via autorenew on Sep. 15, 2023, will the new card be good until Jan. 5, 2024 (2 years from the printed expiration) or Sep. 15, 2025 (2 years from autorewal approval date)?

Thank you for your advice.

You are making a few assumptions that may or may not be correct. The fees for D2 are substantially less than ARI. I am not sure how SEF plans to differentiate between a regular D2 and the ARI D2. This is in my opinion one of the flaws of this type of “shotgun” legislation that was not well thought out. Most likely, SEF does not want to surrender the gravy from the ARI fees so they will develop two sets of processing fees. “Regular D2 fee” and “Special D2 fee” with the former ARI now D2 being 10x the cost of the regular d2. Now, what type of constitutional issues this may raise is unknown.

As for the rest of your comment, I think you are probably accurate in thinking that they will create a procedure to push all the old ARIs through the process similar to how the ARI renewals work now. To the extent they introduce a bunch of new procedures and hurdles, it will inevitably cause a lot of pushback and lawsuits. In my opinion, since the ARI invested 200,000 to 500,000 or more there is some bargain that was made that the government must honor. We will see…

1 Like

The text you quoted as coming from your attorney sounds like a canned / cut and pasted response suitable for replying to clients who are rushing to get a new Golden Visa application in before the law changes, not something relevant to your situation

1 Like

They very clearly address his concerns in the last few lines

Unfortunately, you will not be able to renew before end of September or even 3 months in advance, because after SEF allowed automatic renewal for GV, there are no vacancies for usual renewal.
The automatic online renewals open only for the GV expired in the current quarter, and so far around 20th of the first month of the quarter. So technically if nothing changes, automatic online renewal for your GV will open only in January and most likely AFTER expiration of the current one.

1 Like

Thanks to the community, I talked my lawyer into trying to renew my visa online and it seems to have worked (I submitted a payment to SEF on Sep. 1). Thank you in particular to Garrett and Chris J.

What is not clear to me is when my new card will be valid until. I asked my lawyer several times but she never answered, so I am assuming that she doesn’t know. Would anybody happen to know?

1 Like

Ah! Your card expired January 22!!! I thought Jan 24. And your lawyer did not tried to renew online in the 1Q of 23. And even until now said that there are no slots? WOW!

My guess is that your dates will be 2 yr from the payment, Sep 23-Sep 25, and just no permit between Jan 22 and September 23. In the past, in 2017 and 2019, my renewals had expiration of original month (like July 19, July 21), and as SEF was always late those were shorter than 2 yr. But since covid it looks like they have changed the practice and my last card was exactly 2 yr and moved to October.


Thank you, Olga. Sorry for the confusion on the expiration dates. My fault.

Unfortunately, I am starting to have doubts about my lawyer. Thank you once again for your help!

1 Like