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The era of Portugal's Golden Visa program is approaching its conclusion

Updated: Mar 24

"The end of Portugal's Golden Visa era: A retrospective analysis"

As early as November 2, 2022, there were signs of Portugal's intention to cancel the Golden Visa program, when Portuguese Prime Minister Costa announced at a summit that the program would be abolished, stating that its mission had been accomplished.

Looking back at the development history of the Golden Visa program, it has been 10 years since it was officially legislated on October 8, 2012 and its detailed rules were announced in February 2013. During this period, there have been various political measures, both large and small, such as limiting the property holding period and the property location requirements. Despite the increasing threshold, the number of applicants has remained steady. During this decade, Globevisa has helped thousands of families obtain residency in Portugal, fulfilling one European dream after another, and we are proud of it.

Screen capture from IMI Daily.

So when hearing Costa's announcement of the potential cancellation of the Golden Visa program, it came as a shock. Would Europe lose yet another path to entry? Fortunately, on the 23rd of the same month, news surfaced that the proposal had been rejected by Parliament. This brought a collective sigh of relief to many immigrants, allowing them to relax their vigilance.

Screen capture from Portugal Resident and IMI Daily.

Unfortunately, two months later, after Ireland announced the cancellation of its investment immigration program, Portuguese Prime Minister Costa once again brought up the potential cancellation of the Golden Visa program at a press conference, and detailed regulations are set to be officially announced on March 16th. This proposed cancellation appears to be imminent, and the last call for the Portuguese option has been sounded.

News: Government to stop golden visas

Screen capture from The Portugal News.

Globevisa Immigration Lawyers Interpreting the Portuguese Situation】

What caused the cancellation of the Golden Visa program, despite the proposal having been previously rejected by Parliament? Is the cancellation of the program inevitable?

Globevisa has invited our team of Portuguese immigration lawyers to provide insight into the reasons behind this decision.

They state that:" The Golden Visa program has always faced dual pressures from both domestic and international sources. From the international perspective, the European Commission has consistently emphasized that European Union citizenship is one of the most important achievements of the Union's integration and is a unique existence. The lack of standard rules and agreements to manage the Golden Visa program, as well as the loose due diligence that has led to potential security risks involving money laundering and corruption, have to some extent undermined the essence of EU citizenship and raised concerns among EU officials.

In terms of Portugal's domestic affairs, the main source of pressure arises from concerns over local housing prices. Since the enactment of the Golden Visa program at the end of 2012, real estate investment has been a mainstream option for applicants, with the number of approved applicants and approved amounts through real estate investment accounting for approximately 80% or more of all investment categories in the same year. Therefore, the Portuguese government considers the Golden Visa program to be one of the reasons for the skyrocketing of domestic housing prices and rents in recent years, gradually restricting real estate investment projects, especially residential projects."

So, do families who have not yet submitted a Portuguese immigration application still have a chance?

"The Prime Minister's plan mentioned is also due to these two reasons, and it is unknown to everyone whether the plan will actually be implemented. However, we have reason to believe that the Portuguese government will provide a certain buffer period to officially implement the new policy.

Firstly, the Portuguese government does not have the authority to legislate whether or not to shut down the Golden Visa program. The warning of the shutdown is only preliminary proposed by the Prime Minister at the press conference. On March 16th, the shutdown proposal and specific details still need to be discussed and voted on by the National Assembly. After the proposal is formally submitted, it needs to be supported by 2/3 of the votes in the assembly before it can be implemented. Therefore, there is still one month to go before the shutdown proposal is finally confirmed.

Secondly, based on Portugal's past history of political transitions, there has not been a direct and abrupt policy change to date. The previous policy change related to residential properties was proposed at the end of 2019 and only implemented from January 1, 2022, after nearly two years. Therefore, it can be inferred that even if the proposal to shut down is passed by a majority vote, the Portuguese Immigration Bureau will provide applicants with a long buffer period. Currently, our team of lawyers recommends that applicants who are still observing the situation make a decision as soon as possible. Each step, from account opening, property transfer to submitting immigration documents, takes time. The safest option is to enter the immigration application channel at the Immigration Bureau before the official shutdown!"

Since the press release, Globevisa is still accepting new immigration applicants, backed by our Portuguese firm, with a team of five professional immigration lawyers exclusively available for Globevisa. They are all licensed lawyers and several are registered with the Portuguese Bar Association. They not only have extensive experience but also provide real-time professional legal advice to the applicant families.

Portuguese In-house Lawyer of Globevisa

【Globevisa Team Responds Proactively to Policy Changes】

Globevisa has been deeply involved in immigration for 16 years and has seen many policy changes. Every time there is a change in policy, Globevisa will spare no effort to actively respond.

The Globevisa Portugal team is a team of over 30 people who have been working on the Portugal Golden Visa program since the end of 2012 when the project law was promulgated. They have been deeply involved in the Portugal project for over 10 years, and have extensive experience in handling immigration cases. Whether it's the scale or the experiences, with the approaching change in policy and the urgent need to submit applications quickly, it is more reassuring to entrust the application to them.

In addition, the Lisbon team has more than 10 receptionists and internal immigration lawyers who can provide services such as full accompaniment for on-site inspections and remote assistance in dealing with local affairs. They are proficient in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Minnan dialect, and other languages, making communication with Lisbon no obstacle.

With policy changes looming, Globevisa's Portugal team is responding proactively and adjusting their strategic direction promptly. Currently, all staff have cancelled their leave and assist clients in submitting their applications, racing against time! 【How to obtain the last chance "ticket" for immigration policy changes?】

Although there is usually a buffer period before the implementation of new policies, it can still be certain that waiting and watching will miss the last chance, not just in Portugal.

How to catch this last chance? Please contact Globevisa as soon as possible.

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