On July 19th, the Portuguese Parliament voted on the final wording of the Golden Visa legislation following the Government proposal and a legislative process that started on February 16th.
GOLDEN VISA PROGRAM 2023 – Final Wording
In summary, according to the proposal presented, we highlight the following points:
- The Golden Visa program will continue active with 5 different options of investment, starting on the 200 thousand euros;
- There is no retroactive effect and the right of renewal, family reunification and permanent residency applications are safeguarded;
- Pending concessions and renewals will be approved under the current regime and future renewals regarding the revoked options of investment will be analyzed under the Entrepreneur Permit regime – without the residency requirement of 183 days / year – it was kept the special regime of 7 days/ year as staying period;
- The amendments will come into force in the day following its publication in the official journal with no grace period.
A final note – Remember, regardless of what options you are going for, one of the most important document you need to get is your no criminal record.
What Are The Remaining Eligible Options of Investment?
- The creation of at least 10 jobs
- Capital transfer in an amount equal to or greater than 500 thousand euros, applied in research activities carried out by public or private institutions of scientific research, integrated in the national scientific and technological system;
- Capital transfer in an amount equal to or greater than 250 thousand euros, which is applied in investment or support to artistic production, recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage, through central and peripheral direct administration services, public institutes, entities that integrate the business public sector, public foundations, private foundations with public utility status, inter-municipal entities, entities that are part of the local business sector, municipal associative entities and public cultural associations, which pursue objectives in the area of artistic production, recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage;
- Transfer of capital in an amount equal to or greater than 500 thousand euros, intended for the acquisition of shares in non-real estate collective investment entities, which are incorporated under Portuguese legislation, whose maturity, at the time of investment, is at least five years and at least 60% of the value of investments is in commercial companies headquartered in the Portugal (fund route);
- Transfer of capital in an amount equal to or greater than 500 thousand euros, intended for the incorporation of a commercial company with headquarters in Portugal, combined with the creation of five permanent jobs, or to reinforce the social capital of a commercial company headquartered in Portugal, already incorporated, with the creation of at least at least five permanent jobs or maintenance of at least ten job positions, with a minimum of five permanent employees, and for a minimum period of three years.
- The minimum amount or quantitative requirement of the investment activity provided for in the paragraphs i), ii) and iii) may be lower by 20%, when the activity is carried out in low-density territories.
- Low Density territories are now considered those defined under the terms of Ordinance No. 208/2017, of July 13, with less than 100 inhabitants per square kilo-meter or a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of less than 75% of the national average.
- The investment activities need to be evaluated every two years regarding their impacts on the activity scientific, cultural and promotion of foreign direct investment and job creation work.
- The investment activities cannot be used, directly or indirectly, for real estate investment.
When Does The New Law Comes Into Effect?
With the final and global approval, the diploma must now be sent to to President of the Republic who may react as follows:
- Direct ratification and in this case, the proposal will be published in the official journal and enters into force the next day after the publication;
- The President does not accept the proposal as it is, and returns it to the Parliament for amendment or;
- The President accepts the document but requests the evaluation of the Constitution Court to confirm if any fundamental rights or principles are being jeopardize by the new legislation.
The President has 20 days to take his decision. However, it is not possible to predict if he will decide in a shorter or longer period – in one hand, by tradition he is very fast in approving diplomas considering that he was a law professor and is following very closely the legislative process. On the other hand, it is a very extensive diploma with various topics – including rentals, real estate licensing, local accommodation and golden visas and we are officially in the summer vacation period.
As such, it is not possible at this stage, to accurately estimate when the new law will enter into force.
What Are The Main Changes?
- No real estate options are eligible, either through direct or indirect investment;
- Extension of the current option of investment funds to “collective investment entities” whose purpose is for the capitalization of companies;
- Introduction of a set of competent authorities to verify the suitability of the investment
- Introduction of a new concept of low density areas, more restricted for purposes of benefiting of the 20% reduction in the minimum amount of investment.
What Should Investors Do If their Investment Processes Are Not Yet Concluded?
The recommendation will naturally depend on the risk profile of the investor and their individual situation. Notwithstanding, the general recommendation is:
– To conclude your investment within these 2 weeks and submit the application immediately after. A point to note is, whenever possible, try to secure a guarantee of refund in case the application cannot be filed before the new law enter into force Either way the decision shall be taken within these 2 weeks; Here is more details on how to choose your investment in this specific period and how to submit your application within one week!
– To go for the fund investment options within the new rules.
It is important to understand that the above amendments refer to the Immigration Law. Such law has a correspondent regulation that must also be updated to fulfil and clarify the new concepts as well as to allow the correct application of the Law. There are still some open ends that needs to be clarified (especially in what refers to the prevision of renewals conversion into the entrepreneur regime as well as the concept of indirect real estate investment in funds). This shall be done with the update of the applicable Regulation n.o 84/2007. There is no fixed timeline for this.
We believe that this proposal brings the necessary security for Investors to continue to choose Portugal as their country of investment and second residency.
We have helped over 400 families on their Golden Visa applications, with clients from all over the world.
Book an initial consultation with us now to know how you can beat the timeline to submit your Golden Visa with a property investment in one week!
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