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In a very surprising turn of events, after saying that the Golden Visa program wouldn’t be changed or terminated during 2023, the Portuguese Government held a Ministry Council meeting on February 16, 2023 where it approved the termination of the Golden Visa Program under a new legislative package to control the Portuguese Housing Crisis.

This decision comes as a surprise, especially after the vote on the National Budget for 2023 determined that the Golden Visa Program would continue in full force without any changes. 

Here are the most important information about the termination of the program:  

  1. The termination of the program will only affect new applications, which means the applications submitted before February 16 and now, will still be processed until the law changes;
  2. This decision will currently impact all the GRP investment options, from real estate investments to cultural, scientific and investment funds; 
  3. Application renewals based on real estate investments will be limited, and will only be granted in two situations:
    if the property is being used as the permanent residence of the applicant and his family or any of his descendants; or
    – if the property is being rented out in a long term lease agreement;
  4. Application renewals based on all other types of investment will not suffer any changes and will still be granted. 

It is important to note that the Government, alone, does not have the ability to change the Golden Visa legislation, since immigration matters are legislated by Law, which comes under the Parliament’s legislative jurisdiction. 

Therefore, the announcement now starts a 30-day mandatory period of public discussion of the matter and on March 16, 2023 the Government will present the Bill to the Parliament, which will be discussed and voted on by all the represented parties. Until that day comes, we don’t know the exact content of the Bill and what the termination date of the program will be.

What’s next? For those interested in the Golden Visa program, wishing to move forward with an application right now, it will still be received and processed by the border authorities, since the ongoing files will not be affected by the termination announcement. In the meantime, we will keep you updated and help you get the best investment options for a fast-paced application and unproblematic immigration status renewals for the future.

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