In a surprising turn of events, the governing Socialist Party (PS) in Portugal has proposed an amendment to the controversial housing bill that was being discussed in the country’s Parliament.
Contrary to their initial stance of completely ending the Golden Visa program, the government now seeks to eliminate only two investment options: real estate investments and the capital transfer bank deposit option. This unexpected proposal has raised eyebrows and sparked discussions within the industry.
“Regarding the proposed amendments to the Golden Visa program, it’s confirmed that the changes we originally suggested have been incorporated,” states Beatriz Santos, – an expert lawyer dedicated to Portuguese Immigration and a member of the Portuguese Bar Association who has played a significant role in the field. She recently published a memo that was sent to the Portuguese authorities regarding the Golden Resident visa program -. “The proposal eliminates real estate investments and bank deposits of 1.5 million euros, while retaining investment funds options, cultural and scientific options, and company creation options.”
As pointed earlier, the government intends to retain the following investment options:
- Creation of at least 10 jobs
- Scientific research contribution (EUR 500,000)
- Cultural heritage/artistic production (EUR 250,000)
- Venture capital/investment funds (EUR 500,000)
- Business investment that creates or maintains at least five jobs
Santos further explains, “These changes were agreed upon between the governing Socialist Party (PS) and the Government. With the PS holding an absolute majority in Parliament, the amendments are highly likely to be passed.”
The proposed amendments come as a surprise since they originate from the governing party that initially drafted the More Housing bill with the intention of completely ending the program, even affecting previously approved investors retrospectively. This aspect received widespread criticism as being unconstitutional, prompting the government to change its stance. Furthermore, the Socialist Party’s proposal also preserves the conversion to D2 (Entrepreneur) visas with the reduced period or permanence of 7 days in the first year and 14 days in the following two year periods.
While the expected approval date is July 19th, Santos notes that it depends on the ongoing discussion of the proposed changes. “The program will not come to an end; instead, it will undergo significant transformations,” she affirms. Even though a transition period is not specified, it is expected that the new law is likely to take effect in early August.