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Portugal Approves End of New Golden Visa


The proposal of Portugal’s government to terminate new residence permits for investment in housing has been supported in the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, with votes in favour by Socialist Party (Partido Socialista), Bloque de Izquierda- a left-wing political party- and Portuguese Communist Party.

The halting of resident permits in exchange for investment, also known as the golden visa, was included in the More Housing Program, introduced previously by the government in order to tackle the housing issues and also regulate the real estate market.

The implementation of the new law means that new requests for granting of residence visas for investment activities will not be accepted, however, the possibility of renewing authorisations which have already been granted still exists.

Requests for granting and also renewing residence permits for investment activities are still effective, taking also into account those that are pending prior control procedures in Municipal Councils, at the date of entry into force of the law.

According to a report of Portugal News, the adopted limitation has also been excluded from the granting or renewal of residence permits for family reunification.

Portugal’s government’s initial proposal accepted new applications for residence permits for investments, but the Socialist Party proposed the elimination of this exception.

On February 16 this year, Portugal terminated its Golden Visa scheme, in order to deal with the housing problem. But the decision sparked controversies in this country.

The abolishment of this program that allowed wealthy foreign nationals to acquire residency if they made a financial contribution to Portugal and met specific requirements was considered to have a limited impact on the residential market.

Such estimations were published on the analysis of the financial services company DBRS.

“The end of granting new golden visas concludes a program that was developed in a difficult period for the country. The decision should have a limited impact on the residential market, as it was not a decisive driving force in terms of transactions, either in terms of volume or in terms of value for the country as a whole,” the report noted.

But a previous report of the Portugal News noted that the termination of Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme led to the cancellation of a residential tourism project worth €800 million that would bring to Portugal €4.8 billion.

Up to this point, several countries in Europe offer wealthy foreigners the opportunity to acquire residency in their countries through their Golden Visa programs.

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