March 17, 2023

Golden Visas in Portugal: What Will Change?

Article by
Gonçalo Roxo

The End o the Golden Visa? Exploring the possible changes in Portugal’s Housing Market and the Impact on Foreign Investments

Portugal is facing a major housing issue; there is a lack of supply, prices are too high, and rising interest rates are making it difficult for people to get or pay bank loans. The Portuguese government is attempting to solve this problem with their Mais Habitação program, which includes five solutions such as expanding the housing supply, simplifying approval procedures, expanding the rental market, and providing support for families. 

A controversial decision that is part of the program is to stop issuing Golden Visas.

Those who already have visas will only be able to renew them if the house is intended for permanent residence or for renting. This decision has been met with opposition from the industry and could mean the suspension of investments worth over 600 million euros and the loss of a thousand jobs. Without foreign investments, the country will not be able to experience economic or social growth. Since the start of the program, investments under the Golden Visas have amounted to 6,797 million euros, most of which has gone towards the purchase and renovation of properties.

Since the amendment of the Golden Visa program in January 2022, Portugal has seen a positive effect on its interior. In Évora alone, 32 transactions of property purchase and renovation were recorded within a year. However, the abolishment of this program without a replacement could have a drastic effect on Portugal's housing market and its capacity to draw in foreign capital. 

The Mais Habitação program is due to be discussed at a public consultation on March 24th, followed by a vote by the Council of Ministers on the 30th. In the meantime, given the current uncertainty regarding this topic, we suggest that our clients who are currently in the middle of a process consider the present legislation. For those clients who are thinking of applying for a Golden Visa right now, we advise waiting for more clarity on the matter.

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