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Proposed Golden Visa Changes Will Not Take Place Until June 2021

By Sugee Portugal 
 
The Council of Ministers approved the diploma that puts an end to gold visas in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, as well as the entire coast of the country. The instrument only remains for the interior and autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores. The new regime will be gradual and it will not take effect before June 2021 at least.
 
As we all know there is a lot of uncertainty in the mind of investors for Golden Visa Portugal about the changes proposed in the budget of Feb 2020 by the Portuguese parliament. 
 
The objective of the parliament is to promote investment in low-density areas, urban renovation, job creation, etc.
 
What Are the Proposed Changes?
 
The approved changes refer to two different aspects:
  • The real estate investment route only cover property investments made in low-density areas within Portugal which means that buying properties in Lisbon or Porto would no longer qualify for the Golden Visa program
  • The required investment amounts in the various Portugal Golden Visa investment types to be raised
Lisbon and Porto have been the most popular real estate acquisition destinations among the Golden Visa applicants in Portugal. 
 
The Effect
 
The most popular form of investment for the Portugal Golden Visa is the real estate acquisition option. The Golden Visa real estate investors have chosen Lisbon and Porto as an investment destination, with a landslide.
 
This potential change restricts applicants from buying real estate in major cities like Lisbon and Porto.  Nevertheless, there are still attractive destinations among the interior municipalities of Portugal such as part of the Algarve region in the south or areas like Braga and Guimaraes in the north.
 
Investment options that are not related to real estate such as transfer of capital or creation of a company will continue to be available to prospective Golden Visa applicants.
 
The proposed changes resulted in a lot of uncertainties in the mind of investors so as to their investment plans.
 
Common Queries:
 
Has any official press release or declaration for the implementation of proposed changes been announced?
 
It was stated on 22nd Dec. 2020 that the law will change, but the exact thermos in which this will happen were not released yet. No official announcement or circular regarding it has been released by authorities.
 
 
What will happen to an investor who is willing to apply for a Golden Visa by investing in the real estate of Lisbon & Porto in 2021?
 
One of the things that we do know is that no changes will occur until June 2021. This was one of the few things communicated yesterday – The announcement was made by the Minister of State and the Presidency at the briefing that followed the meeting of the Council of Ministers.
 
What will happen to the existing investment/applications made in these metropolitan areas?
 
Applicants already enrolled in the program will not be impacted by this change. If approved by the government, the new measure will only come into effect after the decree comes into force.
 
What is the timeline in which Portuguese authorities are planning to end the Golden Visa in Lisbon and Porto? 
 
As of today, the only communication we have received is that there will be a transitional period in 2021 (post-June) and 2022 during which there will be a gradual application of the new rules, that is, the required values ​​will be progressively higher and will be reduced its possibility of application to metropolitan areas. The minister did not reveal, for now, what these values ​​will be.