- Carlos Barreiro
Latest New: Portuguese Parliament Pass Final Bill to End Golden Visa Program
In the rapidly evolving landscape of international investment, Portugal's well-regarded Golden Visa Program is poised for a transformative change. This development hinges on an impending decision by the Portuguese Parliament, casting an urgent "now or never" shadow for investors aiming to secure European residency.
Portuguese Parliament Pass Final Bill to End Golden Visa Program
The Parliament's agreement to discontinue the Golden Visa Program on 18th May marks a pivotal point in the program's history [^1^]. This significant shift, however, was not immediately accompanied by a formal press release, leaving many to rely on insider information and speculative forecasts [^1^]. Nevertheless, we understand that draft legislation has now been finalised, with lawmakers now focused on formulating a definitive bill that will set the stage for a consequential vote [^1^][^3^].
This bill, bearing the potential to redefine the landscape of investment-based residency in Portugal, requires the requisite approval from Parliament. Once this approval is secured, the bill will journey to the office of the Prime Minister for final endorsement, signalling its official adoption into Portuguese law[^4^]. Experts and stakeholders are predicting a procedural timeframe of 30 to 45 days for this to occur, with many forecasting September as the last month for Golden Visa applications [^4^].
Upcoming Changes and Expectations
In the face of such significant changes, it's natural for current and prospective investors to harbour concerns. However, rest assured that the impending regulations will not operate retroactively [^5^]. Any proceedings that are currently underway, as well as those in the midst of the application or renewal process, will continue under the existing rules[^5^][^6^].
This signifies that those who have already invested or initiated their Golden Visa process can proceed without immediate worry, which is undoubtedly a welcomed piece of news. It provides investors with a window of opportunity to act swiftly and benefit from the current rules [^6^].
In an encouraging development, individuals with pending applications or plans for visa renewal will transition to the D2 program, also known as the Entrepreneur's Permit[^7^]. This move carries a significant benefit: the relaxation of the stringent 183 days per year residency requirement. Instead, the Portuguese government will maintain the current stipulation of a seven-day-per-year stay [^7^].
Moreover, the proposed legislation introduces opportunities beyond traditional investment routes. It calls for applications linked to investments in artistic production, recovery, and the preservation of Portugal's rich cultural heritage [^8^]. This broadened scope is set to appeal to a wider range of individuals, including investors and cultural enthusiasts, promising opportunities for diverse contributions to Portuguese society [^8^].
The Dawn of a New Era
Once enacted, the proposed laws will mark the end of the Golden Visa Program as we know it [^9^]. This transformation, however, is not an immediate event. The proposal must first endure rigorous legislative scrutiny, undergo a series of debates and votes in Parliament, and receive the President's affirmation before it is publicly published [^9^].
This shift in policy, while a marked deviation from the government's earlier stance, illustrates a responsiveness to evolving market forces and suggestions [^10^]. We anticipate this to provide the stability necessary for investors to continue with their applications and investments. However, the crux of the matter lies in the urgency of action [^10^][^11^].
Urgency and Preparation: The Way Forward
Given what is currently known about the bill, our advice to those in a position to proceed is clear: act now. The absence of a specified transition period magnifies the importance of rapid action [^11^]. This is a rare window of opportunity that can secure the benefits of the current regime.
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[^1^]: Portuguese Parliament Official Website, "Legislative Update: Termination of the Golden Visa Program", 18th May 2023.
[^3^]: Official Gazette, "The Portuguese Immigration Law: Projected Changes in 2023".
[^5^]: Portuguese Immigration Service, "Golden Visa Program: Changes and their Implications", 2023.
[^9^]: Portuguese Parliament Official Website, "Legislative Update: Termination of the Golden Visa Program", 18th May 2023.
[^10^]: Portuguese Immigration Service, "Golden Visa Program: Changes and their Implications", 2023.