Portugal Ends Golden Visa Program

In a surprising move, the Portuguese government has announced the complete end of the Golden Visa program. This program allowed non-EU citizens to invest in real estate, funds, and businesses in exchange for residency permits and eventual citizenship. The news came from Prime Minister António Costa in a televised press conference, leaving many potential investors and current holders of Golden Visas uncertain about their status.

LISBON, PORTUGAL – JUNE 15: Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa delivers remarks while meeting with members of the Foreign Press Association in Portugal AIEP at Palacio Nacional de Ajuda during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic on June 15, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. The Prime Minister stated that the country is coming back to normal and getting ready to receive tourists after the reopening of borders and commercial air transportation, with the third phase of the de-confinement that started on June 02. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

The announcement by the Prime Minister indicates that the program will be entirely scrapped, including all investment categories, and there will not be any new applications accepted. The government had reportedly considered limiting real estate investment to the interior only, but this measure had failed to serve its intended purpose. It is unclear if there will be any transition period for the program’s closure.

Those who have already filed applications for the Golden Visa will have their applications processed normally, but no new applications will be accepted. For those who have already received their Golden Visas based on real estate investments, renewals will only be granted if the property is the primary residence of the investor or their children or if the property is rented out on a long-term lease. Other visa types may be available for those who qualified through other routes.

The news raises many questions and concerns. One of the biggest debates is whether it is constitutional to change the terms of the Golden Visa for people who have already invested and been approved. This debate is expected to take place in Parliament. It is also unclear what impact this will have on the real estate market and the economy as a whole.

In conclusion, the end of the Golden Visa program in Portugal is a significant development that will have a considerable impact on investors and the country’s real estate market. As more information becomes available, it will be interesting to see how this decision will affect the economy and Portugal’s relations with potential investors from outside the EU.

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