The Portuguese government has just announced the termination of the coveted Golden Visa Scheme, as part of a range of measures in response to concerns about the rising housing costs. The famous scheme is one of the most flexible investment visas coupled with an extremely

favourable tax structure extended to foreign nationals. The principle investment that non-EU nationals make to take advantage of the Golden Visa is the purchase of residential real estate which has resulted in growing house prices making purchases less attainable for Portuguese nationals.

The Portuguese government has not announced when the Golden Visa scheme will be withdrawn. The Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, indicated that some of the new measures would be approved an enacted this coming March and others would be voted on before they will be sanctioned.

Gonzalo Butori, a partner, commented "foreign nationals that already hold a Golden Visa and bought a residential property as their investment will only have their visa renewed if they can prove that they actually live in the property, or in the event of the original applicant being deceased, a descendent may live in the house" Gonzalo further pointed out "the major reason for the Golden Visa being withdrawn is that many Golden Visa applicants buy a house as their investment which removes properties from the home market and drives up the prices."

Sufficient time remains for foreign nationals to make an application for a Golden Visa before it is withdrawn, the only change being that a house that is the investment asset must now be the applicant's home. All the other benefits of the Golden Visa in Portugal remain.

The terms of a Golden Visa are:

  • Investment in residential property can take two forms
    • A heritage property, one built at least 30 years ago must have a minimum value of €350,000
    • A modern property must have a value of €500,000
    • A low density area requires a value of €400.000
  • Capital transfer investments for research projects, capitalisation of companies and an existing commercial entity headquartered in Portugal requires an investment of €500.000
  • Capital transfer to support the maintenance or recovery of an aspect of cultural heritage or an artistic project requires €250,000
  • Portuguese source income (employment and self-employment) is liable to a flat 20% tax rate.
  • No inheritance tax or gift tax

To be able to take advantage of the time remaining to acquire a Golden Visa in Portugal swift action is required. Our immigration lawyers are extremely capable of advising and guiding our clients through even the most complex situations to enable them to have a stress-free retirement or new life in Portugal. Our lawyers will ensure that your application has no errors and that there are no oversights that could impede an application. The extensive experience our immigration lawyers have in dealing with Portuguese Golden Visas means that there is no situation that has not been seen and successfully dealt with in the past and that your application will not be hindered.

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