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Portugal Implements Changes to Golden Visa Program Amidst Housing Crisis

The Government of Portugal recently made an announcement regarding changes to the Golden Visa program, approving the termination of two specific routes as part of the "More Housing Program."

The affected routes include the residence permits for investment in housing and the option to transfer at least €1.5 million into a Portuguese bank account. However, despite these changes, the Golden Visa Program is not entirely coming to an end, as there are still alternative avenues available for obtaining a Portuguese residence permit through investment, as reported.

Following the implementation of the new adjustments to the Golden Visa scheme, there remain four viable routes for investors to obtain residency in Portugal:

  1. Investment in a fund - requiring a minimum of half a million euros.

  2. Capital investment - necessitating an investment of €1.5 million.

  3. Investment in Science and Research - requiring half a million euros.

  4. Job creation - involving an investment of half a million euros and the guarantee of creating at least five new jobs.

The proposal for these changes to the Golden Visa Program was introduced earlier and received backing from the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, with votes in favor from the Socialist Party, Bloque de Izquierda, and the Portuguese Communist Party.

The amendments applied to the Residency by Investment Schemes of Portugal have resulted in the banning of real estate investments in the residential sectors of Porto, Lisbon, and Braga. However, the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira opposed such proposals.

Regarding the changes, President of the Government of the Azores, Jose Manuel Bolieiro, expressed his disapproval of Portugal's decision to terminate new residence permits for investments in housing. He condemned the decision's unilateral nature and highlighted the relevance of these measures for the economic ties of the Azores. Similarly, President of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, considered the changes counterproductive. He criticized the project for attributing housing problems to Local Accommodation and undermining investor confidence.

Portuguese authorities made the decision to terminate the Golden Visa Scheme on February 16, in response to the ongoing housing crisis in the country. The Golden Visa Program has allowed wealthy foreign investors to acquire residency in Portugal for over a decade, contingent upon fulfilling specific conditions and making financial contributions to the country.

Despite the recent changes, Portugal remains open to foreign investment, offering various routes for residency that cater to the country's economic and housing objectives while still providing opportunities for foreign investors seeking Portuguese residency.



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