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Portugal's Golden Visa Scheme Faces Amendments, Prioritizing Alternative Investments

The Socialist Party in Portugal, which holds the parliamentary majority, has introduced new amendments to the Mais Habitacao (More Housing) Bill, signaling a departure from its previous plans to abolish the country's Golden Visa scheme. The proposed changes aim to amend the Residency by Investment Scheme, according to reports.

Portugal's Golden Visa Scheme Faces Amendments, Prioritizing Alternative Investments

Under the revised proposals, certain investment options will be removed from the Golden Visa program. Specifically, investments of a real estate nature and capital investments through deposits and other instruments will no longer be eligible for obtaining a Golden Visa. However, the amendments seek to retain other investment avenues, including options for job creation, scientific research (€500,000), cultural and artistic areas (€250,000), venture capital funds (€500,000), and business ventures that create or maintain a minimum of five jobs.

A vote on the proposed amendments put forward by the Socialist Party is expected to be scheduled in the coming days, indicating a potential shift in the future of the Residency by Investment Scheme.

The proposed changes have drawn attention and analysis from industry experts. John Westwood, Chairman of Blacktower, a financial advisory firm, expressed his interest in the party's decision to maintain the Residency by Investment program despite initial plans to terminate it. Westwood noted, "It seems they have found a middle ground by eliminating real estate and certain capital investments as eligible options. The proposed changes, particularly the elimination of real estate as an eligible investment option, are likely to impact wealth management strategies for individuals seeking to obtain residency through investment."

Moreover, Westwood suggested that the exclusion of real estate investments from the Golden Visa scheme might serve as a means to address concerns over rising housing prices and their potential effects on local communities. By focusing on alternative investment avenues, the government aims to strike a balance between attracting foreign investment and ensuring the stability of the housing market.

The Mais Habitacao Bill and the proposed amendments reflect Portugal's ongoing efforts to adapt its residency and investment programs to changing economic and social circumstances. While the Socialist Party's stance on the Golden Visa scheme appears to have evolved, the final outcome will depend on the outcome of the upcoming vote.

As Portugal navigates the path forward, it remains to be seen how the proposed amendments will shape the future of the Residency by Investment Scheme. Investors and industry observers alike will be eagerly awaiting the decision, which could have significant implications for those seeking residency through investment in the country.



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