Further details have been released regarding the end of the Golden Visa programme.

While the government where subdued in their announcement – likely because it represented a significant U-turn in what had previously been said – there have been several significant changes to the final draft of new laws waiting to be approved by parliament.

There has been uncertainty in recent weeks regarding the status of Golden Visa applications made since it was announced the programme is coming to an end. It has now been confirmed that anyone who applied since the announcement in February will have it validated. More than that, anyone further submitting applications for a Golden Visa between now and the point at which the law is finally given the rubber stamp of approval and becomes legislated will likewise have it validated.

What’s Changed?

Key to the latest announcement is that the new law will also not apply to renewals and current applications retroactively. Those who already hold Golden Visas are not going to be required to prove they’re living in Portugal 183 days per year or more before they get their Golden Visa upgraded to a standard residency permit. Instead, they will be offered a variation of the existing D2 visa, which requires the same seven days stipulated under the rules of the Golden Visa.

Lastly, the door for securing residency and citizenship in the future through investment should remain a possibility. The government is now proposing that new applications supporting specific aspects of Portugal’s cultural heritage will have the ability to gain entry. This is likely to include investing in the maintenance and recovery of Portuguese heritage, as well as native artistic production.

There’s Still Time To Get A Golden Visa

The upshot of all of this is that, if you still want to gain a Portuguese visa through the Golden Visa program, there’s still time to do so before these changes come into effect. A similar situation occurred the last time significant changes were announced for the Golden Visa programme in 2021. Those changes were not implemented until January 1st, 2022, and in the interim hundreds of new Golden Visas were secured before the changes kicked in.

From here, the programme will continue until the point at which the new laws are passed and come into effect. Prior to that, those looking to secure a Golden Visa can still apply, and their applications will be considered in the same light as they would have been prior to the announcement the programme is ending.

The next step is for the programme to be put forward to parliament for debate. A majority vote is then needed to secure final approval, as well as President Marcelo’s executive decision to rubber stamp the new legislation. Given his recent dedication to making decisive changes to improve the current cost of living situation for Portuguese nationals, it seems likely that he will be in favour of doing so.

What’s Next For The Golden Visa?

Looking forward, it seems certain the Golden Visa programme will end, imminently. The good news is that with these new clarifications those who were looking forward to gaining their Portuguese visa via the golden route will still be able to do so, as long as they’re quick enough getting their applications in.

If you’re a potential investor who has been considering investing in a Golden Visa, you are well advised to proceed with your application immediately.

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