The package of measures of the Mais Habitação program was approved in the Assembly of the Republic on July 20th, with the Socialist Party bench voting in favor. This package includes the measures related to Golden Visa investment options. Originally, the plan was to completely eliminate the program, but the approved version of the law retains the Golden Visa while removing direct investment in real estate.
The updated investment options under the program will be as follows:
- Transfer of capital equal to or greater than €500,000, invested in research activities by public or private scientific research institutions integrated into the national scientific and technological system
- Transfer of capital equal to or greater than €250,000, invested in support for artistic production, recovery, or maintenance of national cultural heritage through various public entities
- Transfer of capital equal to or greater than €500,000, intended for acquiring shares in specific collective investment organisms incorporated under Portuguese law, with a minimum maturity of five years and at least 60% of the investment value in commercial companies based in Portugal
- Transfer of capital equal to or greater than €500,000, intended for incorporating a commercial company with a registered office in Portugal, along with the creation of five permanent jobs, or for increasing the share capital of an existing company with the creation or maintenance of at least ten jobs for a minimum period of three years
For these changes to take effect, the law must be signed by the president and subsequently published in the official gazette. The president has the option to refuse to sign the law and send it back for revision or submit it for constitutional review. If there are no objections from the president, the law is estimated to come into effect around mid-September, according to ImiDaily's assessment.
The law will not have retroactive effect. Applications for a residence permit (Golden Visa) or its renewal submitted before the law comes into force will be processed under the existing conditions. In other words, investors can still apply for a Golden Visa under the old requirements.
Previously, we extensively discussed the measures proposed by the government within the Mais Habitação program and explained why foreign real estate investments were not the cause of the housing crisis in Portugal. The initial version of the program, which planned to completely shut down the Golden Visa scheme, received widespread criticism. The government was accused of implementing populist measures instead of addressing the real problem. After numerous discussions, the authorities decided not to fully terminate the Golden Visa program but rather to modify it.