The president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has decided not to accept the government's "Mais Habitaçao" ("More Housing") bill today. Instead, he sent it back to Parliament for changes based on political reasons, not technical or constitutional ones. This means that it will be at least a month before the bill can become a law. As a result, the Golden Visa program will stay the same until then.
In a letter to Parliament, the president mentioned eight specific concerns about the bill, but he didn't talk about the Golden Visa program at all. He could have also sent the bill to the Constitutional Court for review, which some experts thought might happen due to the parts of the bill about forcing people to rent out empty homes. However, the President didn't find any part of the bill to be against the Constitution.
Once the bill has its final approval, the new rules for the Golden Visa program will be applied. There are several ways for applicants to qualify for the Golden Visa as currently proposed:
- Creating at least ten jobs
- Investing at least €500,000 in research activities by public or private research institutions
- Investing at least €250,000 in artistic production, cultural heritage recovery, or maintenance.
- Investing at least €500,000 in certain investment funds based in Portugal.
For the first three options, the minimum investment might be 20% less if it's done in less crowded areas or places with lower income. However, investments cannot involve real estate in any way.
People who want to get a Golden Visa under the old rules, which include investing in real estate, have to apply before the new law takes effect, which will not happen at least until the end of September 2023.