Portuguese President vetoed changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa regime

The President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has today vetoed the “Mais Habitação” bill (“Affordable Housing Bill”) proposed by the Government. Rebelo de Sousa has sent the bill back to the Parliament for revisions on political grounds, as opposed to being rooted in technical or constitutional considerations. Consequently, this decision will extend the legislative process by at least one month before the bill can be ratified. The current configuration of Portugal’s Golden Visa program will remain in effect until the revisions are made.

In his formal communication to the Parliament, the President has listed explicit concerns and critiques of the bill. The President did not comment on the Portuguese Golden Visa program.

Another course of action previously available to the President would have involved submitting the bill to the Constitutional Court for assessment. Many have speculated that such a step was probable due to the provisions about the mandatory renting of vacant residences. However, the President has conveyed that he did not identify any aspect of the bill that was in breach of the Constitution.

In the event the Parliament votes for approval, the bill will not be vetoed again by President. At that time, new rules governing the Golden Visa will be put in place:

  • Transfer of capital in excess of 500,000 Euros to acquire participation units in venture capital funds, with a maturity date of 5 years, investing at least 60% in Portuguese companies’ capital*.
  • Employing ten individuals.
  • Transfer of capital of 500,000 Euros for the incorporation or capitalization of a Portuguese company, combined with the creation of 5 jobs for a minimum of three years.

*The investment activities still eligible for the Golden Visa cannot be conducted, directly or indirectly, for real estate investment.

The following capital contributions are also eligible for Golden Visa purposes but are generally considered non-yield-generating options:

  • Transfer of capital in the minimum amount of 250,000 Euros to invest in or support art production, or the restoration and maintenance of national cultural heritage, through services carried out by a range of public or private entities.
  • Transfer of capital in the minimum amount of 500,000 Euros for scientific research.

The investment threshold may be reduced by 20% if the investment is conducted in low-density areas.

Prospective applicants who want to apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa under the existing regulations, particularly by investing in real estate, are advised to submit their applications before the anticipated implementation of the new legislation, which is projected to take place in September.

GFDL Advogados’ Immigration Team is available to assist you in applying for a Golden Visa. Contact us as soon as possible.

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