Changes to Portugal's Residence by Investment program - Part 1

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Amendments to the investment criteria
Portugal’s Authorization for Residence by Investment Activity  
Lisbon, February 1, 2020

The government of Portugal is contemplating to adopt a proposition which will most likely have the votes in favor, of the left wing of the Portuguese Parliament, where the Authorization for Residence by Investment Activity, more commonly known as the “Golden Visa” programme, will exclude the purchase of real estate assets in Lisbon and Porto and possibly in other well developed cities around the republic mainly in the coastal areas (Such as Al Garve), in an attempt to channel investment towards the impoverished areas of the republic.

The rationale presented by the socialist party, which is the current government’s party, is supposedly inspired by the desire to motivate the economy of rural regions around Portugal.

The prime minister of Portugal, António Costa has commented on the matter in a manner that instills a sense that this proposition will pass in Parliament.

Some of the world’s leading news agencies have reported on this matter, such as:

  1. The financial times:

  2. The Real Deal, New York Real Estate news:

  3. The South African:

  4. Bloomberg:

The proposition will also table before parliament the cancellation of the Non-Habitual Tax Residence Regimen. The NHRTR gives a French National for example, the ability to not pay taxes on his/her retirement income if they were living inside Portugal on a valid permit. The proposition by the party is considering imposing a 10% flat tax rate.

The details of the restrictions on investment are yet to be revealed. The transitional procedures of investors who have made purchases in the restricted areas but not yet had the chance to submit their applications will also be released.

ACIC forecasts a 2 month “Safe” period from the date of this article for investors to make their investment and submit their applications to the SEF department. The very short time frame allocated is aggravated by the potential issuance of abrupt policies that would be issued with immediate effect. 

The timing of an investment and the consequent application is critical. If an investor purchases his/her asset and delays the submission of the actual application, they may put their investment at risk of being ineligible for the “Golden Visa”. 

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