On 6 February 2020, the Portuguese Parliament passed the State Budget Law, which came into force on 1 April of the same year. Among other topics dealt with in this law, the Assembly of the Republic authorized the Government to review the Golden Visa program in order to favor the promotion of investment in low-density regions, as well as investment in urban requalification in cultural heritage, in high-level environmental or social value activities, productive investment and job creation. The Parliament has set a deadline for this review to be carried out. Thus, the Government can only make any changes until 31 December 2020.
It should be clarified that this authorization did not change the Golden Visa regime currently in force, it only allowed it to be reviewed and that this review must take place by 31 December 2020. After that period, the Government is no longer authorized to make any changes to the Golden Visa program, unless a new authorization arises from the Assembly of the Republic.
Basically, the Government may take any of the following measures:
- Don’t make any changes to the Golden Visa program;
- Increase the minimum investment amounts and/or increase the number of jobs to be created;
- Limit the areas eligible for real estate investments, meaning that only properties located in inter-municipal communities in the interior or in the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira are eligible for Golden Visa purposes;
- Create one more investment hypothesis, thus enabling the applicability of the Golden Visa regime for investments in activities of high environmental or social value (“Green Visa”).
Six months after the approval of the aforementioned legislative authorization, there is still no change to the current Golden Visa regime. Therefore, there is no change in the investment options eligible for the purposes of Golden Visa. It is recalled that in order to have any changes, it will be necessary a legislative process, in which the topic is discussed, and culminating in the publication of a new law.