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The Portugal Golden Visa programme allows individuals to invest in the Portuguese economy and gain residency in the country. Through gaining Portuguese residency, applicants will be able to live and work in the country, can travel throughout Schengen Area, and after gaining citizenship, can travel visa-free/visa on arrival to 185 different countries, including the Schengen Area and the United States, enjoy quality education and healthcare, as well as many other benefits. After spending 5 years in Portugal, the applicant and their family will be eligible to become a citizen of the country.
The most popular form of investment is real estate, with the majority of property purchases being in the cities of Lisbon and Porto, as well as on coastal regions such as the Algarve. In order to promote economic activity in other regions of the country, the Portuguese government has made certain changes to the golden visa programme, which will hopefully help in the development of interior regions and low-density areas of the country. This will include the promotion of urban renovation, job creation, and cultural heritage.
What changes are being made?
Starting from July 21, the Portuguese Golden Visa programme will no longer allow investments in metropolitan and coastal areas, including Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve coastline. The prices of the programmes will also be increased. That being said the government has not made any official announcement on what this price increase will be, nor the capacity in which these price changes will be implemented.
So what do these changes mean for investors and potential applicants?
The changes in the programme will not affect anyone who has already been approved for a golden visa. Applicants who are considering going through Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme, we recommend that you start your application sooner rather than later, ideally within the next 2 months, especially if the applicant is considering investing in property on the coast or in one of Portugal’s metropolitan areas, in order to avoid the new government regulations. Whilst it typically takes roughly 6 months to gain Portuguese residency through the Golden Visa programme, there are several factors that can significantly speed up or slow down the process, which individuals should be aware of before starting the process. This might include how long it takes for the individual to visit Portugal for biometrics, how quickly documents are processed, and which immigration services office is used. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, the times for visa processing, as well as the ease of access to Portugal, may differ drastically to what it was like pre-covid. These are things that should all be considered in order to maintain the choice of investments before the government implements the changes.
For more information about these changes, or if you have any questions regarding the best way to go about gaining Portuguese residency, then do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists, who will be able to assist you in any way they can.