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    1. Portugal’s Golden Visa Changes

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      Portugal’s golden visa changes – Introduction

      On July 19, the Portuguese Parliament took a significant step towards easing the country’s housing crisis by approving the ‘Mais Habitação’ (More Housing) legislative package.

      This comprehensive set of measures aims to tackle the challenges of the housing market, and one notable change is the exclusion of real estate from the investment options available under the Golden Visa scheme.

      Outline of Portugal’s golden visa Changes

      Under the new legislation, the Portugal Golden Visa scheme will continue to be open for investment in other sectors as the government tests its viability without the property component.

      However, the option to make a capital transfer of at least €1.5 million to Portugal has been withdrawn.

      It’s important to note that these changes will not be applied retroactively, and existing rights of renewal for family reunification and permanent residency applications remain protected.

      Retained Investment Options

      Non-EU nationals will still have several investment options available to them under the revised Golden Visa programme, including:

      1. Establishment of a single-shareholder private limited company that creates a minimum of 10 sustainable jobs in Portugal.
      2. Investment of at least €500,000 in an accredited public or private institution engaged in qualifying scientific research that benefits the national scientific and technological infrastructure.
      3. Investment of at least €250,000 in an accredited institution conducting qualifying projects in support of artistic production or the maintenance and recovery of cultural heritage.
      4. Investment of at least €500,000 in an investment fund or venture capital fund with a maturity of at least five years, provided that at least 60% of the fund’s capital is invested in Portugal.
      5. Investment of at least €500,000 either in the incorporation of a new company headquartered in Portugal that creates five new job positions sustained for three consecutive years, or in a capital injection in an existing company headquartered in Portugal that maintains at least 10 existing job positions.

      What’s behind the changes?

      Eurico Brilhante Dias, the parliamentary leader for the ruling Socialist Party, explained that the government’s aim was to preserve a core of job creation and investment in Portuguese companies that already existed under the previous law.

      The goal is to assess whether the Golden Visa scheme can thrive through investments in the productive sector, attracting foreign direct investment, and whether it can operate successfully without relying heavily on real estate investments.

      Golden Visa – facts and figures

      The Golden Visa programme has been successful in attracting over €7 billion in investments from non-EU nationals since its inception in 2012. However, real estate investments have dominated, accounting for more than 90% of the total.

      The new ‘Mais Habitação’ package seeks to diversify the investment landscape and reduce the dependency on real estate.

      Portugal’s golden visa changes – Conclusion

      With the approval of the ‘Mais Habitação’ legislative package and the changes to the Golden Visa scheme, the Portuguese government aims to address the housing crisis and attract more diverse investments to the country.

      As the focus shifts away from real estate, investors will have an array of options to explore when obtaining a Golden Visa and benefiting from Portuguese residence opportunities.

      If you have any queries about this article on Portugal’s golden visa changes, or Portuguese tax matters more generally, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      The content of this article is provided for educational and information purposes only. It is not intended, and should not be construed, as tax or legal advice. We recommend you seek formal tax and legal advice before taking, or refraining from, any action based on the contents of this article.