By Sara Sousa Rebolo
The Portuguese government has made changes to its "Golden Visa" investment immigration program. However, the changes will not take effect until Jan. 1, 2022, allowing investors and providers to reorganize their projects and timelines. Until then, the program will continue without transitional periods and all applications submitted to the Portuguese Immigration Office before the end of this year will be treated under the current program.
The changes aim to redirect investment to inland areas, encourage urban renewal and cultural heritage, as well as job creation.
Investors who chose to purchase real estates for housing purposes, can only be granted that with the residency card if such property is located in the Azores or Madeira Islands or in a municipality or parish considered as a territorial area benefiting from measures of the National Program for Territorial Cohesion.
All other properties, which are not intended for housing purposes, will continue to be eligible for Golden Visa, regardless of their location. As many investors have a preference in tourism areas or real estate developments for offices or services (short rental activities for instance) due to the return granted, this 2022 changes will not cause a significant impact, allowing the Portuguese program to remain competitive when compared to its European competitors.
On the other hand, some concerning news may exist for the national and international management companies of investment funds that during 2020 saw exponential growth in the demand by foreign investors. According to the new rules in force from 2022, this option of investment will have the minimum amount of investment updated from 350,000 euros to 500,000 euros. A similar update will happen in the financial option of bank deposit / purchase of company shares which that will increase to 1.5 million euros.
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