The Portuguese government has now backed down from its proposal to backdate changes to the golden visa programme. The news late last Friday means the Portuguese golden visa programme will not be cancelled until the new law comes into place, a process of parliamentary debate and approval that is likely to take several months. The latest filing states that the golden visa programme will still be terminated but with significant concessions from the original proposal:
- There will be no retroactivity clause: The programme will not end before the government’s new housing legislation comes into effect. Initial applications may be submitted until the moment the new legislation/amendments are in force which means new applicants can still apply.
- Any initial applications and future renewals that are still pending will be converted into an “Entrepreneurs Residency Permit” (typically designated a D2 residency), and this conversion will imply minimum stay requirements in Portugal of 7 days in the first year of residency and 14 days in the subsequent periods of two years of residency (for renewals).
This amendment now confirms what many legal and constitutional experts were saying, that the original proposal being backdated before the date of passing of any legislation was illegal and unconstitutional.
The significant benefits that the Portuguese Golden Visa offers have made it the most attractive and popular residency visa in Europe. There has been a surge in deposits for new applications since the initial announcement on February 16th of the government’s intent to close the programme. We would urge any investors thinking of proceeding to press ahead so that applications can be prepared ahead of any closure. Contact our team to start the process.
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