Despite recent speculation regarding the future of Portugal’s Golden Visa programme, SEF is currently approving Golden Visa applications at a record-high rate. In Q1 of 2023 we saw a staggering 386 applications approved. If this level continues throughout the rest of the year, then 2023 could see the highest number of Golden Visa approvals to date. This reassuring news cements the fact that the programme is still open and SEF is still operating and processing applications.

We expect to hear more news from the Portuguese Government regarding the future of the programme in the coming month. Up until this point, a proposal has been made by the government to adjust some of the terms surrounding golden visa real estate investments and also the right to apply for citizenship. Nothing at this stage has been approved and an official written document of the proposal is yet to be published, we only have an overview of what was suggested by the government in parliament. It will take some time before any changes are decided as parliament still need to discuss the proposal, then possibly amend it, and finally, it needs to be presented to the President of Portugal, who may or may not approve it. It is difficult to give a timeline but we expect it could be several months before anything is official, and we expect that the programme may remain in some form, but perhaps not under its current favourable terms. There is also extensive legal opinion from Portuguese lawyers that believe it is not possible for the government to backdate any changes before the date of approval and even then a grace period beyond that approval date is highly likely.

If you are still interested in applying for Portugal’s Golden Visa programme, you can initiate the process with a minimal, low-risk legal fee of €500 for certain investment projects. For more information on the programme and how to secure you place, please contact our experts.

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