Portugal intends to end its Golden Visa Program: What existing and new investors need to know

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, has announced his intent to end the Portugal Golden Visa program, which allows non-EU citizens to gain permanent residency in Portugal in exchange for a significant investment. However, this intent has not been voted into law yet, so the PGV program is still very much alive. Investors are still applying for the PGV, indeed with greater urgency since Costa’s announcement. Immigration lawyers believe that even if the PGV program eventually ends, the repeal will not be retroactive, which means that investors who have already applied for the PGV will not be affected. The main reason for Costa’s announcement is that the trend toward short-term rentals in Portugal is driving up real estate prices. But it seems that the PGV is responsible only for a small portion of this trend. As a result, it is also possible that certain other investments, such as in commercial properties in Portugal, among others, may still be eligible for the PGV. A vote will be taken in Portugal’s Parliament later in March to determine the fate of the PGV. Even if the vote goes against the PGV, there is likely to be a considerable grace period of several months before any law is enacted, during which the PGV program will still be active.

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