Portugal has a long anticipated visa program. It’s set to launch in 2022, but up until recently, few details were disclosed.
Until now. Portugal’s Golden Visa program starts with increases on investment caps, and in many categories. They also include accurate descriptions of geographic zones that would qualify applicants for a golden visa.
The changes will be in effect by January 1st 2022. Until then, the current program requirements will apply to each applicant.
A Better Transition Process
Initially, the Portuguese government had planned a gradual transition from old to new rules, starting 1st July 2021.
However, with the new rules set in-stone, a clean break is expected. Starting from 2022, there will be an immediate shift to the new system.
Amendments are as Follows.
The investment cap will be increased from EUR 1 million to 1.5 million. This will apply to the capital deposit/investment category.
For investment funds, the investment cap will increase from EUR 350,000, to 500,000.
For the real estate category, the cap won’t be changed, staying at EUR 500,000 and 350,000 (for renovation options) respectively. However, to qualify for a golden visa, the applicant must invest inland only, or in the autonomous areas of Madeira and Azores. Those changes only apply to residential properties.
For the job creation category, the required investment will increase from EUR 350,000 to 500,000. The capital must be a fund injection into an existing company. Also, the capital must lead to the creation of 5 new jobs that are sustainable for 3 years.
Finally, science and research categories will see a capital requirement increase, from EUR 350,000 to 500,000. Changes in this category might be considered insignificant, since an applicant has yet to select this category.
Which Municipalities Qualify?
For the real estate category, Portugal’s program seems to focus on developing the Eastern geography of its territory, in addition to the 9 islands of the Azores.
Almost the entire Western Coast doesn’t qualify. Lisbon, Porto, and the coast are ineligible for the golden visa (unless they are investments in touristic or commercial properties).
On that topic, it’s necessary to note that the real estate investment caps won’t increase for commercial and tourism properties. Applicants may receive a golden visa for those on the old EUR 350,000 cap.
This may prove to be an excellent opportunity for investors. It allows them to capitalize on the rehabilitation property market for commercial purposes. Specifically, it lets them access the market at a low price point, often getting deals up to 33% cheaper than residential properties.
Speaking of Changes – What About Current Applicants?
The new changes still provide some leeway to already existing applicants.
First, current applicants may not need to renew their applications following the rule changes. Also, they can still signup family members to their residency application.
Additionally, the new changes won’t have any reverse effects on already accepted investors. Basically, investors who have already applied (and are under review) need not worry about the new changes.
This also applies to renewing residency permits.
Current applicants can renew their residency following the older investment requirements. This also applies to all individuals choosing to submit their applications before the 2022 rule changes.