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15 February, 2021

Changes in the law on the "golden visa" of Portugal: a new validity period, an increase in the price of four options, restrictions on the purchase of the real estate

The cost of participation in the program will increase by 1.5 times for four investment options. The minimum transaction amount for the purchase of real estate will remain the same, but the choice of objects will be limited. We will tell you when the changes will take effect and how to manage to become a Portuguese resident on more favourable terms.

Residence permit in Portugal by investment: investment amount will increase, only certain regions will be allowed to buy real estate
Photo: Adobe Stock

The Portuguese government has approved new conditions for the residence permit program by investment. They are enshrined in the legislative decree of 12.02.2021 No. 14/2021.

The changes will come into force on 1 January 2022. The draft law envisaged that the new rules would take effect six months earlier with a transition period until 2022.

The law extended the old rules and gave investors an extra six months to take advantage of the current programme's favourable conditions.

With the changes, the government hopes to achieve two objectives: to develop the country's sparsely populated regions and to attract more investment in business and science.

Restriction on the purchase of the real estate

Purchase of real estate is the programme's most popular option. It was chosen by 91% of investors in 2020. Participants in the programme bought properties in Lisbon, Porto and resort towns such as Cascais.

The option is in demand due to the high liquidity of the properties. Property prices in the business and tourist centres and coastal resorts in Portugal are rising by 7-10% per annum and rental prices by 3-5% per annum.

Under the terms of the program, the object is allowed to rent and receive passive income. And after 5 years the property can be sold and get back the money invested. In other words, investors received income from the asset acquired under the programme.

A regional restriction on the purchase of the real estate. Under the new rules, investors are only allowed to buy properties that are located:

  • In the Azores and Madeira;
  • Inland regions of the country.

Interior regions do not include the major cities of Lisbon and Porto, coastal and resort regions of the country. For a full list of the hinterland regions, see the annex to Decree No. 208/2017 of 13 July.

Property prices in the interior regions are increasing by a maximum of 5% a year, and in some areas, they are not. Rental demand is low. In other words, the liquidity of properties purchased under the new conditions will be low.

Immigrant Invest real estate experts recommend buying properties to participate in the programme before the changes come into force. Under the old rules, the investor is not restricted in the choice of region for the purchase of the real estate. Therefore, until the end of the year, it is possible to invest in the most profitable properties.

The minimum transaction amount and options for objects for purchase will remain unchanged.

Investments in real estate according to the program

From 500 000 €From 350 000 €
purchase of any propertypurchase of a building over 30 years old
for restoration

How much to invest in venture capital funds, business and science from 1 January 2022

Portugal's residence permit programme includes six other investment options in addition to buying real estate. The government invites investors to open a new company in the country or support an existing business, buy shares in venture capital and investment funds, and finance scientific and cultural projects.

The minimum investment amount will increase for four of the six options.

Investment by programme option

OptionUntil December 31, 2021From January 1, 2022
Transferring capital, e.g. opening a deposit in a bank1 million euro1,5 million euro
Buying shares in a venture capital fund350 000 €500 000 €
Investing in a new or existing business350 000 €
+ 5 new jobs
500 000 €
+ 5 new jobs
Investing in scientific research350 000 €500 000 €
Invest in cultural projects250 000 €250 000 €
To open a new company in Portugal+ 10 new jobs+ 10 new jobs

How to obtain a residence permit under the old rules

Until the end of 2021, the programme department accepts applications from investors under the current rules. The new conditions will only start to apply to investors who apply after 1 January 2022. The changes will also not affect applicants who will be renewing their residence permit or adding family members in the following year.

The current conditions of the programme allow you to buy property in Lisbon, Porto and coastal resorts such as Cascais.

The minimum investment amount is reduced by 20% when purchasing an object in areas with a low population density. Geographically, they may not coincide with the interior regions, where it is allowed to buy real estate under the new rules.

Purchasing property in areas with a low population density

From 400 000 €From 280 000 €
purchase of any real estatebuying a building over 30 years old
for restoration

Transferring capital, buying shares, starting a business or funding scientific research is also more profitable as long as the old rules are in place.

Luxury four-bedroom villa with private pool in Tavira, Algarve.
Price €1.75 million

Apartment in a residential complex with the services of a five-star hotel in Lisbon.
Price from €310,000

Villa in a prestigious arearnnear the ocean in Lagoa.
Price - €1.9 million

It takes eight to ten months to participate in Portugal's investment programme. As long as the residence card is valid, the investor has the right to live, work and do business and study in the country. Portuguese residents can also travel visa-free to Schengen countries.

The possibility of becoming a Portuguese citizen 5 years after obtaining a residence permit is another advantage of participating in the programme. In order to obtain a passport, the investor has to pass a Portuguese language test and prove having spent at least 7 days a year in the country.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the residence permit programme in Portugal. If you want to become a resident of an EU country before the conditions change, seek advice from the experts of the investment programmes.

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Changes in the law on the "golden visa" of Portugal: a new validity period, an increase in the price of four options, restrictions on the purchase of the real estate