This week there is good news for people who want to use Portugal’s well-known Golden Visa to become citizens of the European Union. Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa rejected the proposed legislative reform and referred it back to parliament for further revision. This means that potential applicants still have time to meet the requirements of the program’s current guidelines.
According to Jason Morgan, the director of sales and marketing for Mercan Group, an organization that provides immigration investment advice, the legislation is expected to come up again in September or October.
Morgan told TPG: “The President´s veto can go a long way on ensuring the Portuguese Golden Visa program some very relevant last weeks. Having the President voice out the concerns that the vast majority of the political and economic stakeholders made public validates the cooperative position that our group has adopted throughout this process.
In regard to timelines, a realistic scenario is that the government calls upon the first session of Parliament after the summer break — September 15th, as the date to reapprove the bill, after which it is resent to the President for approval and publishing. Even if this date — September 15th — is indeed the chosen date, under current processual proceedings, it is doubtful that the bill will come into force before the end of September or, most likely, the beginning of October.”
The typical processing time for a file with our partners is now about one week, which gives investors more than enough time to participate in the Portuguese investment program before an increase in the entry price point takes effect, he added.
What is a Golden Visa
Currently, a few countries have programs known as “golden visas” that allow real estate investors to become EU citizens.
For instance, the minimum investment to become a resident of Portugal is 280,000 euros, or $296,317. One of the requirements is that you stay in the country for up to 14 days a year. However, this criterion changes during the five-year investment period.
What happens next
The plan was sent to the President, whose veto this week will allow for possible revisions and a fresh assessment before it is resubmitted in the fall.
The program underwent changes in 2022, but this latest notification may indicate that the program (or portions of it) could still disappear forever.
Before the legislation changes, a number of procedures must be completed, some of which have already taken place. On March 16, 2023, the one-month feedback period ended. A meeting was then held to draft the final proposal. After that, the Parliament had the opportunity to vote on it.
New candidates may be impacted by any program modifications, but not current ones. Therefore, if you’ve been considering obtaining dual citizenship, this is the ideal time to do so.