Portugal’s Golden Visa Scheme, a popular path for affluent international investors to obtain residency, is undergoing significant changes following the approval of the “More Housing” bill by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. The legislation, poised to be enacted within four to eight days post-signature by Parliament and the government, as reported by SchengenVisaInfo.com, introduces new investment criteria for residency.
The newly approved law removes the option for acquiring residency through real estate investments, previously available for amounts starting at €280,000. Nevertheless, the renewal of existing authorizations remains unaffected. Prospective residents must now engage in alternative investments, including the creation of ten or more jobs, capital transfers to scientific research or the arts, or investment in shares of collective investment funds or commercial companies in Portugal.
With the Golden Visa Program, foreign nationals have been able to gain Portuguese residency by contributing financially to the country’s economy. However, Portugal’s recent housing crisis has prompted legislative actions to mitigate its impact. The “More Housing” bill, passed by Parliament on July 19, aims to alleviate housing pressures by ending residency acquisition through real estate investment and the option to transfer €1.5 million or more into Portuguese bank accounts.
President de Sousa, who had a 20-day window to deliberate on the bill, ratified it without amendments, despite its contentious nature and past associations with illegal activities. The program has historically been one of Europe’s most recognized residency and citizenship schemes, drawing over €32.8 million in investments in August alone. This reform reflects Portugal’s commitment to address internal challenges while maintaining its appeal to global investors.