Applications filed for a Golden Visa for Portugal after February 16 will be processed and new applications might even be filed until the end of May, based on the new final wording of the “Mais Habitação” (More Housing) program.
The program, which is now expected to be debated at the parliament, can end only on the day the new housing legislation comes into effect, which is expected to happen around 45 days away from now, sometime at the end of May.
Previously, in mid-March, the government has said that the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) would continue to accept Golden visa applications until the law becomes effective, still noting that there is no guarantee that those submitted after February 16 would not be cancelled once the law becomes effective.
Second, the requirement of being in Portugal for at least 183 days per year in order to hold a D2 visa has been scraped for golden visa investors, who, due to the termination of the Residence-by-Investment scheme, will have to convert their current permits to a D2.
Golden visa holders that will obtain a D2 visa next, will continue to be required to remain present in Portugal for only seven days, which has been a requirement for those obtaining residence through this program so far.
And finally, investment-based residence permits for those wishing to invest in the support of “artistic production and the recovery or maintenance of cultural heritage” will still be eligible to obtain visas, as soon as they receive a confirmation for investment from at least one of the following:
· the Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade
· the Development Bank
· the Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation
· the National Innovation Agency
· the Office of Cultural Strategy, Planning and Assessment
· other authorities deemed appropriate
February 16, Portugal announced the termination of its Golden Visa scheme in a bid to tackle the problem of housing shortage that has hit the country in the recent years. The decision was revealed only one day after Ireland also revealed it would put to an end its Golden visa program, without giving any reasons for the decision.
The move has been criticized by many, and even a petition has been initiated to reverse it.