The historical timeline of Portuguese golden visa program including important events and policy changes from 2012 to 2023, we have highlighted below.

Oct 8, 2012

The Law governing the granting of Residence Permit for Investment (ARI/Golden Visa), in force from 8 October 2012, enable third country nationals to obtain a temporary residence permit for investment activity. Portuguese, EU and EEE nationals are not eligible for the ARI/Golden Visa scheme. Portugal introduced the initiative in 2012, when mired in a financial crisis and desperate to boost inward investment.

Nov 13, 2014

Government opens investigation into corruption linked to the issuing of so-called “golden visas” to wealthy foreign investors.

10 Jan 2019

During a parliamentary debate on the same date as the release of the critical report, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa stated that his government would review the program but not begun.

Oct 28, 2019

Portugal’s government is to review its ‘golden visa’ program which grants residence to non-EU foreign investors with a view to redirecting such investment from a red-hot property market in big cities to depopulated areas in order to create new jobs. The Socialist government announced over the weekend a range of guidelines, outlining plans to review the program with the intention of spreading investment across the country.

Jan 1, 2022

State Budget Legislative Proposal for 2020 which was discussed in the Portuguese Parliament was approved on February 4, 2020. Government has approved the Decree Law No. 14/2021 entering into force on Jan 1, 2022 amending the regulation. From Jan 1, 2022, it will no longer be possible to buy residential properties in Lisbon and Porto including Algarve region. All Golden visa investments will be shifted to inner regions of Portugal plus Azores and Madeira which increases to €500,000 for residential properties. Capital investments (bonds, cash deposits) increased to 1.5 million euros.

March 11, 2022

MEPs voted to demand a ban on golden passports and regulate golden visas in European parliament session.

November 9, 2022

The Portuguese prime minister, António Costa, briefly mentioned to reporters that the Golden Visa program had already met its purpose and will close to avoid housing crisis in Portugal. Minister of Economy publicly announced the creation of a commission with representatives from the Ministries of Economy, Internal Administration and Foreign Affairs to evaluate the program’s impact.

November 22, 2022

The Socialist Party (which currently has an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament) voted against a proposal to end the GV program

February 16, 2023

The government suddenly announced its intention to end the program as part of a housing package—seemingly without any evaluation of the program actually taking place as promised earlier. All golden visa applications filed after this date will be frozen. The pending applications will be processed under the residence permit regime for entrepreneurial immigrants, regardless of whether they are pending with SEF or due to prior control procedures in municipalities.

March 4, 2023

The first draft of the law was released, only applications submitted prior to February 16 would be considered.‎

March 9, 2023

 The public feedback period was extended from March 10 until March 24 due to the actual draft law only being published more than two weeks after the initial announcement. The date when the council of ministers would vote on (and presumably announce) the final proposal was set to March 30.

March 30, 2023

On March 30th, the Portuguese Government announced measures to be adopted under the Habitation legislative package, following the public hearing period and contributions of private and public entities. The draft law will enter the Portuguese Parliament and remains subject to discussions and amendments.  An online petition signed by public in defense of Portugal’s Image and Reputation among International Investors submitted to President and Prime Minister of the Republic. The petition mentioned foreign citizens who invested in Portugal must be protected by law, feel defrauded by the Portuguese State which, between 2012 and 2022, actively promoted a mechanism aimed at making investments and donations under certain conditions that are now being changed, without their constitutionally protected rights or interests being safeguarded.

April 14, 2023

The submission of the government’s final proposal to end the Golden Visa under “Mais habitacio” sent to parliament on April 14.  The proposal now also clearly states that all applications submitted prior to the law entering into force will be safeguarded and there’s no mention of any additional requirements for renewal—neither in terms of physical presence or need to rent out your property with a long-term lease.

May 19, 2023

The Portuguese Parliament approved in a Plenary session “Mais Habitação” housing bill.

Jun 1, 2023

The Portuguese Government released the final draft law that will end Golden Visa Programme and rules will govern all the applications approved, pending for approval or to be submitted until this law comes into force. The Draft Law No. 71/XV/1st also informs that new applicants can still submit their applications, since the law will only be in effect after being published on the Gazette (the official Portuguese Government publication – Diário da República).

19 July 2023

The Portuguese parliament voted to restructure and continue the GV program in the final global vote.

The new legislation will bring about changes to the types of investments that qualify for the scheme. Notably, real estate investments and capital transfer investments above 1.5 millions euro will be disqualified under the new program.

Aug 20, 2023

The President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has vetoed the Golden visa housing bill on Aug 20, and has sent back without promulgation to parliament for further amendments saying “unconstitutional”. 

Sep 21, 2023

The parliament re-approved the bill for the second time without any major changes, after being previously vetoed by the president.

Sep 30, 2023

The President of Portugal has signed the Mais Habitação bill after being reapproved by the parliament. 

Oct 6, 2023

The Final Law 56/2023 has been published in official journal of Portugal coming into force next day finally ending real estate investments under golden visa.

What should you know?

After the new law comes into effect, the Portugal GV will be a renewed program, where all investments will go into benefiting the economy of country.

  • The Portugal golden visa program will not end or close, it will continue.
  • All real estate investments (direct or indirect) will not be eligible.
  • Capital transfer investments involving 1.5 million euro and above such as Treasury securities bonds, Bank cash deposits will not qualify.
  • Investment funds to continue to become eligible for GV with minimum required investment 350,000 euro (low density region) and 500,000 euro.
  • New Applications for the granting of residence permit for investment activity submitted under the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 90-A of Law 23/2007, of 4 July, awaiting decision on the date on which this law enters into force, shall remain valid. no retroactive effects on the processes already submitted
  • Pending applications and future renewals, at that renewal stage, will be converted into a “special D2 Entrepreneurs Permit” – on this point, the minimum stay requirements will be the same as applicable normally for the golden visa (an average of 7 day per year stay requirement as before).