Finally, there’s some good news for golden visa holders and applicants. After months of announcements where the Portuguese government said they were firstly, not planning to honour the physical stay requirements of current golden visa permit holders and secondly, not accept any new applications issued after February 16th, the government has relented. There is now still time to apply for the golden visa.
The announcement on February 16th sparked a rush of new applications as people sought to take advantage of the golden visa before it ended. However, the government suggested that they would not honour any applications submitted after this date.
Now the program continues to remain open until the new legislation is published. This means that applications submitted in the past few months would be valid and there is still time for new applications. However, the clock is ticking.
The golden visa will end on the day the law comes into effect. According to Vanessa Rodrigues Lima and Sara Sousa Rebelo of Prime Legal, this date is likely to be at least 45 days from today, April 15th, which would be Tuesday, May 30th.
Many estate agents and investment companies continue to offer money-back guarantees if the golden visa isn’t honoured, so be sure to find a company that is offering that.
The biggest fear for current golden visa residence permit holders was that the golden visa would be converted to the D2, and that instead of only having to spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal, they would now be required to spend 183 days. For those still working in other countries, or maintaining a tax residency elsewhere, this was obviously hugely concerning.
The government still plans to move current permit holders from the golden visa to the D2 entrepreneur visa, but they will not be subject to the 183-day rule and will still only need to spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal.
It’s still not clear whether the golden visa is going away for good, whether some parts will remain, or whether a new investor visa will be introduced.
However, it seems that the government is still open to cultural investments or investments that support “artistic production and the recovery or maintenance of cultural heritage.”