Portugal’s Major Party Advocates Revisions to ‘Housing Bill’ to Preserve Accessibility of Portugal Golden Visa

Portugal’s prominent Socialist Party, holding a parliamentary majority, has proposed crucial amendments to the Mais Habitacao (“More Housing”) Bill, aimed at safeguarding the continuity of the Golden Visa program.

Recent developments within the Socialist Party indicate a shift from the initial plan of abolishing the Residency by Investment Scheme.

According to the International Adviser report, the proposed revisions entail the exclusion of real estate investments and capital contributions through deposits and other instruments as eligible pathways for obtaining a Golden Visa.

However, the suggested changes maintain certain investment options, such as:

  • job creation opportunities
  • scientific research investments (€500,000)
  • investments in cultural and artistic domains (€250,000)
  • venture capital funds (€500,000)
  • business ventures that sustain or generate at least five jobs.

A vote on the proposed amendments by the Portuguese Socialist Party is anticipated in the coming days.

The exclusion of real estate as an eligible investment option is likely to have an impact on wealth management strategies for individuals seeking residency through investment, and, as previously published on Spainguru.es, there could be a shift in the investment focus of Americans in southern Europe, potentially flowing to Spain.

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The elimination of real estate as an investment avenue within the Golden Visa scheme addresses concerns regarding rising housing prices and their impact on local communities. However, this shift may necessitate wealth managers’ assistance in identifying and evaluating opportunities in sectors emphasizing job creation, scientific research, and cultural pursuits to meet the program’s requirements.

Logically, individuals applying for this scheme will not be able to utilize their real estate investment for residency purposes, necessitating the need to purchase or rent a property for their living arrangements, which will therefore increase their costs.

Earlier this year, Portuguese authorities had proposed the abolition of the Golden Visa scheme. The program, which granted residency to third-country nationals in exchange for a financial contribution, faced criticism for potential misuse by corrupt individuals engaged in illicit activities, including money laundering. The European Union has been exerting pressure on Portugal to carefully review and revise the program to address these concerns while preserving its benefits for legitimate investors.

As reported by the Portugal News, the abolition of the Golden Visa scheme resulted in the cancellation of an €800 million residential tourism project, which would have had a significant €4.8 billion impact on Portugal’s economy, and 37% investment reduction by American nationals in this residency scheme since the beginning of 202.

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