As of September 2021, Portugal’s Golden Visa program underwent significant changes. The program, which had previously offered a path to Portuguese residency for those investing in real estate, has been revised and will now exclude metropolitan areas such as Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve from the program.

The revised Golden Visa program, which came into effect on January 1, 2022, will only apply to real estate investments made in low-density areas of the country, such as the interior, Madeira, and the Azores.

Under the new program, foreign investors who purchase real estate with a value of at least 500,000 euros in designated low-density areas can qualify for Portuguese residency. However, investments made in metropolitan areas, such as Lisbon or Porto, will no longer be eligible for the program.

Additionally, the minimum investment amounts have increased for all eligible investments, including those in real estate. As of January 2022, the minimum investment amounts for real estate are as follows:

  • 500,000 euros for properties located in low-density areas.
  • 400,000 euros for properties located in low-density areas that require refurbishment.
  • 350,000 euros for properties located in urban regeneration areas.

It’s important to note that the Golden Visa program is subject to change and can be modified by the Portuguese government at any time. As such, it’s crucial for foreign investors considering this program to consult with a licensed professional, such as a real estate agent or an immigration lawyer, for the latest information and guidance.

On 16 February 2023, Prime Minister António Costa announced in a televised press conference that Portugal plans to end the granting of new Golden Visas. The decision to terminate the Golden Visa program was part of a series of measures aimed at addressing housing issues in Portugal, where a scarcity of available properties and high prices, coupled with a preference for short-term rentals, is putting local residents at a disadvantage in one of Europe’s poorest economies. In the announcement, Mr. Costa identified the elimination of Golden Visas as one of two significant measures to combat property speculation.

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