As previously indicated, we have been following closely the developments around the proposed amendments to the Golden Visa/Residency by Investment regime since the Council of Ministers held on 16th of February 2023. Accordingly, please note that the draft legislation that will be sent to the Portuguese Parliament for further discussion and voting, has been released and, finally, provides clarity on certain aspects, which in turn now allows us to provide accurate guidance.
For clarity, the draft legislation clarifies a few very important aspects, as follows:
- There will be no retroactive effects, which entails that initial applications may be submitted until the moment the new legislation/amendments are in force;
- Any initial applications and future renewals that are still pending, will be converted into an “Entrepreneurs Residency Permit” (typically designated a D2 residency), and said conversion will imply minimum stay requirements in Portugal of 7 days in the first year of residency and 14 days in the subsequent periods of two years of residency (renewals);
- Applications substantiated by investments in projects already approved in the field of support to artistic creation, maintenance or refurbishment of national cultural heritage, shall be accepted, regardless of when the legislation comes into force; the minimum stay requirements in Portugal are to be the same as those outlined above.
It is important to note that in order to be in force and fully applicable, the legislation has to go through a specific legislative process, which still requires it being discussed and approved in the Portuguese Parliament, vetted by the President of the Republic and subsequently gazetted. It is our understanding that the current wording of this draft legislation may be very close to its final format but at the same time it is important to outline that further discussions in the Portuguese Parliament are to take place and certain aspects of the proposed legislation may still be altered.
Equally, from a time perspective, considering that the legislative process still involves a few stages, until any amendments to the legislation are in force and are applicable, a window of time will still exist. In this respect, it is difficult to predict how the subsequent stages in this legislative process will evolve and how long will take to unfold.
In view of the above, our recommendation is that, to whoever is interested in still benefiting from the opportunity of having their Golden Visa/Residency by Investment applications processed, not to lose any time and activate the necessary procedures and action in order to move forward with his/her application.
Lisbon, 14th April 2023
EDGE International Lawyers