Further to the announcement made earlier this year, the Portuguese government has finally confirmed the exact changes to its popular Golden Visa programme. Whilst it was expected that the Golden Visa programme would change from July 1st 2021, the government has officially declared that the programme in its current form will remain unchanged until 31st December 2021. This effectively gives non-EU investors an additional six months to purchase a property and make their application.
Official changes to the Portugal Golden Visa programme
“The changes are around two aspects: increasing the minimum thresholds of certain investments and redefining the areas where residential property investments can be made,” states David Moura-George, Portugal Director at Athena Advisers.
Applying for a Golden Visa via real estate investment
For property investments, the minimum amounts required will remain the same. However as expected, the areas in which property investments will qualify for a Golden Visa application will now change. As of 2022, it will no longer be possible to combine a property investment in Lisbon or Porto with a Golden Visa application.
This means that next year, investors will still be able to access the programme by investing in real estate in the Azores and Madeira, outlying areas of the Algarve and a long list of interior areas. “The market has been working in the grey around these changes for over 12 months, so finally having clarity is almost as important as the six-month extension to the previous July deadline,” comment Moura-George. “The Azores will see a rush of investment as it is both beautiful and coastal, and those outlying areas of the Algarve which qualified are likely to see renewed interest too, especially from Chinese investors.”
Applying for a Golden Visa via fund investment
Another way to be eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa programme is to invest at least €350,000 or more in qualifying funds. However, from 2022, the minimum sum of investment will rise to €500,000.
Whilst investment via real estate leads the way, the fund route is becoming increasingly popular. Launched by the Government in mid-2018 and by the end of 2019 it had attracted €3.1m, but last year saw €17.3m, an almost 6-fold increase year on year. Though investing in a regulated fund means that you don’t own the title deeds to the property, there are very few traditional real estate opportunities in Lisbon, like Prima Collection – Lisbon Square, which allow you to access the Golden Visa programme at the lower rate of €350,000.
The extra six months is welcome news for investors as it adds a little breathing room to what was an extremely tight deadline. However, with travel for property visits currently off the table and the fact that demand is likely to increase now that the changes have been announced, we encourage clients to move forward as quickly as possible as in reality the extra six months only really adds a small buffer for the paperwork of a property purchase and Golden Visa application.
We are hosting a webinar on Friday 26th February which will examine the upcoming changes in more detail and David Moura-George, our Portugal Director, and Golden Visa expert Joana Martins Farinha will be on hand to answer all your questions.
If you are interested in applying for the Portuguese Golden Visa programme by investing in real estate, please get in touch and our Destination Advisers can help you find your perfect property for sale in Lisbon and beyond.