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Portuguese Assembly Approves the “More Housing” Bill, Including Changes to the Golden Visa

posted 1 year ago

By Joana Mendonça, Head of Legal at Global Citizen Solutions

The Assembly of the Republic of Portugal convened on 19 July and gave its approval to the final version of the Mais Habitação bill, which includes significant changes to the Golden Visa regime. Notably, all real estate investment options, whether direct or indirect, will be eliminated under the new law.

The key implications of this legislation are as follows:

      • All pending SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) applications will be evaluated according to the laws in place at the time of their submission;

      • The minimum stay requirement for maintaining residence permits will remain at an average of 7 days per year;

      • Renewals of residence permits will follow the same initial rules as before;

      • Family reunions are guaranteed under the same terms as main applications;

      • Investment routes related to real estate and capital transfer are no longer eligible;

      • The law will take effect the day after its official publication.

    Despite the changes, the Golden Visa program itself will continue to exist. The types of eligible investments are as follows:

    1. €500,000 in collective investment structures, namely funds and others not directly or indirectly related to real estate

    2. Setting up or entering the share capital of existing companies, alongside the creation of jobs and a minimum investment of €500,000

    3. Donations and other types of liberalities under artistic and/or scientific domains

    Next Steps:

        • Following the plenary’s approval, the proposal will be returned to the Commission responsible for finalizing the text within a specified timeframe (if not already defined, then this will be five days).

        • After the final wording is settled, it will be published in the Assembly Gazette.

        • During a three-day working period, corrections to the final wording can be requested, and a decision on these corrections will be made within 24 hours, which may be subject to appeal.

      Following this, the text will be sent to the President of the Republic. The President then has 20 days to ratify the proposal, leading to its final publication. Alternatively, the President can exercise a political veto, which the Assembly can override after 15 days. If the veto is surpassed, the President has eight days to enact the law. The text may also be sent to the Constitutional Court, where a pronouncement could take up to 25 additional days, possibly leading to amendments or reassessment.

      If requested by one-fifth of the deputies (46 out of 230), a preventive analysis by the Constitutional Court is possible. After all the necessary steps are completed, the final proposal is sent to the Diário da República for official publication, taking effect on the day following publication.

      Such procedures can either take place fairly quickly or suffer from various obstacles that delay the outcome of this proposal, making it impossible to accurately anticipate the exact deadline for each of them to take place. We will be able to monitor the progress of such a legislative process and advise all interested parties.

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