By, Omkar Redkar – Partner at My Golden Pass

Click here to read the article as appeared in Live Mint

In November, several independent media outlets wrote a pre-mature obituary for Portugal’s ‘golden visa’ programme. They couldn’t be blamed, for there was a strong trigger to this coverage. On 2 November, Portugal’s prime minister Antonio Costa conceded to journalists that the government was doing a re-think on various immigration programmes, including the one on golden visa. Less than a month later, his plans to make any changes to the golden visa regime stand thwarted by his own Socialist Party.

What has the golden visa delivered for Portugal?

Since its inception in 2012, Portugal has granted its golden visa to 18,479 applicants, including their family members, as per SEF statistics. Portugal has received a direct investment of €6.6 billion over the past decade, and at least 220 jobs were directly created by such investments. Additionally, it would have benefitted from a spurt in economic activity linked to such a direct investment.

Is Portugal’s golden visa regime really coming to an end?

In the last week of November, Portugal’s parliament was in session to discuss the country’s budget for 2023. During this session, a formal proposal to end to the golden visa programme was tabled. This proposal was opposed by the Socialist Party, the centre-left party that won the last general election. Further, the proposal was also voted against by the centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the third-largest party, Chega.

This setback certainly delays, if not rules out, any plans to phase out the golden visa regime at least in 2023. Even if such a proposal were to be brought to parliament again, it is widely expected that the phasing out would be implemented in an orderly manner, with sufficient notice to stakeholders, and protecting the interests of investors who have already entered the system.

To conclude, this is an opportunity for investors waiting on the sidelines, to enter while the door remains open, at least for now.

Source: Live Mint (snippets of the original article that appeared in Live Mint)

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