The Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa made an important announcement regarding Portugal’s Golden Visa program through a press conference on February 16, 2023. The prime minister has stated that the government intends to shut down the Golden Visa Program, Portugal’s popular residency program, for new applications.

Portugal has been providing residence permits to investors through this program since 2012. The main objectives of the program were to facilitate foreigners to settle in Portugal and attract foreign direct investment through different investment options at the same time. Soon after, the program made Portugal one of the most preferred Golden Visa countries for real estate investors.

Over the course of 10 years, more than 11.000 visas were granted to investors. More than 10.000 of these visas were obtained through real estate investment. The prime minister addressed in his speech that the Golden Visa program wasn’t adequate to attract other types of investments. In addition to that, the program has caused the prices in the internal housing market to inflate.

Prime minister António Costa has stated that his government wants to achieve normalization of the prices in the internal housing market through this shift in the policy. This way, locals will have access to more affordable housing options.

This new policy is still being debated. However, the governing party has the majority in the Portuguese Parliament. So, it’s expected that this policy will be implemented approximately in 2 months.

According to the current debate, once this decision comes into effect, Portugal residency by investment won’t be available for new investors. In addition, already issued Golden Visas will be able to renewed only under certain conditions.

After the implementation of this new policy, foreigners who want to settle in Portugal will have to obtain residency in Portugal through other types of visas such as D7 (passive income visa), D3 (visa for highly qualified professionals), or digital nomad visa.

Why Spain's Golden Visa Program is Becoming a Popular Alternative to Portugal's

By the looks of the current internal political atmosphere, obtaining Portugal's permanent residency through real estate investment will be harder even if not impossible. So, if your goal is to have access to the European Union, obtaining a Golden Visa in Spain instead of a residence permit in Portugal might be a better idea under these uncertain conditions.

Spain’s Golden Visa program is pretty similar to Portugal’s. It provides its holders with the rights of European residency and visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. Also, it’s possible to apply for Spanish citizenship after ten years with Spanish Golden Visa.

On top of it, getting a Spanish Golden Visa by buying property in Spain is pretty easy and hassle-free. The procedures are finalized in a reasonably short time. All you need to do is to find your dream house among Golden Visa properties and prepare the necessary documents.

Multilingual real estate experts of Spain Homes ® help its customers in every stage of their real estate investments. Expats who want to buy property in Spain can benefit from our experts’ years of experience in the sector and find the best deals for themselves. They can also make their Golden Visa applications easily with the help of our consultants.

Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions on the issue. We’re always happy to help!