Portugal Closing the “Golden Visa” Program

Portugal may end its “Golden Visa” program, which granted residency to wealthy foreigners in return for investment. Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced the news at the Web Summit held in Lisbon.

According to the Prime Minister, the program launched in Portugal in 2012 has already fulfilled its purpose, and the government will review the current visa programs, including the “Golden Visa.”

“The program has probably already done the job it was supposed to do and there is no reason to keep it at this point,” states Antonio Costa. According to him, the official decision will be announced after the analysis.

Reuters through “golden visas” Portugal has attracted 6.5 billion euros of investment from foreigners over 10 years, most of which has been invested in real estate. These investors were mainly from China, Brazil, and South Africa. This year, Portugal stopped giving residence permits to buy property in Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, and the coast to shift investment from the big cities to less developed areas. In addition, the so-called Digital Nomad visa was introduced, which granted foreigners with high income and remote work permission to live and work in the country for one year.

Portugal stopped accepting applications for “Golden Visas” from Russians at the end of February, immediately after the start of the war in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the program, Russians have received 431 “Golden Visas.” Portugal has received ten applications for these visas from Russians since February and refused all of them.

Great Britain also closed the “Golden Visa” program in February, citing the risks of illegally obtained money flowing into the country.