Portugal removes Golden Visa program

In October 2021, the Portuguese government announced that it would be removing the Golden Visa program, a popular immigration scheme that allowed foreign investors to obtain residency and potentially citizenship in the country in exchange for certain investments. This move comes as part of a broader effort to reform the country’s immigration policies and address concerns over corruption and money laundering.

Under the Golden Visa program, foreign investors could obtain residency in Portugal by making certain investments, such as purchasing real estate or making a capital transfer. The program was introduced in 2012 as a way to attract foreign investment and stimulate the Portuguese economy, which was struggling at the time. The program was successful, with thousands of foreign investors taking advantage of the opportunity to obtain residency and potentially citizenship in Portugal.

However, the program also faced criticism over the years. Critics argued that it was too lenient and allowed wealthy foreigners to buy their way into the country without meeting the same stringent requirements as other immigrants. Additionally, there were concerns over corruption and money laundering, with reports suggesting that some individuals were using the program to launder money or engage in other illegal activities.

Lisbon Portugal

In response to these concerns, there was speculation that the Portuguese government would be phasing out the Golden Visa program, and on 16 February 2023 Prime Minister António Costa made the announcement in a televised press conference.

While the removal of the Golden Visa program may be disappointing for some foreign investors, it is an important step towards reforming Portugal’s immigration policies and addressing concerns over corruption and money laundering. By focusing on specific regions and offering incentives to investors who are willing to invest in these areas, the government is taking a more targeted approach to attracting foreign investment and stimulating economic growth. Overall, this move is likely to be beneficial for both Portugal and foreign investors who are interested in investing in the country.

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