February 12, 2021, has seen the publication of Decree Law 14/2021 introducing alterations to the regime legally designated as residency visa by investment and which the market has come to know as Golden Visa.

The new regime comes into force on January 1, 2022.

Within the alterations introduced, there is the increment to € 1 500 000,00 (presently € 1 000 000,00) as a qualifying minimum cash transfer deposit enabling a Golden Visa route to residency.

The increment to € 500 000,00 (from the present € 350 000) of the threshold of investment in units of investment funds which are legally qualified as susceptible of satisfying a Golden Visa route to residency, as well as the investments – via individual entrepreneur or a company – generating five new employments to access such route.

Whilst the threshold of minimum investment in property to qualify for the Golden Visa route to residency remains unaltered at € 500 000, it now only applies to property located in areas of the country identified in legislation regarding promotion of development, as less developed areas. The list contains no location in the greater Lisbon area, only three boroughs in the Algarve, and one in the greater Porto area.

The changes to the legislation safeguard the criteria under the present regime for applications for Golden Visa residency until (including those already presented up to and until decision) the entering into force of the new regime – January 1, 2022 – and furthermore, the ability of granting additional visas under the criteria of family reunion with golden visa residents which will have obtained these prior to the alterations entering into force.

It is ascertainable that a certain legislative prudence has prevailed in the introduction of changes with such a relevant effect as those in consideration, ensured by the double effect of, on one side, deferring the entering into force of the changes for circa ten and half months and on the other, of safeguarding all rights acquired and acquirable under the existing regime. In this latter forum, namely by extending the possibility of family reunion to beyond the entering into force of the amended legislation, for those golden visa residents who may have secured such residency under the pre – amendment regime.

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