Proposal to end Portugal golden visa rejected

Written By Lara Silva

The Left Bloc (BE) and the Portuguese Communist Party’s (PCP) proposals to end the Portugal Golden Visa scheme were rejected on Tuesday, during the debate for the State Budget 2022. It seems the Portuguese left’s wish to end the golden visa will not come true any time soon.

The BE said on Twitter that “the golden visas only serve the oligarchs that want to launder their fortunes. They do not serve the population in any part of the country, only hurts them”. Mariana Mortagua from BE said in the debate that “We know who the golden visas serve and we know who buys them and for what: China, Angola, Russia. Autocratic regimes where parasitic elites germinate that go shopping for real estate in Europe in exchange for a residence visa and the opportunity to launder their money”.

The PCP argued that the Portugal Golden Visa has not benefited the country, reminding parliament of the current data available. Until December of 2021, 10,254 residence visas were provided, with 9,585 from property investment, 649 from a capital transfer, and only 20 for job creation. The PCP says that “there was almost no productive investment or job creation” but rather “there is a clear contribution to real estate”, making it harder for the population to afford housing.

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A proposal to end the non-habitual tax residency was also presented by the PCP on Wednesday, but this was rejected. The proposal said that the regime promotes an “unacceptable situation of fiscal injustice, privileging non-habitual residents, with access to lower taxes than those applied to residents”.

Guide to NHR Tax Regime

What is the Portugal Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa was created in 2012 to boost foreign investment and many argue it is one of the most attractive golden visa programs in the world. It allows non-EU citizens to qualify for a residency permit and eventually citizenship through investment. You do not need to live in Portugal to be eligible for the visa, you just need to stay in the country for at least 7 days in the first year and 14 days in the subsequent years. With a Portugal Golden Visa, you can follow the non-habitual resident tax regime if you would like which for some allows for a 20% flat tax rate.

Guide to the Portugal Golden Visa

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