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No more Golden Visas and no more new licenses for short- term holiday rentals

Posted by Chritl Lee on 08/03/2023

In a bid to tackle the imminent and surging housing crisis in Portugal, the government has decided to make some drastic changes.

On 16 February, after a cabinet meeting, the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, held a press conference to present the outline of the governments housing reform proposal and this includes an end to Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme, and the banning of new licenses for short-term holiday rentals, like Airbnb.

Other EU countries ending their residency- by investment programs are Ireland (officially and abruptly ended) and Spain (appeal submitted to congress by Spain’s left-wing political party, Mas Pais, )Ending the Golden Visa program will mean an end to EU passports being offered to non-EU nationals in exchange for investments in Portugal’s economy

In the bill for the Mais Habitação program, the Government said that only requests for gold visas submitted by February 16, 2023 – and awaiting a decision from the competent authorities – remain valid, with the rest being frozen, if submitted after that date. The Ministry of Housing has confirmed this. According to the Housing Minister’s office, ensuring that there is “a safeguard period for analysis of requests for ARI (Residence Permit for Investment) already entered in the competent services until February 16” makes sense since, “in these cases, there was a legitimate expectation of a decision that is intended to be maintained, given that nothing had been said about the continuity of the regime until that date”.

According to some reports, existing permits will only be renewed if the properties are used as their primary residence or if they are placed on the long- term rental market.

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