Portugal mulls scrapping ‘golden visa’ scheme: PM
Published: Nov 03, 2022 11:08 PM
Portugal is likely to scrap its "golden visa" program giving wealthy foreigners residence rights, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Wednesday, saying that the 10-year-old scheme had already fulfilled its role.

The Authorization of Residence for Investment Activity for people from non-EU countries, commonly known as the golden visa program, has been heavily criticized at home for sending house prices and rents up, and the European Commission has called for the end of such national schemes.

In Portugal, it has attracted 6.5 billion euros ($6.34 billion) in investment by foreigners, with the bulk of the money going into real estate. Rules have changed in 2022 to redirect investments from a red-hot property market in big cities to depopulated ­areas.

Speaking at Lisbon's Web Summit, Europe's largest tech event, Costa said several visa schemes offered by Portugal were currently being reevaluated and the golden visa was one of them.

"[It] probably has already fulfilled the role it had to fulfill and, at this moment, is no longer justified to keep it," Costa told reporters.

An official decision would be announced when the evaluation is completed, he said.

Costa said Portugal wanted to continue to be attractive, with one example being its recent law, enacted on Monday, that created the so-called digital nomads visa. 

It gives foreigners with high monthly income from remote work to live and work from ­Portugal for a year.