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Changes to the Golden Visa, which aimed to move investment away from more popular areas and channel it inland, were to come into force in July 2021. Property developers and investors, however, shared concerns that it was “not the right time” to limit eligibility and that it would cause “reputational damage to Portugal” (see here).

It seems that the government has taken some heed, by extending the current rules for a further six months. While it wasn’t the result that the Portuguese Association of Real Estate Developers and Investors (APPII) had hoped for, it welcomed some of the measures.

“As a result of the pandemic and the economic recession that we are experiencing, we believe that capturing foreign investment continues to be essential,” said the association. The extension, at least, “grants investors approximately one year to seek to readjust some, not all, of their investments”.

What it means for investors
With this extension, non-EU investors can continue to benefit from the programme – officially called the Authorisation of Residency for Investment – when purchasing properties in Lisbon, Porto and coastal areas, such as the Algarve, until January next year.

After that, new rules will be implemented for those seeking to gain a Golden Visa, and therefore residency in Portugal. Under the new rules, investment can be made in several ways:

  • Minimum property investment of €500,000 (or €350,000 for urban renovation of properties completed at least 30 years ago), but only inland and in Madeira and Azores. In the Algarve, the areas of Alcoutim, Aljezur, Castro Marim, Monchique and Vila do Bispo are considered inland;
  • Minimum capital investment of €1.5 million;
  • Creation of at least 10 jobs;
  • Minimum investment of €250,000 to support artistic production, recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage;
  • Minimum investment of €500,000 in scientific investigation.

The extension will benefit international investors looking to gain EU residency, but also buys time for British buyers affected by Brexit to be eligible for the scheme in return of a smaller investment, anywhere in the Algarve.

For advice on buying a property in your favourite area of the Algarve, contact us here to speak with one of the team at Algarve Home Sales.