Schengen Visa

Portugal’s Golden Visa Program Abolishment Triggers €800 Million Project Cancellations

The abolishment of Portugal’s Golden Visa Program has led to the cancellation of a residential tourism project worth a total of €800 million that would have an impact of 4.8 billion on the country’s economy, according to the Portugal News report.

The Residency by Investment program of Portugal, also known as the Golden Visa scheme, allowed wealthy foreign investors to acquire residency in this country if they met specific conditions and made a significant investment in this country, report.

However, the program that made a notable contribution to the country’s economic sector was abolished on February 16 this year, as part of the scheme known as Mais Habitacao in order to tackle the problem of housing shortage, in addition to the fact that the Golden Visa Programs run by several EU countries are often criticized of being involved in unlawful affairs such as money laundering, tax evasion and corruption.

The Executive Director of the Portuguese Association of Resorts, Pedro Fontainhas, has thrown accusations towards the country’s government of making a “blind decision” while calling for “common sense” in order to avoid a “catastrophe” in this industry, according to a report of the Portugal News.

In addition, Fontainhas has warned that wealthy investors are trading the country for Greece.

Based on the figures of the Dinheiro Vivo, from February 16 until the end of April, residential tourism projects worth about 800 million euros led to the loss of a total of €500 million in taxes that would have been collected by Portugal.

Besides, a total of 2,090 jobs involved in cancelled projects have still not been created.

Among the territories of the country that experienced cancellation of projects are: Alcácer do Sal, Beja, Amarante, Castro Marim, Faro, Évora, Grândola, Lagos, Portimão, Óbidos, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Sagres, Salir, Sines, Troia Santiago do Cacém, Tavira, Vila Real de Santo António as well as Vila Viçosa.

However, a recent analysis of the financial services company DBRS said that the lifting of the Golden Visa scheme of Portugal would have a limited impact on the residential market.

The same source revealed that there are other factors more significant to explain the current trend of increasing house prices in Portugal, namely the shortage of new housing, as well as international interest and economic recovery.

Despite the fact that it was often been accused of being involved in many unlawful affairs, a total of 11,758 golden visas have been issued by Portugal’s authorities from October 2012 until February 2023, according to a report of El Pais.