Worldwide, residence through investment is today a strong and competitive business area. You can find several programmes in different continents. Europe is no exception: countries like Portugal, Spain, Malta and Italy, for example, have been promoting their own programmes over the last decade.
Portugal launched its residence through investment programme (Golden Visa) in 2012 and, since then, it has undergone some changes. From the options available on the programme, the most common investment choice for investors is the acquisition of a real estate asset.
However, recently, the Portuguese Government approved certain limitations to the programme, applicable from January 2022, excluding, in general terms, the large urban centres and the popular coastal areas of Portugal from the list of eligible areas for real estate investment purposes.
Besides this major limitation, other types of investment will also find their investment minimums increased.
Does this make sense? Motivated and concerned by the moment we are going through, shouldn’t the Portuguese Government take advantage of the foreign investors’ willingness to invest in Portugal in order to enhance the less used investment options and thus benefit the fabric of Portuguese business, encourage entrepreneurship and create jobs?
PAIIR has been pushing on these matters. What more needs to be said and discussed in order to realise the enormous potential of the lesser used various investment options?
Critically, one could say that the investment options aimed at promoting the funding of Portuguese commercial companies, job creation, artistic production and scientific research, are not being taken up by investors and are in low demand, according to the statistics regularly published by the Immigration Services. But does this reveal a lack of interest by investors?
We believe not. Not at all.
We think it’s because the programme has some flaws and should be improved. The emphasis should be in making it less bureaucratic so that investors aren’t solely persuaded by the “more obvious” option of investing in property, but they consider investing in other business sectors as well.
There is no doubt that the programme needs to be revamped and modernised. If however, unlike 2012, the Portuguese government lets the moment pass, Portuguese society as a whole will miss a great opportunity to rise from the ashes.
PAIIR will continue to challenge policymakers to redirect their attention to what really matters: helping Portugal and the Portuguese to turn things around!