Currently the exchange of residence for investment is accepted in 12 countries of the European Union (EU), as is the case of Portugal but the golden visa programme could be in doubt.
According to idealista, a resolution will be on the voting table in the European Parliament that proposes the gradual extinction of the golden visa regime for all Member States. The idea is to tighten and standardise the rules for granting these residence permits via investment in order to fight corruption and tax evasion.
The initiative was already under discussion in the European Parliament, on February 15, 2022. On that day, the text was approved - with 61 votes in favour, 3 against and 5 abstentions - which presents a plan with a view to the "ban on golden visas" in the EU and hinted at “new rules for the granting of golden visas” that are expected to be tighter.
What changes are proposed?
According to the press release published by the European Parliament, MEPs demand the following changes to the golden visa regime:
- Rigorous background checks (including family members and sources of funds), mandatory verification against EU justice and home affairs systems and verification procedures in third countries;
- Mandatory reporting to Member States;
- Minimum 'on-site' residency requirements for applicants and active involvement, with added value and contribution to the economy (to your investments).
In addition, MEPs also envisage a “notification and consultation” scheme to allow other member states to oppose the granting of a golden visa.
The draft resolution also provides that the exchange of residence permits for investment (ARI) will start to operate under a maximum quota system, which should gradually reduce until reaching zero in 2025, writes Jornal de Notícias. And, in this case, investment in real estate, in investment funds, government bonds, among others, should “be limited to a small part of the amount invested. On the other hand, the profit of each country will also be shared with the others in a "significant percentage" to be defined, according to the same newspaper.
If the proposal is approved, it goes to the European Commission which will make a decision in this regard: adopt the measures or reject them. And if the proposal is accepted, each member state will have to adjust the new measures to their national laws.
I've always believed such programs should be for people genuinely interested in Portugal (or whatever country) and thus residency requirements and true investments in the local economies a must. The mega-rich don't need another haven, and absentee "residents" only drive up housing prices for all.
Lawyers navigating expensive background checks will certainly benefit.
By Tom Graf from USA on 09 Mar 2022, 13:02
Does this mean that Abramovich will now get kicked out of Portugal as he got in through the back door with some dodgy resident application
By Peter from Algarve on 09 Mar 2022, 13:11