One of the proposals on the table is the fact that Golden Visas should be maintained, but only for investments that do not involve real estate, such as capital transfers, investment in companies or job creation, according to Negócios.

The Golden Visa programme (ARI), which allows foreign nationals to invest in housing and thus obtain a residence visa, has long been mired in controversy and has gained even more bad press with the growth of housing problems, with accusations that it encourages real estate speculation and contributes to rising prices in the real estate market.

The current Government has already significantly restricted investment in real estate through the Golden Visa regime and since January last year it has become possible to use it only for the acquisition of housing located outside the major centres. Basically, now the purchase of houses is only eligible for the purposes of obtaining a residence visa if they are located in the interior territories or in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, leaving out Lisbon and Porto, the traditionally most attractive areas for foreign investors.

This restriction, however, was not enough and investors quickly tried to find ways to circumvent the new rules, as Negócios reported.

In such a way that the investment raised through gold visas in 2022 amounted to 654.2 million euros, an increase of 41.9% compared to the previous year, according to accounts made by Lusa based on SEF data.

Last October, during the debate on the State Budget for 2023, the Minister of Economy, António Costa Silva, said that the Government was creating a working group with the ministries of Economy, Foreign Affairs and Internal Administration to evaluate the end of the program.

The idea, now, will be to scrap the regime's real estate once and for all, but to maintain other types of investment which, as statistics prove, are much less popular.

Out of a total of 11,535 ARI granted by the end of 2022, 10,593 were under the criterion of acquisition of real estate, with a total investment of 6,041 million euros, of which 534.1 million correspond to the purchase for urban rehabilitation, with 1,485 ARI .

The capital transfer criterion led to the attribution of 920 visas (in a sum of 712 million euros) and the job creation criterion totals the attribution of 22, with the creation of as many companies in ten years, four of which have already were liquidated in the meantime, as reported by Público.