In a recent announcement, the Portuguese government has brought significant changes to the Golden Visa program, streamlining the application process and accelerating the path to citizenship. This update is particularly noteworthy as the application period for the Golden Visa, ranging from 6 to 18 months, will now contribute to the mandatory 5-year qualifying period for citizenship. This progressive move is poised to considerably reduce the time individuals need to obtain their passports and gain the right to live in the European Union.

One key development is the withdrawal of the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime. While it is no longer an option for new applicants, individuals who initiated their relocation to Portugal in 2023 can still avail themselves of this tax regime. This adjustment underscores the government’s commitment to providing clarity and fairness in the application process.

Despite the introduction of new guidelines in December, the Golden Visa program for 2024 remains open and continues to witness a steady flow of new applications. Notably, the removal of property investment as a qualifying option in 2023 has not deterred prospective investors, signalling the resilience and attractiveness of the program.

The investment routes available for 2024 include:

  1. Donation to Arts: 250,000 EUR
  2. Venture Capital/Private Equity Fund: 500,000 EUR
  3. Donation to Research Activities: 500,000 EUR
  4. Company Creation: 10 employees or 500,000 EUR + 5 employees

The Golden Visa program in Portugal remains a unique pathway to obtaining EU citizenship without imposing a minimum 6-month stay at the specified investment levels.

A notable trend in the Golden Visa landscape is the dominance of Portuguese venture capital and private equity funds, attracting the majority of new applications. These funds present a diverse array of investment options and possess the distinctive advantage of requiring no active management from the investor, nor a donation to the government.

Investors are encouraged to take note of qualifying funds that offer attractive incentives, including fixed returns, guaranteed buyback options, upfront interest payments, and fee exemptions. The rapid subscription of such funds underscores their popularity among applicants.

In conclusion, the Golden Visa program in Portugal has evolved to offer a more streamlined and efficient path to EU citizenship in 2024. The revised rules, coupled with diverse investment options, underscore Portugal’s commitment to attracting international investors while providing a clear and attractive route to European citizenship. As the program continues to evolve, staying informed about the latest developments and investment opportunities is crucial for those considering this golden opportunity.

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