Expected Change to Golden Visa Program Scheduled for 2024

The Portugal Golden Visa programme has been extremely successful since its launch in 2012, resulting in an inward investment of over €7bn to the country and fuelling major developments such as hotel projects. However, in 2023, the Portuguese government implemented changes to the programme which have caused a shift in the market.

Paul Williams, CEO and Founder of La Vida Golden Visas, one of the largest Investment Migration Consultants offering golden visa options throughout Europe, commented, “Our clients are having to take far more time in considering the new Portugal options. They now have to understand the merits of Private Equity investment in an international context in order to gain residency, as opposed to real estate which is far simpler for the average investor. This immediately puts up barriers to clients familiar with real estate, stocks and shares, but unfamiliar with a more complex, riskier and less liquid investment class.”

In light of the changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa, La Vida have developed a commercial investment for the Spanish Golden Visa which reduces the investment from €500,000 to €350,000, and offers up front rental yield. This is attractive to passive investors who do not want the burden of owning a home in Spain and wish to see returns on their capital. Meanwhile, the Greek Golden Visa is now attracting over 7500 main applicants a year, with over half from China. Greece may also be a big beneficiary of capital investment seeking an alternative to Portugal for residency investment, with La Vida now offering a commercial rental yield which reduces the investment from €500,000 to €250,000.

Hungary has also announced its new golden visa programme starting in 2024, with applicants able to gain residency through investing either €500,000 into real estate or €250,000 into a property fund.

Paul Williams concluded, “We’ve seen huge growth in investment migration in the last 10 years and the market is still growing strongly. We expect it to continue into 2024 with further double digit growth. When demand is there, suppliers will fill the gap. We see a healthier market with more rounded choice for our clients going forward in Europe and look forward to an exciting year ahead.”

The European Golden Visa market is set to experience a shift in fortunes in 2024, as alternative countries and developers innovate with their offerings. This is following changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa programme in 2023, resulting in a decrease in the amount of capital channelling into the country through the programme. Suppliers are now offering more rounded choices, allowing for potential citizenships and reducing the amount of capital required to gain residency.

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