On Portugal local time July 6, 2023, the special commission created for the analysis and preparation of the final draft of the “Mais Habitação” law approved the bill to be presented to Parliament.
Despite the proposals presented by all parties to keep some options of investment, including the one initially presented by the government itself, the final draft does not contemplate the continuity of the ARI regime. Therefore, the present draft states that no applications will be admitted following the entering into force of the new law.
Notwithstanding, there is relevant good news:
- i) it was made clear that all applications submitted until the entering into force of the new law will be fully processed, and renewal rights will be fully assured;
- ii) the analysis of all files submitted up until the entering into force of any amends will follow all existing rules and regulations;
- iii) no changes will be implemented to the law regarding the adding of family members, which means that family reunification will still be possible after the changes are implemented
- iv) no changes were added regarding the access to citizenship and permanent residency were included.
Regarding the timeline, we believe that the Parliament will vote on the current law up until July 19th, 2023.
The final step of the process, if the current document is approved by the Parliament, will be sending the proposed shall be proposed bill to the President of the Republic.
There is no way to determine how the President of the Republic will respond to the diploma, but three scenarios may take place:
- i) Direct ratification and in this case, the proposal will come into force on the date set forth in the proposal.
- ii) The President of the Republic does not accept the proposal as it is, and returns it to the Parliament for revision; or
- iii) The President of the Republic does not issue an opinion on the document but requests its evaluation by the Constitutional Court.
In any case, it is not reasonable to expect that, even if option i) takes place – direct ratification, the law comes into force before the middle/end of September. Our assumption is based both on the complexity of the package – which will require extensive analysis, and the current holiday period, which will for sure add time to the current process.
Our advice to all our clients is to move forward as soon as possible with their investments. We believe the current timelines will fully allow investors to start and submit their process before the potential end of the Golden Visa program.
In this sense, we must make our investors aware that the current average time to conclude the investment, with IAS, is around one week, which – under current timing, provides enough time to still invest and be part of the Portuguese investment program.
We will continue to monitor the situation as closely as possible, keeping investors and partners informed of any developments while remaining available for any clarifications needed.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.