The government has reversed its position on gold visas and will now accept fresh applications while waiting for the new legislation to take effect.

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Requests that are submitted up to the point when the new legislation goes into effect will continue to be approved, despite the fact that the gold visas’ time on earth is really numbered. The administration has taken a retrograde step by doing this, which goes against the concerns of constitutionalists but opens the door to a race for these resident permits. This is a step backwards.

In contrast to what the government had stated in the initial version of the draft law on the Mais Habitac program, where it was predicted that requests submitted after February 16, when the end of the gold visas was announced, would no longer be considered, requests for gold visas that are submitted before the new law comes into effect will continue to be accepted until the new law comes into effect. This will continue to be the case until the new law comes into effect.

In point of fact, the proposal that is now being considered in Parliament merely stipulates that “no new applications for a residence permit for investment activity (…) will be admitted as of the date of entry into force of this law.”

On the other hand, it is made clear that “requests for concession and renewal of a residence permit for investment activity (…) that are awaiting a decision from the competent authorities on the date this law comes into effect remain valid” (requests for concession and renewal of a residence permit for investment activity stay valid).

In other words, the regime will come to an end, as was previously anticipated, but the applications that were received in the meantime will still need to be investigated and assessed in the usual manner by the Aliens and Borders Service. This is because the regime was already anticipated to cease.

The same thing will take place with applications that are “pending prior control procedures in the Municipalities, on the date of entry into force of this law,” according to the document. This will be the case for applications that were submitted before the law went into effect.

The first idea sparked a significant amount of debate, with many individuals arguing that it violated the Constitution in that it applied the law backwards in time. According to the article that was published in Negócios, this was the viewpoint held by a number of constitutionalists, including Jorge Miranda and Sérvulo Correia.

When the ban was first announced, the government’s goal was to forestall a stampede of foreign nationals to purchase real estate in order to qualify for gold visas. It is now clear that the programs that are now being used may continue be used.

 

The regulations that have previously been published in relation to the renewal of gold visas will be kept in place, and the system of residence permits for entrepreneurial immigrants will be applied to them.

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