The rules for granting golden visas changed at the beginning of the year, which fuelled the discussion about the continuity of the program.

According to Público, based on data from SEF, during the first four months of the year, the purchase of real estate for the purpose of granting golden visas slowed down, with 287 ARI granted, less than the 295 granted in the same period last year. It should be noted however that a total of 382 golden visas were granted, a year-on-year increase of 17 percent, with this being driven by investments in commercial properties, helping to offset the decline in the residential sector.

Also noteworthy is the fact that there are now fewer golden visas granted for the purchase of properties worth €500,000 or more: 131 between January and April of this year and 215 in the same period in 2021. At the same time, the number of visas delivered through property purchases of €350,000, or more, for rehabilitation doubled in one year (in the same time window), from 28 to 56.

Público writes, relying on real estate sources, that many investors are circumventing the new rules by investing in commercial real estate, which is not covered by the new rules. Among the segments mentioned are offices and logistics, which are attracting a lot of interest from foreign investors.