Association foresees ‘huge litigation’ with end of golden visas

  • Lusa
  • 5 April 2023

It is estimated to be about 10,000 renewals in progress", said The Portuguese Association of Real Estate Developers and Investors.

The Portuguese Association of Real Estate Developers and Investors warned on Tuesday of the possibility of generating “huge litigation” due to the end of golden visas, pointing to “10,000 ongoing renewals”.

In a statement, the association said that this government decision is unconstitutional and pointed to “illegalities and violation of some of the most basic rules of the rule of law, which represents the claim of retroactive application of the end of golden visas to 16/02/2023”.

“We consider that the cabinet announcement has no legal validity. In addition, claiming to apply the laws retroactively is an attack on everything that was previously mentioned,” he said.

This measure, “if it goes ahead, will lead to enormous litigation in our country”, he said, noting that “it is estimated to be about 10,000 renewals in progress”.

According to the association, “it will certainly lead to enormous litigation, as the last interests of these investors are not safeguarded”.

The association believes that “the credibility of the country abroad” as an investment destination, “as a country where the rule of law is in force, as a country that is governed by laws is jeopardised”.

The measure could also “lead to serious diplomatic problems, as we are talking about over 10,000 foreign international investors”.

The association stressed that it “presented alternatives to the government about the end of the golden visas”.

“We warned the government that any end of the golden visas should foresee a reasonable period, with common sense, of ‘vacatio legis’ and, therefore, of transition” for the end of this programme.

The association said that “any implementation of the end of golden visas should only be applied from January 2024, and the regime should remain in force throughout this year, allowing investors sufficient and reasonable time” to adapt their investments.

The association said it had told the government in recent years that “the golden visa programme cannot and should not end.

The programme “is important for the country and is important for the economy, for the creation and maintenance of employment, for the rehabilitation of cities”, it said, highlighting that “it can and should also be used to create more affordable housing for the Portuguese”.

The housing problem “has to be solved together with the private sector”, it said, highlighting that “from the developers and investors, there is all the interest in being able to build houses that the Portuguese can afford”.

“The end of short-term rental accommodation will not solve the housing problem, the end of golden visas will not solve the housing problem,” he stressed.

“Why don’t we put, for example, the golden visa programme at the disposal of affordable rent and organise it so that it can be channelled into building more homes for the Portuguese,” he questioned.

The government confirmed last week the end of golden visas as part of the More Housing programme measures.