Please note that Investment Visa will use the above details to contact you only. By submitting this form, you confirm that you agree to our website terms of use, our privacy policy and consent to cookies being stored on your computer.
Please note that Investment Visa will use the above details to contact you only. By submitting this form, you confirm that you agree to our website terms of use, our privacy policy and consent to cookies being stored on your computer.
New European Council President Elected: What Does it Mean for Golden Visa Programs?

The European Union Stance on Golden Visa Programs

The European Union has, countless times, marked its position on Residency by Investment programs, also commonly referred to as Golden Visas, across all its institutions. To simply put it: they are, generally speaking, against the concept of Residency & Citizenship being obtained via investment means, and the European Union has made this clear over the years.

In 2014, just 2 years after Portugal introduced its Golden Visa, the European Parliament issued a resolution – an argument, a willingness, an expression, which does not necessarily mean a call to political action – against Residency & Citizenship by Investment programs. In the resolution, the European Parliament revealed its concerns regarding the “sale” of EU Citizenship, citing multiple risks, especially criminal activity in the form of money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption.

In 2019, the European Commission produced a formal report on “Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes in the European Union”, reinforcing its concerns regarding the previously mentioned risks. Essentially, the report concludes that “investors citizenship and residence schemes pose risks for the Member States and the Union as a whole, including in terms of security, money laundering, corruption, circumvention of EU rules and tax evasion.


In 2022, in the context of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the European Commission adopted a recommendation calling for the “immediate repeal of investor citizenship schemes”, and strict safeguard measures for “investor residence schemes”.

It is noteworthy that the EU draws a clear distinction between “investor citizenship schemes” and “investor residence schemes” - referring to Golden Passports and Golden Visas - and while the EU is more lenient on Golden Visa programs, this could also change in the near future.

There has also been a recent trend in European countries either partially or fully discontinuing their programs. For instance, in early 2024, the Netherlands abolished its Golden Visa entirely. In April of the same year, Spain announced revisions to its program, ending the Real Estate option. Ireland had scrapped its program in 2023, while Portugal phased out the Real Estate option entirely as well.

While it may not have been a direct consequence of the European Union’s institutions' push toward the repeal of Residency & Citizenship by Investment programs, the Union’s influence cannot also be ruled out entirely. In fact, it probably more than likely played a role in these countries’ decisions, since the EU has made it perfectly clear that it completely admonishes any type of investment immigration program.

Why Does the Election of a New European Council President Matter for Golden Visa Programs?

The election of a new President of the European Council is nothing more than standard affairs, since the incumbent President’s term, Mr. Charles Michel, is ending on November 30th 2024. However, the President Elect is an already-known figure, especially in the investment immigration & Golden Visa landscape. The new President, who will take office on December 1st 2024, is none other than former Portuguese Prime-Minister, Mr. António Costa.

During his 8-year tenure as Portugal’s Prime-Minister, Mr. Costa significantly overhauled the Portugal Golden Visa program, originally introduced back in 2012 by the PSD party – which is currently governing Portugal as of July 2024 under the leadership of Mr. Luís Montenegro.

Among the many changes Mr. Costa introduced the Golden Visa over the years, especially in 2016 and 2022, the far most significant one occurred just last year, in October 2023, when the Real Estate investment option was discontinued. At the time, many thought this move would “kill” the Portugal Golden Visa, since it barred investors from getting Residency through the easiest and most straightforward option – to buy a house in Portugal.

It is noteworthy to mention that, in little more than a decade of existence, the Real Estate investment option for the Golden Visa brought more than €6,4 billion to the Portuguese economy. Despite the setback, the Portugal Golden Visa has remained a stable program, a solid solution regardless for those interested in the country, especially through a subscription to Investment Funds – which took the spotlight as the best option.

Mr. Costa is only expected to take office on December 1st 2024. However, considering what we already know of his political career and legacy from his time as Portugal’s Prime-Minister, it is likely that he could, sooner rather than later, push for some form of Golden Visa programs shakeup. In the meantime, Golden Visa programs are still available in European countries, like Portugal and Greece, which often compete against each other for the title of best European Golden Visa, though other countries like Hungary and Malta cannot be left outside the conversation.

Investment Visa: Now Is the Time to Secure Your Golden Visa

While there may be those who unlawfully resort to Golden Visas for their criminal activities, the program, at its core, is extremely beneficially mutual situation, both to the applicant and to the country. The former obtains a variety of advantages – including increased global mobility, taxation options, and the opportunity to set up a Plan B. The latter, as is often the case with Caribbean countries, receive a much-needed economic boost, fundamental to the operation of the country on a daily basis.

With the European Union’s negative outlook on Residency & Citizenship by Investment programs, and the election of a new President who has visibly shown to be against such initiatives in the past, it may be very well possible that there may be a renewed effort in fully suspending these programs - or preventing new ones from appearing altogether.

There is a common saying: “the best time to start anything was yesterday, the second best-time is now.” The same philosophy applies to Golden Visas – the sooner you apply for one, the better, especially since such programs provide a geographic alternative, a safe haven in an uncertain world.

This is why the time to apply for a Golden Visa is now, and we are here to help you. Investment Visa is led by a veteran team with decades of experience in the investment immigration industry. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, we have international offices in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and in Greece, our reach is worldwide, and our number one priority is to make sure your needs are met.

Contact us today to find out more about all the available programs, how we can help you guarantee your options and alternatives with Investment Visa.


Table of Contents

    Sign up to our newsletter

    Receive relevant information about citizenship and residency by investment worldwide
    Please note that Investment Visa will use the above details to contact you only. By submitting this form, you confirm that you agree to our website terms of use, our privacy policy and consent to cookies being stored on your computer.

    Avenida da Liberdade 100,
    4th Floor 1250-145 Lisbon - Portugal
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    +351 213 471 603

    Privacy Policy