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The recent news about the Portuguese Golden visa program had a lot of investors worried. Golden Visas in Portugal are being discontinued, but until the law that abolishes them is published, you can still apply for one. Applying for a Golden Visa in Madeira is the best option.

What is the Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa is a residence by investment program that allows non-EU citizens to obtain a residence permit in Madeira in exchange for an investment, which can be in the form of a real estate purchase without the obligation to become a tax resident. In Madeira, the property must be worth at least €500,000, or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project.

After five years, Golden Visa holders can apply for permanent residency and, after six years, for Portuguese citizenship.

Although the Portuguese Government has announced the end of the Golden Visa program in 2023, it is still possible to get a Golden Visa if you apply before the new law enters into force.

Can I apply for the Golden Visa in Madeira if I buy a residential property?

Yes, and the regime in Madeira entails fewer restrictions than in mainland Portugal: starting from 1 January 2022, the Portugal Golden Visa restricted investors to residential (non-commercial) real estate in interior areas of the country and the Islands of Madeira and Azores. This ruled out hotspots such as Lisbon, Porto, and much of the Algarve. 

Furthermore, Madeira does not have in place any restriction on the licensing of short-term rentals. Hence, the owners have more flexibility in renting out the asset and generating income.

As one of the trendiest, all-year-round tourism destinations in Portugal (it has been awarded the World’s Best Island Destination for 7 years in a row), Madeira offers not only a varied range of properties in terms of prices and architecture styles but also high occupancy rates both for short-term and long-term rental, thus generating excellent yields on real estate investments.

However, if you want to grab the advantages of the Madeira property market to get a Golden Visa in Portugal, time is of the essence.

Golden Visa in Madeira - what changed in 2023?

In February 2023, the Portuguese Government officially announced the plans to end the Golden Visa program. This announcement was followed by a press conference in March that alarmed investors because it opened the door for retroactive effects and immediate termination without due protection of the current and prospective applicants or beneficiaries.

These concerns can now be dismissed entirely because the Portuguese Government released a new version of the draft law with a more reasonable and balanced approach, indicating that new applications for the Golden Visa program will be accepted until the final legal diploma is published in the Official Gazette. This termination law is expected to be published no sooner than mid-June 2023, as the draft law is now under discussion in the Parliament and remains subject to amendments.

The following points of the draft law are worth mentioning:

  • The new law will not have a retroactive effect;
  • Any new or renewal processes filed before the new legislation is published will be accepted;
  • Pending applications and future renewals will be converted into regular residence permits for Entrepreneurs, also known as D2, without the minimum stay requirement of approximately 183 days per year, keeping the 7 days requirement of the Golden Visa programme.

I want a Golden Visa in Madeira. How much time do I have?

Although the draft law is subject to changes and grandfathering provisions may still be inserted, we would not take any of this for granted, so there are about 45-60 days until the final law enters into force and the Golden Visa program is terminated.

As such, time is of the essence right now. We strongly advise potential investors to take immediate action.


We have an in-house Real Estate department and experienced immigration specialists to help you apply for your Golden Visa


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