Two constitutional experts in Portugal have said that the Portuguese constitution may be violated if the government follows through on its 16 February announcement to end the golden visa scheme. 

In an article for The Portugal News, multidisciplinary law group Ana Bruno & Associados gave two legal opinions, from professor Jorge Miranda and the other from professors Sérvulo Correia, Rui Medeiros and Dr. Gonçalo Bargado.

Both opinions concluded that if such a law be approved and published that it will be unconstitutional, for violating the principle of safeguarding trust and the legitimate expectations of citizens, among other concerns. 

This reflected Portugual president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa's concerns that besides being "inoperable" that the proposed bill does not meet the high standards stipulated by the Portuguese constitution.

"Portugal is at significant risk of having to compensate these investors an unbearable amount. Since the program was launched in 2012, around €7 Billion of investment has come into the country as a result. This law was created precisely for that: to attract foreign investment to the country. 

"It cannot be revoked with retroactive effects and without ensuring a transitional and adaptation period. This would irreversibly affect acquired rights, without any regard for the legitimate interests of those who invested in the national territory and shall consequently damage the country's international image. Commercially, Portugal's future aspirations may suffer because of this tarnished image", the legal opinions concluded. 


On 30 March, Portugal's prime minister António Costa announced the government's final position regarding the Housing Package Policy and the future of the Golden Visa. 

In a briefing note on 30 March, expat advisers Global Citizen Solutions said:: "At present, we do not have a draft of the bill that we can analyze, but we expect to have it in the coming days." 

Its outline summary from the prime minister's announcement said that "upon renewal, authorizations will be granted based on existing requirements but will be reframed in a traditional type of visa, as opposed to the Golden Visa. 

"It remains unclear what the consequences of this will be, but it is indicated that the reduced period of stay of seven days per year may be at stake, given that this advantage of the Golden Visa program does not exist in traditional visa types."  

It further said that "pending process will be assessed according to the general regime for granting a visa instead of in accordance with the Golden Visa program. It is not yet known which pending cases that the government intends to apply this measure.  

"The government's reasoning behind bringing the Golden Visa program to a close is that it is no longer justifiable to continue the scheme. Investors will, eventually, be redirected to traditional visas."