Last February 12th, the Portuguese government enacted some changes to the “Golden Visa” programme, the law granting residency permits to high profile foreign investors and targeting mainly real estate ones. There is an intention of cancelling the programme, but the deadline for cancelling has been delayed for six months. Instead of ending next July 1st, the “Golden Visa” will endure until next January. For Algarve, there was some extra good news.
Definition of “heartland”
Although it was explicit that the government intended to divert investment from the two metropolitan areas (Greater Lisbon and Greater Porto), it wasn’t entirely clear how this would affect the rest of the country. As a shore/coastal area, Algarve was apparently going to be included in the exclusion zone.
However, the government decided to the “interior” or “heartland” open to foreign investment under the Golden Visa rules. It makes total sense: in territories of low population density, it is essential to grab that investment and new residents.
This means that although the most well known coastal areas, like Portimão, Albufeira or the Golden Triangle, will be excluded, significant Algarve zones remain “Golden Visa” prone.
Listing the “Golden Visa” Algarve
According to Portugal Resident, these areas include the entire borough of, from West to East:
- Vila do Bispo;
- Alcoutim; and
- Castro Marim.
It also includes the parish of São Marcos da Serra, in the borough of Silves and next to the Monchique and Caldeirão Hills; five “highland” parishes of the borough of Loulé, including the famed historical villages of Querença and Alte; and two other parishes in the borough of Tavira.
Local developers already have their sights over these areas so that foreign investors could expect top quality if they decide to take their chance. The Loulé parishes end up being relatively close not only to the borough centre but also to Faro and the A22 motorway (Via do Infante).