Time runs out for Portugal Golden visa – but British expats have new ‘opportunities’

Brexit: British expat discusses difficulty of living in Spain

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Designed for non-EU citizens, Portugal’s golden visa is a residency by investment scheme that launched in 2012. Since the UK left the EU, the Portuguese golden visa has become an attractive option for British expats.

The stunning Algarve region is one of the most popular destinations in Portugal for British expats.

However, the Portuguese Government has confirmed that the system will change from January 1.

Property in the most popular Algarve areas and in Lisbon and Porto will no longer be covered under the golden visa scheme.

However, experts say that the changes should be seen as an “opportunity” rather than a negative.

Patrick McCaghy, managing director of Golf Travel Centre, told Express.co.uk: “The golden visa has been a great way to encourage investment across Portugal, allowing many Brits to purchase holiday homes and boost tourism.

“Since the visa, Golf Travel Centre has continued to see immense growth and demand for travel to locations such as the Algarve, Porto and Lisbon.

“With the changing rules, it’s an opportunity for other, less-visited regions to economically benefit and become new must-see destinations.”

In good news for British expats, the minimum investment value for property to qualify for a golden visa will remain at €500,000 (£420,937).

After the rules change in January, expats could have the chance to explore a new area of Portugal.

Christopher Nye, senior content editor at Portugal Property Guides, told Express.co.uk: “If you’ve still got your heart set on a home in the Algarve, the good news is there are still some areas that will qualify for the golden visa in January 2022.

“They’re all beautiful, good value for money and within driving distance of the region’s favourite beaches.

“These include Alcoutim, Aljezur, Castro Marim, Monchique and Vila do Bispo.”

Alcoutim is a small town in the Algarve where many locals still follow a traditional southern Portuguese lifestyle.

Located on the shores of the Guadiana River, residents have views of Spain on the other side of the water.

Aljezur is another beautiful small town with whitewashed houses and narrow streets to wander.

Expats who opt for Castro Marim can enjoy the town’s incredible salt ponds and spa treatments.

A popular tourist destination, visitors come to Monchique to enjoy treatments at the Caldas de Monchique spa.

Quiet and peaceful, Vila do Bispo is a pretty village, located just a short trip from stunning sandy beaches.

Christopher told Express.co.uk: “Portugal’s Golden Visa is widely regarded as one of the best visa schemes in the world.

“In return for investing in property or business in the country, applicants will receive five years of residency with the opportunity to later apply for citizenship. The visa also gives free movement around the Schengen zone.”

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