Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa on February 16th announced that as a means of tackling the increasing lack of affordable housing in the country, his government will no longer offer residency to foreign property buyers or other investors through so-called golden visas.

Furthermore, Portuguese authorities will not grant new licences for short-term tourism rentals either, except in rural areas suffering from depopulation.

Any third-country national wishing to renew their pre-existing golden visa will have to prove that their Portuguese property is being rented out on a permanent long-term basis, rather than as a holiday home.

These drastic measures come 11 years after Portugal’s golden visa was first introduced, with 11,535 residency authorisations issued and €6.7 billion in foreign investment.

Back in 2012, there was a need for such a scheme to exist and it had largely met its objectives, Portuguese government officials have said.

In February Spanish political party Más País lodged a legal proposal at the Spanish Parliament calling for Spain’s golden visa scheme to also be abandoned.

Their spokesperson Íñigo Errejón voiced the same reasons as those given by Portugal’s government – put an end to – or at least lessen – property speculation in Spain.

It’s an election year in Spain and access to housing is one of the main concerns among Spain’s 48 million inhabitants.

Spain’s ruling left-wing coalition government is yet to comment on whether it intends to change anything regarding Spain’s golden visa scheme, but there is increasing pressure at a regional and national level to ensure that residents in Spain can afford a home.

Therefore, anyone considering getting a Spanish golden visa would do well to apply sooner rather than later if they want to be on the safe side

If you are looking to buy a property in Spain and need a mortgage, email mark@vci-network.com for the latest criteria