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The transitional regime for NHR (updated 3-Dec-2023)

The transitional regime proposed by the government has been approved. The final text of the approved budget has still not been published but we don't know of any changes in the transitional regime. The underlying idea is that people who were "planning their move to Portugal" in 2023 will still be able to move in 2024 and obtain NHR status.

Below is about what this proposal has and doesn't have. Once the budget passes, we will update this article to present more up-to-date information. 


The proposal lists 6 options as evidence of "planning the move":

1. Promise of an employment contract signed until December 31, 2023, whose duties must take place within national territory;

2. Lease contract or other contract granting the use or possession of property in Portuguese territory concluded until October 10, 2023;

3. Reservation contract or promissory contract for the acquisition of real rights over property in Portuguese territory concluded by October 10, 2023;

4. Enrolment or registration for dependents, at an educational establishment domiciled in Portuguese territory, completed by October 10, 2023;

5. Residence visa or residence permit valid until December 31, 2023; 

6. Procedure, initiated by December 31, 2023, of granting a residence visa or residence permit, with the competent entities, in accordance with the current legislation applicable to immigration matters, namely through the request for an appointment or actual appointment for submission of the request for the granting of a residence visa or residence permit or, also, by submitting the request for the granting of a residence visa or residence permit.

7. Members of the households of people who meet the criteria above.


What about spouses of EU citizens?

Oddly, the list above protects the spouses and children of 3rd country citizens who obtain residency in Portugal during 2023, but misses the family members of European Citizens. Since European citizens do not strictly require a residence permit or a VISA and therefore do not request one (but merely register), their non-EU spouses do not, literally, meet the criteria. Coupled with the fact that the new immigration agency AIMA does not currently have any availability for family reunification meetings, EU citizens are in flux.

We do believe, however, that this anomaly will be corrected. Hopefully, in time for the budget.

Yet another odd thing in this proposal is that some categories require creating a connection to Portugal until October 2023, a past date, whilst others are still open. Particularly, the broad inclusion of "request for an appointment" seemingly allows anyone to still fit in. It is unclear whether "request for an appointment" must be done via the online systems of Portugal or whether a mere email will suffice. And, if a meeting should be booked via the online system, what if meetings are not available and how can people from jurisdictions with busier consulates be treated differently to people in areas where meetings are available?

Indeed, the frantic way in which the NHR issue is being handled leads to more questions than answers. We will continue to follow up and keep you posted.

We strongly recommend joining our webinar which will take place after the budget and will hopefully answer some of the questions!

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