Golden Visa delays
Investors across the Portuguese territory are experiencing Golden Visa delays. Since the beginning of this year, Portugal’s Golden Visa application processes have been stopped. The computer system was blocked by an administrative decision of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).
The above also means that no one can ask for an appointment telephonically or by e-mail because no one answers them at SEF. Even those who have already been issued a Visa cannot renew them. On the other hand, those who want who have already made the investments simply cannot get appointments at SEF.
Several reasons have been hypothesised why the entire Golden Visa application has been on hold. Still, no one from SEF, nor the Portuguese Government, has come forward with a formal reply. MCS and our lawyers have contacted the Portuguese Bar Association and its Regional Delegation in Madeira. Still, these have been given the same silent treatment from SEF as to when the Golden Visa application process will be, once again, online. Clerks at SEF’s Funchal office have told us to simply wait.
Given the above, if you are considering relocation to Portuguese Territory or Madeira Island and the tax residency implications do not bind you, you should consider applying for the D7 visa instead of the Golden Visa. Golden Visa delays are expected to occur due to the situation mentioned above and the backlog that has pilled up at SEF, making the application process even longer (more than one year) once said applications restart.
Alternative to the Golden Visa
The D7 visa, also known as the Passive Income Visa, is a residence permit that can be applied for by non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who intend to relocate to Portugal and has a reasonable net regular passive income.
This residence permit also allows professional activity in Portugal, and unlike the Golden Visa it does not require a minimum investment to be made in Portuguese territory.
The application for this type of permit must be preceded by a special residence visa applied for at a Portuguese Consulate by the main applicant in their country of residency. Once this visa is obtained, the main applicant should then apply for a residence permit in Portugal.
According to the experience of our legal department, once issued by the Portuguese diplomatic authorities, the D7 residency permits are processed in a timely manner, with appointments to apply for the said residency permit being made available within two months after the issuance of said via.
This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal or professional advice of any kind.