COVID-19 impact on Portugal Golden Visa

COVID-19 update: Portugal’s relative success

In national lockdown since 18 March 2020, Portugal has recently been lauded for its efficient response to the coronavirus pandemic. With about a quarter of the population in neighboring Spain, Portugal has recorded approximately a tenth of the number of cases with a mortality rate of just 3% compared with over 10% in Spain, Italy and the UK.

Explanations for Portugal’s relative success in handling the pandemic have varied. Some have attributed it to the country’s clean air, the decades-long supply of anti-tuberculosis vaccinations, geography, and luck. One thing is for certain, the Portuguese people have done their part to flatten the curve by showing a high level of selflessness and spirit of compassion in the response.

Digitalization of Portugal Golden Visa application

Residency by investment programs are vital sources of capital for big and small nations alike. And as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact the global economy, countries offering residency by investment are finding innovative ways to move forward with applications with as little disruption as possible. Several countries like Portugal are now accepting applications electronically.

In the face of COVID-19, the Portuguese government and SEF remain open for business and applications for the ARI program [the Portugal Golden Visa] are proceeding as normal. All documents are now to be submitted digitally, including the issuance of the Portuguese Individual Tax Number [NIF]. The only exception is biometric interviews. Since the interviews are presently conducted face-to-face, they have been suspended until 1 July 2020.

Golden Visa Portugal operation status:

  • NIF (tax number) issuance – Open as usual
  • Initial SEF Application – Open as usual
  • Bank account opening – Open as usual
  • Notary – Open as usual
  • Interview for biometrics for main applicant and family– Due to COVID-19, SEF has suspended all bookings until 1 July 2020

Portugal Golden Visa scheme changes on hold?

The Portuguese government’s recent proposed Golden Visa scheme changes, which would have blocked investors from purchasing property in central Lisbon and Porto from 2021, have reportedly been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This date will most likely be pushed back now for an indefinite time as it is not within the government’s priority to legislate anymore.

COVID-19 and the global mobility crisis 

COVID-19 has presently triggered a global mobility crisis, in which tensions are high and borders are indefinitely shut. Globally, we are all considering the future of our mobility and freedom of movement.

The rapid spread of the virus across the globe has meant travel bans between countries have been implemented and other inter-country travel restrictions are in effect. These mobility restrictions are a new phenomenon for most of us today.

While people stay at home and practice social distancing, many have also begun to realise the importance of having other options on the table, in order to safeguard assets and enjoy a future freedom of movement.

Can’t Skip Hope

As we stay at home and practice social distancing, it’s a good opportunity to recharge our batteries, reflect, and take it slow, for the good of the world. We’re in this together. #cantskiphope

Benefits of having second residency or citizenship

While the coronavirus pandemic has brought on social uncertainty and economic instability across the globe, it has simultaneously demonstrated the value of having a plan B in life. In times of such a global mobility crisis, citizenship or residency by investment gives people the freedom of choice to start over in a new country and build a future for themselves and their families. It further protects one’s personal, professional and financial interests.

There are numerous advantages to holding another citizenship or being able to operate and reside in another country.

These benefits include:

  • Property ownership benefits.
  • Freedom of travel, with visa-free restrictions in over a 100 countries.
  • Plentiful business opportunities.
  • Fiscal and asset protection back-up-plan.
  • Tax residency privileges.
  • Optimal social systems such as school and healthcare.

COVID-19 and Portugal in the world press

Stay informed with international news coverage on COVID-19 in Portugal.

Portugal to Lift Coronavirus State of Emergency From May 3The New York Times

Specialists defend ‘opening Portugal by regions‘ – Portugal Resident

Global coronavirus death toll could be 60% higher, says study – ‘but not in Portugal’ affirms health chiefPortugal Resident

Swift action kept Portugal’s coronavirus crisis in check says ministerThe Guardian

COVID-19: Why has Portugal seemingly fared better than Spain? Al Jazeera

Coronavirus in Europe: Why has Portugal not been as badly hit by COVID-19 as neighbour Spain?Euronews

How we can help you today

We understand that everyone is feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether directly or indirectly. With all travel and relocation plans paused, our way of living and social norms are being challenged.

Whether the Portuguese Golden Visa, the Spain Golden Visa program or another scheme, we understand that it can be a time-consuming affair as well as a stressful experience to reach a big decision like applying for residency in a foreign country. But in the face of this global pandemic, with many international borders shut to foreigners, time now is of the essence.

As consultants in investment migration, we can help you apply for several residency-by-investment programs. Our step-by-step strategy, tailor-made to each unique client, means we are there for you every step of the way.


For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please book a call with a Global Citizen Solutions expert or get in touch with us by filling out the form below.