The Portugal Golden Visa is one of the most popular residency-by-investment programs in the world. The scheme has welcomed 10,636 investors (and 17,614 family members) to Portugal, since its inception in 2012. However, in recent times there have been some Portugal Golden Visa delays, due to a wide range of factors.

In this Portugal Golden Visa delays article, we cover the following:

  • Program operating status of the Portugal Golden Visa
  • Portugal Golden Visa 2022 changes
  • Latest COVID-19 information
  • Benefits of having a second residency or citizenship
  • Portugal Golden Visa delays and the current situation
  • How we can help you today

Golden Visa delays – Program Operation Status

  • The Portugal Golden Visa program is operating as usual. 
  • The application, including NIF (tax number) issuance, the initial SEF application, the opening of a bank account, and Notary, are open as usual.
  • Face-to-face interviews for biometrics are running as usual, but you must book an appointment beforehand. However, you should expect some delays, which we shall cover in more detail below. 
  • All documents related to the Portugal Golden Visa application are now submitted online. After the request is approved, you must appear in person for a biometric interview.

Portugal Golden Visa program changes

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Portuguese government’s proposed Golden Visa scheme changes, which were to block investors from purchasing property in Portugal’s urban centers from 2021, were initially suspended. However, the government has recently ratified the legislation, which was set to roll out on 1 July 2021. This was extended and came into force on 1 January 2022. 

What this means is that investors are no longer able to snap up €500K residential properties in Portugal’s populated cities including the Silver Coast, coastal areas of the Algarve, Porto, and Lisbon. All other investment routes to a Golden Visa will remain open, although there are other changes to the investment cost of some of the programs. 

In fact, industry experts predict that this new legislation will even out gaps in the property sector, and drive more investment in Portugal’s low-density areas. According to the Portuguese foreign authority, SEF, Portugal Golden Visa statistics have shown an increase in investors choosing the Portugal investment fund golden visa route to residency.

Check out the latest changes to the Portugal Golden Visa Program here.

June 2022 COVID-19 updates:

As of June 2022, COVID-19 restrictions are less severe than they once were and in many cases, COVID-19 documentation is no longer necessary. However, we recommend checking the requirements from your country of origin to Portugal. Requirements can change quickly, so it is best to check shortly before traveling to the country.

With regards to the Portugal Golden Visa, it is business as usual and biometrics operations have been up and running again since July 2020.

Benefits of having second residency or citizenship

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 opportunities

Property ownership opportunities

Freedom of travel, with visa-free restrictions in 100+ countries

Freedom of travel, with visa-free restrictions in 100+ countries

Fiscal and asset protection back-up-plan

Fiscal and asset protection back-up-plan

Tax residency privileges

Tax residency privileges

Optimal social systems such as school and healthcare

Optimal social systems such as school and healthcare

Portugal Golden Visa delays and the current situation

As previously mentioned, there have been some Portugal Golden Visa delays with the processing of visas. This is due to an unfortunate series of events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, general elections, and a restructuring of the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) department – the department responsible for processing Golden Visas – and, most recently, the Ukrainian war.

As of 13 June 2022, however, it appears that SEF has resumed accepting new Portugal Golden Visa applications.

For more information, please consult our up-to-date article on the topic and updates, which can be found here.

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 only beginning to open up again recently, 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.

Frequently asked questions about Coronavirus and Portugal Golden Visa

How has COVID-19 impacted applications for the Portugal Golden Visa?

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Portuguese government and SEF have continued to run the Portugal Golden Visa program, accepting applications on a rolling basis. The only difference is that applications are now digital, including the issuance of a Portuguese Tax File Number (NIF).

What are the rules for travelers transiting in Portugal?

As long as you don’t leave the airport space, you can move around freely and don’t need to present a COVID-19 test.

I live outside of Portugal and have taken two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Do I still have to present a negative test when entering Portugal?

At present, it is best to check with your country of origin. However, you can travel to Portugal from many countries at present without the need to show a negative COVID-19 test.

How can I stay on top of travel updates related to the Portugal Golden Visa?

For the latest travel updates related to entering Portugal, please consult the Portugal SEF page.