Portugal golden visa back on track

MAY 27, 2016

After a minor administrative hiccup from the Portuguese government that lead to the visa programme being put on hold in August 2015, the Portugal Golden Visa programme is back on track.

According to Andrew Rissik, MD of Sable Group, the programme has changed face over time and become one of the most cost-effective methods of gaining residency in another country.

Minister of Internal Affairs, Santos Silva confirmed in Parliament that in the last month the Immigration offices processed/approved over 850 Golden Visa applications and that they are expecting to catch up on all the pending applications very soon and get back on track with the approval time frames.

“I understand the concern of parliament regarding the temporary residency permits. When I took office the situation was very distressing because the applications were blocked. This government discovered what was causing the problem and developed a solution. We created a team between the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy in order to recover from the delay that, as the parliament is aware of, was huge when it came to the processing of temporary residency permits. At the moment, the team that has been formed a little over a month ago has already processed 850 temporary residency permits. Therefore, the International Relations Fund’s estimated revenue from the granting of temporary residency permits should not be based on last year’s chaos, but on the normality that we will return to at the end of 2016.”

Rissik added: “The Portuguese have realized that the programme is very important to attract foreign investment into the country, plus they have been awarded the Start up City of Europe and the UN has rated Lisbon the most welcoming city with the lowest operating costs compared to other European capitals.

Rissik reminded clients: “This is a unique residency-by-investment solution where, through an investment in Portugal, you can obtain EU residency. This may also lead to citizenship as long as all requirements are met.

“What makes this solution attractive to investors is the fact that they can enjoy the safety, security, education and lifestyle offered by Portugal, without having to live there on a permanent basis.”  Rissik added that Sable can also advise on various investment options available in Portugal, property just being one of them.

His overiding advice was that South Africans wishing to explore the Portugal Golden Visa opportunity should work with a reputable agency that understands the legal framework, the tax systems of both countries and has local relationships to ensure a smooth transition.