The Portuguese Foreigner and Borders Service (SEF) have reinstated the issuing of golden visas after their suspension earlier this month following a scandal surrounding the interior minister, Miguel Macedo, for his alleged role in money laundering that also implicated the former head of border police.
Launched in 2012, the program provides Non-EU investors the opportunity to reside in Portugal if they spent €500,000 on property, invested a million Euros in capital or created 10 jobs through business activity. It’s one of the most popular immigration programs throughout the world offering an excellent vehicle to promote investment in Portugal.
The decision to suspend the service was the result of a legal vacuum created by new laws introduced on the 1st July 2015. The new laws repealed certain provisions around the visas, but failed to replace them with new ones
On the 16th July, the program was reinstated with government spokesman Luis Marques Guedes stating:
“It would be a shame if Portugal misses out on investments from other countries because of the turmoil created by a court case”
There has been a total of 2,290 visas granted since the inception of the scheme, most of them going to Chinese investors who are finding that Portugal is entering a new cycle of growth with the economy being one of the most competitive in Europe.
While the suspension may have been an inconvenient for some, it will hopefully add more credibility to the application process in the long run.
It can be difficult and convoluted to navigate the ins-and-outs of these programs, so where possible it’s always best to speak to qualified advisors to ensure your investment is as safe as possible.