By Anayat Durrani
Portugal’s Borders and Immigration Service (SEF) has resumed accepting Golden Visa applications. Previously, investor visa applications were halted since December 2021 from being accepted into the SEF portal due to global and political circumstances and delays in governmental agency restructuring.
“This is good news because we can now upload the clients documents on the government online platform and pay the government fees,” says Emi Silva, Head of the Lisbon Office of Henley & Partners. “This was not happening since the beginning of the year. This means that the clients documents are officially submitted.”
Investor applications are no longer on hold and can now be accepted. With the resumption of application acceptance, it is worth noting that the SEF portal is continuing to use the investment amounts from last year.
“Although the minimum investment amounts have not yet been changed in the SEF platform, all applications submitted from now, with the opening of the platform, must meet the requirements of the new law,” says Bárbara Pestana, lawyer and partner at Paxlegal, based in Lisbon, Portugal.
Portugal’s immigration authority is processing Golden Visa applications
Pestana says she is unsure of when the amounts for the investment modalities on the platform will be updated, “but this fact is almost irrelevant now that the platform is open, since the applications must be submitted according to the investment requirements of the new law.”
Silva called Q1 2022 a record-breaker in terms of the number of enquiries received by Henley & Partners for the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program. She says that Q3 2021 saw the highest number of clients processed for the program by Henley & Partners and Q1 2022 was the 4th highest on record.
The resumption of acceptance of visa applications is good news for investors concerned about disruptions and delays.
“It will have a very positive impact,” says Pestana. “It will certainly restore and boost the confidence of the investors, as they feel that the government is doing its utmost, given the overall preceding circumstances, to honor its commitments regarding the Golden Visa and resume the activity of the SEF.”
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