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What might be causing the delay of my Portugal Golden Visa?

My attorney and I applied for a Golden Visa through a simple real estate investment. It is only supposed to take six months, but it has been a year. My attorney thinks it might be due to the type of real estate I bought, but I want to get a second opinion. What are some circumstances that can cause delays?

  • Caiado Guerreiro
    May 28, 2019

    The Golden Visa processes are analyzed by chronological order in which they were received by the respective regional office of immigration services. Currently there are six regional offices in Portugal (Centro, Algarve, Madeira, Lisboa, Açores and Norte), although there are other SEF offices that receive the processes in a first stage. But they are always decided in the end at the competent regional office. The processes are different in each regional office of SEF, meaning that some can have more work than others or a different number of available inspectors. Lisbon's regional office probably is the one where the processes are higher, meaning that the decision times can be also higher. The complexity of the process can have some impact but shall not be relevant in a macro-analysis of the timings. In case of doubt, SEF will notify the investor or the legal representative to provide further information on the application. The investor is also entitled to ask for a certificate of pendency in order to understand the status of his process.

  • MRT Lawyers Office
    March 27, 2019

    I cannot answer that particular question. Each case is a case, and in your particular case, I do not know what might be delaying the process. But it is true that the SEF cannot always meet legal deadlines and delay the decision. Is your case in the initial stage of analysis, or are you waiting for the resident permit to be issued?

  • Alves & Silva Pereira
    March 21, 2019

    In fact, there is some delay in the granting of residence permits for the investment activity in Portugal (Golden Visa). Please note that the period mentioned in the law for the competent uthority decision (Immigration and Borders Service, SEF) is 90 days, under penalty of tacit approval. Regarding our clients, approval deliberations have been obtained in a maximum of six months, with approvals taking an average of four months. For a second opinion, it will be necessary to verify all the legal property documentation presented as the investment. On the other hand, the delay may also be related to the personal documentation of the investor or his/her relatives (family reunification), since, for example, regarding the criminal record, the validity should be less than three months. I am sure that my colleague is making every effort to obtain the approval of your Golden Visa. The reassessment of the submitted documentation related with the investment and the investor is essential for a perception of what may be causing the delay.

  • March 21, 2019

    According to the article 82 of Law 23/2007, the application must be decided within 90 days after submitting the application. However, due to the increased amount of applicants for resident permits in cities like Lisbon or Porto, the immigration office lacks the necessary staff to carry out all the applications, so recently it was decided that the applicants could submit applications at any immigration office within Portuguese territory, including the Azores and Madeira. In my opinion the delay has nothing to do with the type of real estate you bought, so either you submitted your application at Lisbon or Porto and your attorney needs to follow up the situation and request that the immigration office issue your resident permit, or he should see if the application is missing any kind of document or (worst-case scenario) that your application was rejected by the immigration office and you were not informed by your representative.

  • NEXT/Gali Macedo & Associados
    April 03, 2019

    At the moment, unfortunately, all of the applications, no matter the type of investment, are very delayed. We believe it is due to the enormous amount of applications that have been submitted in the last year and the immigration entity cannot process all of them in due time. Other circumstances that may cause delays are, for example, if after your initial submission you were asked to submit new documents or other documents regarding your file. This means that the file will be analyzed once again. That can contribute to a larger delay.