Despite the latest criticism and pressure on the Immigration Services, sustained on significant delays in the analysis of the processes, it seems that several measures are being implemented to improve the programme and fulfill the foreign investors’ expectations regarding the Portuguese Golden Visa, one of the most successful immigration programmes in the world.
From the Government side, two new options of investment were already approved requiring a 350 thousand minimum investment:
i) in the acquisition of participations in investments funds or venture capital funds which are set up under Portuguese law, whose maturity at the time of the investment is at least of 5 years and at least 60% of the value of the investment is made in commercial companies headquartered in Portugal; or also ii) in the incorporation of a company headquartered in Portugal and the creation of 5 permanent job positions, or, to reinforce the sharecapital of an already incorporated company headquartered in Portugal, with the creation or maintenance of job positions, with a minimum of 5 permanent ones, for the minimum period of 3 years.
From the Immigration office, it is also worth noting the implementation of two new pilot projects:
i) the possibility of doing the payment of the approved processes by ATM reference, thus dispensing the need for prior scheduling and personal visits to the Immigration Offices, and, ii) the possibility of scheduling the Lisbon appointments in other Immigration Offices besides the Lisbon one located at Av. António Augusto de Aguiar, which shall be in force from September 12th, initiating the decentralization of the service in order to respond to the growing flow of requests.
With these measures the Portuguese immigration and investment program will have conditions to recover the trust of the foreign investment and overcome the numbers of applicants and approvals registered in the last years, where, from 2012, 5243 investors were approved (4892 by acquiring real estate and 53 by acquiring real estate with rehabilitation works), 290 by transferring capital and 8 by creating, 10 job positions), numbers to which it shall be added 8637 residence permits granted to family members (family reunification), in a total investment of €3.223.403.061,34