For the first time, Portugal Golden Visa holders can now renew their visas online. The measure was recently announced by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) to deal with the renewal portfolio, which amounts to 19,900 requests, which represents about 60% of the total number of Golden Visas issued.
The new measure is already in effect, requiring a simple online application process and collection of fees.
“Such renovations were, until now, done in person”, says Sara Sousa Rebolo , partner of Prime Legal, headquartered in Lisbon. “The applicant and dependents, if any, would have to come to Portugal and make an appointment, so that each family member previously scheduled by their legal representative has their biometrics collected.
“However, due to the backlog that the Immigration Office is still catching up with, caused by the closure during the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the restructuring that the Immigration Office is undergoing, has made such a measure an urgent necessity and, frankly, , the only way to overcome the system's inability”, he adds, referring to the large backlog of requests.
In addition to the delay, there are more than 20,000 people whose visas are due to expire soon, according to local media reports, making the move online even more urgent.
Portugal Golden Visa and application book
Since its launch in 2012, the Portuguese Golden Visa has become one of the most popular investment residency programs in Europe. In 2022, there were concerns that the program would be stopped due to a proposal submitted to Parliament by the communist party, but a parliamentary vote in November 2022 rejected the program from the proposal and kept the Golden Visa in force throughout 2023 at least. . This is expected to attract more potential investors to the program in the coming year.
The anticipated increase in popularity of the Golden Visa program means that the volume of applications/renewals is expected to increase in the coming year. “Immigration officers will be more available for the granting processes and to deal with the new increase in applications resulting from the benefits of the program”, explains Rebolo.
“It is important to note that this is an exceptional measure and it is of the utmost importance that all applicants with cards that have expired since 2020 move quickly in order to benefit from this simplified procedure”, he adds.
Article originally published on the website nomad gate