Golden visas processes “are blocked”

  • ECO News
  • 5 September 2017

Golden visas "are blocked" and until November, it's not possible to make appointments in the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF). The institution denies this, but acknowledges delays.

Golden visas processes “are blocked” and it is not possible to make appointments in the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) until November, stated Luís Lima, president of the Portuguese Real Estate Professionals and Brokers Association (APEMIP), to Portuguese news agency Lusa. SEF rejected that the Residence Permit for Investment (ARI) are blocked, but acknowledged that in the Lisbon area, the maximum waiting period is three months.

“The processes are completely blocked and if someone needs to book an appointment to hand in a file, no one can be booked until November”, sated the responsible for the Portuguese Real Estate Professionals and Brokers Association (APEMIP). The delays come up in a time when the Golden Visas processes are being renewed, and Luís Lima states that the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) is not able to respond to these changes.

“It’s a shame, because this was a system that greatly helped the real estate sector recover, and it brought a lot of money to Portugal. Fortunately for us, we are not solely dependent on foreign investors chasing these programmes”, stated APEMIP’s leader, adding that “Portugal’s credibility and reputation” are at stake.

As an answer to Lusa, SEF rejected the idea that the permits are blocked. However, the institution stated: “In the Lisbon area —  where there is the most pressure –, families and investors who want to schedule an appointment in SEF for their first Residence Permit for Investment request and renewal do have a maximum waiting period of around three months“.