Portugal: Number of Expired Golden Visas Has Surpassed 60%

Portugal’s Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) has announced that a total of 19,000 requests for renewal of Golden visas are pending, which is more than 60 per cent of the total, according to a report provided by Publico.

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The same source revealed that the renewal of golden visas is compulsory every two years, while the Border Service in this regard has clarified that “the admissibility of documents and visas related to the permanence of foreign citizens in the national territory has been extended until December 31, 2022”, reports.

It has been stressed that travellers are being subject to difficulties after the expired documents are not being accepted at international airports while some holders are banned from entering or leaving the country.

According to the Politico report, SEF has opened nearly 7,000 vacancies for the renewal of these residence permits; however, a total of 2,000 vacancies were left unoccupied.

SEF has also stressed that the majority of the holders of golden visas do not reside in this country and are not eligible to present themselves on the scheduled day.

Portugal’s Golden Visa Program, also known as the Residency by Investment program, permits wealthy internationals to acquire residency in Portugal, provided they meet specific conditions and make a specific amount of money invested in this country. Investors who plan to acquire residency in Portugal are also required to meet specific conditions in order to benefit from this scheme.

Portugal is among the most popular destinations in Europe for the Golden visa scheme, attracting a large number of wealthy citizens from other countries.

Recently, it has been reported that Portugal’s Golden Visa program is attracting many Britons.

In this regard, the director of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in Britain, Christina Hippisley, said that the increased interest of the United Kingdom’s citizens in the Golden Visa program comes as a result of the implications of spending time in Portugal following Brexit.

“People who used to spend four months straight in their homes suddenly realise they can’t anymore. (…) Many Brits who had never thought about it are looking at the golden visa option to have unrestricted access to Portugal,” she pointed out, as reported by Lusa.

Despite the significant contribution that this program makes to Portugal’s economic sector, the Golden Visa Program of Portugal, as well as all European countries that run such schemes, is often in the spotlight of many criticisms by authorities in EU countries, including the European Commission after according to them it permits a large number of unlawful affairs to happen.