This country has reopened its gold visa program – and it’s popular among South Africans

The Portugal Golden Visa program is once again accepting new applications, following a five-month freeze, Sable International notes. The program is popular among South Africans looking for an exit, with 416 visas issued to local investors by the end of 2021.

Portugal’s Golden Visa Residence Program (GRPP) was introduced in 2012 to stimulate investment in real estate and the growth of the Portuguese economy. The program offers qualifying applicants EU residence permits in exchange for a significant investment in the country. To date, it has raised more than € 6 billion.

However, Sable International noted that for many months now, investors seeking to take advantage of the program have not been able to submit new applications through the country’s ARI (Investment Residential Authorizations) platform. In addition, existing investors have not been able to renew their residence permits – which they are required by law to do every two years.

The delay caused thousands of applicants to remain in limbo, it said.

Frustration was heightened because, despite individuals choosing to invest large sums of money in the country, the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) was not transparent about the issue. Instead, applicants were left with a cryptic message that “it is not possible to complete the application because the type of investment is awaiting regulation”.

Golden Visa regulatory changes

Long-awaited changes to the GRPP came into effect on January 1, 2022, meaning that investors will no longer be eligible for Portuguese residence by investing in residential properties in prime locations such as Lisbon, Porto and the coastal areas.

Instead, Sable International said the program was adapted to stimulate domestic investment in rural areas such as low-density areas and on the islands of the Azores and Madeira with the investment in Private Equity Funds up to € 500,000.

“It was widely theorized that these were the regulatory changes to which the ARI platform’s error message referred. The administrative delay in applying the regulation to the system could possibly be explained by the fact that SEF is currently restructuring becomes.

“Other theories suggest that the Portuguese government intentionally returned to Golden Visas, following proposals from various political parties to end the program.”

Will EU Gold Visas End?

Sable International said that recently, the European Parliament has discussed an end to all Gold Visas. Proposed amendments include:

  • A Union-wide gradual phasing out of citizenship-by-investment arrangements by 2025
  • A comprehensive set of rules covering all stay-at-home investment schemes in the Union
  • A new category of Union resources, consisting of an accommodation and citizenship-by-investment adjustment mechanism
  • A comprehensive review of legal actions in anti-money laundering and the fight against terrorist financing
  • A straightforward revision of the long-term stay guideline
  • Ensure that third countries do not manage harmful residence and citizenship-by-investment schemes

The Portuguese government rejects the end of Golden Visas

Earlier this month, the Portuguese government resumed its commitment to the Gold Visa program and offered the guarantee that it does not currently intend to make any changes. The ARI platform has been up and running ever since and SEF has reopened its calendar for applications submitted in 2021 to June 24, 2022. Investors can now rest assured knowing that investments can now continue as usual.

While everything is on track at the moment, it is worth keeping in mind that the program is under pressure, both from within the country and from within the EU. If you want to avoid being potentially affected by these proposed changes, it is best to start the application process sooner rather than later.

Qualification for GVP through an investment in property

Despite the new restrictions, Portugal remains a popular destination for property investors with a thriving market and high rental yields. The Golden Visa encourages foreign investment in the country through a minimum investment of € 280,000 and a stay of only 35 days during the five-year Golden Visa period.

The minimum residency requirements and flexible path to citizenship have made the program extremely popular among foreign investors. Among other things, benefits of the Golden Visa program include:

  • Dual residence for you and your family
  • Offshore property ownership
  • Low cost, high standard of living in a Mediterranean climate

The residence permit you are granted will also allow you to permanently enter and / or reside in Portugal and to travel freely through the rest of the EU. Once issued, your Gold Visa is valid for two years and can be extended for another two years.

With the standards for Portugal’s higher education and global mobility, planning your European journey for higher education for your children begins here. There is no better time than now to start investing in the purchase of a second passport in Portugal.

To read: Here’s how many South Africans are moving to Portugal – and the changes for Golden Visas

This country has reopened its gold visa program – and it’s popular among South Africans

Source link This country has reopened its gold visa program – and it’s popular among South Africans

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