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Last Chance to Obtain Portugal Golden Visa and European Passport
The Portugal Golden Visa programme has increased in popularity in the UAE and GCC specifically over the last few years
Portugal's Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, has officially announced the Portugal Golden Visa scheme will be permanently closing in the coming weeks. The exact end date of this popular Golden Visa scheme has not been announced, a statement made by the government on April 16 has confirmed that all applications submitted before the closing of the programme will be considered and processed. It is expected that the proposed bill will become law within 45 days (mid-June), on which date the Portugal Golden Visa programme will officially end and applications will no longer be accepted.
For the past 10 years, the much-praised Portugal Golden Visa has been offering residency permits and access to the EU's borderless travel zone in exchange for investment in Portugal. The Portugal Golden Visa programme specifically, is also one of the most efficient and easiest paths to a European passport which has bolstered its popularity above other available European Golden Visa programmes. Approximately 12,000 foreign investors have taken advantage of this scheme to date, effectively purchasing an entry ticket to the European Union for themselves and their families.
What is the Portugal Golden Visa scheme?
The Portugal Residency by Investment programme, also known as the Portugal Golden Visa scheme, allows foreigners to acquire residency in Portugal under various investment options. However, the most popular has been through purchase of a real estate property, provided they invest in properties worth at least €280,000 (approximately Dh1,130,000) which also meet out Golden Visa requirements. Many have seen this freehold ownership of a property in Portugal, a chance to buy a second home or an investment property which they may rent out for returns. In addition to ownership of a real estate property with prospects of high returns and capital gains, holders gain the right to live and work legally in Portugal. With a Portugal Golden Visa, individuals also obtain visa-free travel throughout Europe and the Schengen countries.
However, the most appealing part of the Portugal Golden Visa programme, is that with a minimum physical residency requirement of an average of seven days a year over the five-year duration of the Golden Visa, holders may apply for Portugal permanent residency and/or a European passport. Holding a European passport allows the individual to live and work freely in any European country, travel visa-free to over 180 countries worldwide, and obtain healthcare and social security.
Why should UAE Residents consider the Portugal Golden Visa?
The Portugal Golden Visa programme has increased in popularity in the UAE and GCC specifically over the last few years. Many UAE residents have been coveting the Portugal residency by investment programme for the following reasons.
First, most UAE residents highly appreciate the quality of life and employment opportunities offered in cities like Dubai or Doha. Although they would like the opportunity to obtain a second citizenship or replace their current passport with a more powerful one, they are not willing to relocate permanently at this time just for this reason. As a result, the Portugal Golden Visa is the ideal option since it only requires investors to spend a few days per year, even as a holiday destination, in the Mediterranean climate to maintain their Golden Visa status.
Second, the minimum investment amount is quite low compared to other popular investment immigration programmes granting permanent residency such as the current programme available in Canada and the United States, and is even one of the lowest investment thresholds in Europe sitting at €280,000 as a minimum entry point.
Third, the Portugal residency by investment programme eventually leads to a Portuguese passport after only five years of holding the Golden Visa, unlocking endless educational opportunities for families based in UAE who would want to have their children joining one of the top European universities. An EU passport also opens doors to the entire European Union in terms of living and working legally, and in addition, offers an abundance of social security and healthcare benefits.
Finally, the Portugal passport currently ranks #5 in the world on Passport Ranking Index and provides visa-free access to 187 countries. This makes it one of the most desirable passports in the world with a very high mobility score.
Can UAE residents still apply for a Golden Visa?
At this time, the Portugal government is still allowing intake of Golden Visa applications for a very limited time before the programme ends. The Golden Visa programme will officially end on the day the law comes into effect which is likely to be within the next 45 days. After this date, no new applications will be accepted.
Preeya Malik, licensed lawyer and Managing Director at Step Global, a leading UAE immigration consultancy which helps individuals acquire a second residency or citizenship through investment programmes, says her firm has experienced a surge of requests following the Portugal Prime Minister initial announcement in February confirming that the programme would come to a permanent halt.
"The timeframe is tight as there is an administrative process to complete before actual submission of the application, and we advise interested individuals to start at the earliest in order to complete the following steps: collect civil documents and compile the Golden Visa application; open a bank account in Portugal: select a property to invest in; and finally submit the application, all before the law is made official," she added.
Since no official date has been announced for the ending of the Golden Visa programme, and 45 days is an educated estimation by experienced lawyers and immigration experts based in Portugal, the sooner an investor starts their process, the better, in order to ensure their application meets the deadline.
What are the most recent updates on the Golden Visa?
After two months of uncertainty as to what the government's vague February announcement had meant in terms of implications for current and prospective Golden Visa applicants, the most recent announcement made on April 16 has offered both clarity and reassurance to investors.
For those who have already obtained the Golden visa or have already submitted an application, the new law will not retroactively apply meaning they can continue under the same expectations they had when they initially submitted their application. In addition, the minimum stay requirements in Portugal of seven days in the first year of residency and 14 days in the subsequent periods of two years of residency (renewals) will remain same, which is a great news for buyers who live abroad and were not planning to establish their permanent residence in Portugal immediately. Finally, the announcement assured developers, lawyers, and prospective investors that any applications filed before the law is signed as official, will be accepted and processed accordingly with no retroactive effects.
Last call to start the application process
For those who are interested in taking advantage of the limited-time chance of obtaining EU residency and ultimately have a goal of obtaining a European passport, the time to act is now. The immigration advisory firm Step Global, specialised in residency and citizenship by investment programmes, has a number of eligible real estate property opportunities available, carefully selected for Portugal Golden Visa purposes.
"This programme is an ideal option for those who wish to obtain a European residency and passport while also attaining a valuable investment asset," says Malik. "After this programme ends I don't believe there will be another route to EU citizenship, as easy and affordable as the Portugal Golden Visa programme for a very long time."
Book your private free consultation with Step Global
Step Global is hosting its last exclusive Portugal Golden Visa small group and one-to-one sessions for 3 days this month: Tuesday May 9th, Wednesday May 10th, and Thursday May 11th. Licensed lawyer and Managing Director, Preeya Malik will be present in-person during these days to welcome and present the Portugal Golden Visa option to UAE residents interested in this rare and limited time opportunity. Property purchase opportunities, comprehensive application steps, and current processing times will be discussed in order to properly put a plan in place for your individual migration journey.
Registration starts today! Due to heavy demand, contact the Step Global team now to reserve your session seat before all slots are booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling +971 4 770 7825 or contact us by WhatsApp at +971 55 138 0579.