Applications for the so-called ‘gold visas’ have resumed and several new requests for Investment Residence Permits (ARI) have already been presented, the Portuguese Association of Real Estate Developers and Investors (APPII) announced on Friday, the 17th of June.
In a statement, APPII states that “after a round with its associates, it confirmed that the platform to insert new ARI of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) is finally operational”.
“Besides having certified that the ARI platform, managed by SEF, is fully operational, APPII also confirmed that the platform has already received several applications for Residence Permits for Investment, after having been inoperational since the beginning of this year,” it adds.
Quoted in the statement, the president of the association considers “positive” and notes “pleased that the competent entities have addressed the concerns of APPII” in order to reactivate the possibility of submitting new applications for ‘gold visas’.
“We are again going through a social and economic crisis which duration and consequences are still unknown. But, unlike other recent crises, this one represents an important opportunity for Portugal. Our country offers unparalleled conditions to those who seek us as an investment destination, due to its security, location, quality of life, among others,” argues Hugo Santos Ferreira.
“For this reason”, he adds, “it is essential to have the residence permit process for investment 100% operational in order to attract and receive with dignity those who want to invest in our country.”
Jornal de Notícias reported last Tuesday that the lack of regulation of the law changing the criteria for granting Residence Permits through Investment, which came into force in January, was preventing the submission of new applications for the ‘golden’ visa regime.
According to the newspaper, entities that mediate these processes, such as real estate agents and law firms, kept getting the message “awaiting regulation” when trying to submit applications on the SEF portal.
The following day, the Secretary of State for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, André Moz Caldas, said that the law in question did not need regulation, and could be “directly applicable”.
“From my point of view, the law amended in the past is directly applicable and does not need any special regulation”, said the Secretary of State at the press conference after the Council of Ministers meeting, adding that “there are all the conditions to implement the legislative change”.
The Minister of State and Parliamentary Affairs, Ana Catarina Mendes, also stressed that “the law, as it stands, does not require regulation by the Government”.
Data released by SEF on Monday indicate that investment captured through ‘golden’ visas grew 94% in May, compared to the same month in 2021, to 53.8 million Euros. Compared to April (59.7 million Euros), investment raised through the ARI programme fell by 9.8%.
In May 112 ‘golden’ visas were granted (94 in January, 94 in February, 73 in March and 121 in April), of which 93 for the purchase of real estate (48 for urban rehabilitation) and 19 via the capital transfers criterion.
Investment in the purchase of real estate totalled 44.9 million Euros in April, 16.8 million of which in urban rehabilitation, while the capital transfer value was 8.8 million Euros.
Last month 17 ‘golden’ visas were granted to China, 16 to the United States, 10 to Brazil, 8 to Lebanon and 7 to India.
In this period, 138 residence permits were granted to reunited family members, totalling 531 for the year.
In the first five months of the year, investment attracted totalled over 238 million Euros.
Emphasising that, “in recent years, property investment has particularly intensified in the Portuguese market, and its importance is now recognised by all – governors, institutions and the public in general” -, the APPII recalls that, “in 2019, property investment in Portugal amounted to 30,000 million Euros, which represents 15% of GDP [Gross Domestic Product], constituting one of the great pillars of the national economy”.
Founded in 1991, the APPII is a private association representing 200 national and foreign property development and investment companies operating in Portugal. Of these, about half are foreign companies, active in the national real estate industry.
Article from Expresso