Tomas Teixeira (CCA Law Firm): This is a pilot project ending 31 March 2023 which is positive and should significantly accelerate the renovation process and open some availability to process new applications. All involved want to save time, money, and resources. Expectation, or rather the hope of the market is that this project is extended.
But why stop here? There are other easy wins to be considered such as the collection of biometric data at Portuguese consulates and embassies around the world. This should help get the program back on track.
Michael Maxwell (EQTY Capital): This compromise from SEF is a clear acknowledgement that there is room for improvement and initiatives must be taken to speed up the Golden Visa application process to an acceptable rate. This is certainly positive and is an initiative that has been discussed for a while.
We are confident that the Portuguese Golden Visa is the premier offering in this space when compared to competing jurisdictions and hence its popularity. Such volume is not easy to deal with of course and greater resources such as staff or technological improvements need to be developed by the authorities to cater for the demand to align the excellence of the program with the experience on the ground of applicants.
Vanessa Lima (Prime Legal): Prime Legal submitted all renewal applications on the day this new initiative was launched with residency cards already delivered. It is working and importantly the reputation of the Portuguese Golden Visa Program is back on track.
What could accelerate this improvement faster is the utilisation of consulates, eliminating the double analysis of paperwork that now exists with the electronic and biometric applications and the creation of an independent department to deal with Golden Visa applications where the immigration officers could gain specific experience and expertise in the program and its unique characteristics.