China’s Ultra-Rich Are Losing Their Favorite Escape Route to Europe

Chinese have been the most significant demographic for getting Portugal’s Golden Visas since the beginning of the program (2013). Last year, however, they were overtaken by US citizens (based on H1 statistics).

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As far as I’m aware no one’s getting their golden visa regardless of nationality. SEF hasn’t processed a single GV this year yet still it’s sucking in unwitting applicants who’ll sit in an indefinite queue of other mugs. People don’t waste your time applying for a Portuguese GV there are way better options. Don’t believe what the lawyers tell you they’ve got skin in the game. They don’t want it known the scheme isn’t functioning otherwise how do they take a €6k fee for 10 minutes uploading documents.


Here’s an idea Bloomberg. How about reporting what’s really happening, or not as is the case with collapse of the Portuguese GV scam, rather than making a story out of statistics. Just saying


While I understand the frustration of being stuck in line with SEF, which seemingly isn’t making much progress at clearing their large backlog, I think this needs correcting:

So far 729 ARI residence permits have been granted this year (January–July). Source. This is more or less on par with the period 2016-2020, and a big jump from 2021.

That being said, ending up with a backlog as massive as the current one is of course unacceptable. And while there are approvals coming through these are initially for the investors who had failed to get an appointment with the old self-serve system of booking biometrics appointments and had already waited a long time (sometimes several years).

For the ones who applied in the last year or so there has been no tangible progress (no biometric appointments) while the backlog is being cleared—although there have been some recent data points showing a current 11 month wait. Still, I think others have waited longer.

It would have been interesting to get an update from SEF on the status of the backlog. I know a number was shared when they changed the booking system, but I can’t find it at the moment.


Exactly no one who applied a year ago is getting anywhere despite being told at the time of applying that it would take 6 months to complete and there’s a legal requirement to issue the biometric interview within 90 days so SEF have clearly flaunted the law and at the same time mislead investors like myself who chose to move to Portugal in the understanding that I’d have my status settled by now. Instead I’m told I can’t leave Portugal and return as I’ve exceeded the Schengen visa limit and despite there being a moratorium in place it only applies while inside Portugal and not to other Schengen countries and doesn’t allow reentry.
The failure of SEF and the inadequate provision for anyone inside Portugal has effectively imprisoned me and others indefinitely. There’s zero accountability or communication from the authorities and when I present them with real world problems I get no response. Take for example the ludicrous situation with my vehicles. I brought my U.K. registered vehicles and motorbikes to Portugal and unless I’m granted residency and can matriculate them once they’re
I’m Portugal over 6 month they’ll become illegal and can be impounded. In order to get them back to the U.K. requires me leaving via Spain and/or France at which point I’d be considered to have overstayed as they don’t recognise the same moratorium on the 90/180 rule. So I’m faced with the choice of having my vehicles impounded and fined or leaving with them and facing the consequences of overstaying the Schengen visa when exiting to the U.K. and then not be able to return.
I think me and anyone else who was duped into trusting the authorities self imposed laws and guidelines and moved to Portugal have good reason to be furious and to be treated far better than is the case. We’re being ignored which is resulting in serious consequences for those affected.
Had I been made aware of the timeline I’d have chosen an alternative golden visa. One which is trustworthy and effectively administered.
Unlike you I don’t believe the authorities are doing anywhere near enough to clear the backlog or to make applicants aware of the situation before they move their funds and life to Portugal.


To be clear, I think you have all the right in the world to be furious. I can’t imagine anyone in your situation that wouldn’t be furious. I also don’t think the authorities are doing enough to fix the situation.

My only gripe with your comment is that you say no one is getting anywhere, when that’s clearly not true. While many people haven’t seen much if any progress, there are also many examples of the opposite. According to the crowdsourced spreadsheet there’s someone who applied exactly a year ago who got their residency permit last month. That’s definitely not the norm, as for many others it has taken about a year just to get the biometrics appointment. 8-10 months seem to be the norm for pre-approvals for those applying in the last few months of 2021.

This problem is of course much bigger for those, like yourself, who already made the move to Portugal as opposed to those just waiting it out in their home country. For those actively wanting to move to Portugal at the moment/in the next couple of years, the D7 visa would probably be a better bet at this point.


I don’t know about this. The latest monthly data from SEF shows that China is once again the top country for Portugal GV.


That is right! SEF show no favors, they should no efficiency either


absolutely! A good investigation journalist needed. we’ve proceeded with the HU program after nearly losing our sanity with the PT GV. Card under 2 months… good luck everyone

Which HU RBI program is still there?
Was it not closed in 2017?