Golden Visa with Mercan Group

Hi all!!

I am considering investing in a Mercan property called the Alvor Beach Resort with the ultimate goal of obtaining at Portuguese Golden Visa. It is my understanding that this particular investment (hotel construction) is on borrowed time but is currently the least expensive option for a GV. I have completed a great deal of paperwork but am getting concerned about the certainty of 1) getting the GV and 2) getting my money back. Has anyone actually completed the process with Mercan and gotten their GV and had their investment returned?

In addition, do folks suggest having your own Portuguese attorney even if you are using the Mercan group IAS? Even if it is not likely that I can change the terms of the agreement, I can at least have an unbiased assessment of the risks.

Finally, it is my understanding that these hotel investment schemes have been cancelled by parliament and it is only a matter of time before this becomes law. Even if I invest quickly enough to qualify for the GV, what would Mercan’s strategy be if their hotel project is only half funded and the incentive to invest is gone? Would seem to me that I might stand to lose all my money which would make this a very expensive GV

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I am in the same boat with exactly same set of questions. Will look forward to others’ response; but what I feel is even though the project is not fully subscribed Mercan has margin and internal cash flow to compensate for that.

We are invested with the Mercan Group and we did use our own Portuguese lawyer. Mercan would not budge on any of their terms of the agreement but we decided to proceed anyway. We are quite early in the process (GV application submitted Dec 2022) and anticipate a very long wait for preapproval, so I don’t have an answer for either of your questions of getting the GV and getting your money back.

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When I spoke with Mercan earlier this year, their very first investors were applying for citizenship so there hasn’t been buybacks triggered (at that time, maybe by now). I’m sure they will do everything in their power to make the buybacks for these early investors simple and fast to ease the concern for those who are still some time away from that milestone.

However, getting your Golden Visa (Temporary Residence) is what the investment qualifies you for. Citizenship or Permanent Residency is adjudicated by a different agency than SEF and based on your compliance with the rules of citizenship (your GV gives you one ‘checkbox’ of residency for the 5 year period via 7 days/year). Citizenship/PR is not dependent on your investment directly.

There is plenty of proof that your investment in hotel developments (via Mercan and others) that you will get your GV so don’t worry about that part.

Investing in a property that was nearly sold out was one of our criteria to ensure full funding wasn’t a concern.

Whether or not you are able to change any of Mercan’s standard terms, I highly suggest engaging your own counsel to review the opportunity and provide you unbiased advice.

Could you recommend a local Portuguese lawyer?

I’ll PM you

I looked at Mercan when I was first starting the process (we went a different investment route and have been very happy). I believe Mercan is a Canadian company, so also regulated by Canada’s investment authorities, so I think you can feel pretty good. I believe it’s like an interest-free loan you’re making, right? Our attorney was extremely good (and he’s helping us now purchase property in the North of Portugal - DM me if you’d like an intro. We’ve been with him for three years, zero complaints or regrets.

By the way, Mr. WayUpNth, any chance you’re from Barre, VT? I know the song reference, as a VTer myself… :slight_smile:

Not sure about interest free. It may depend on the project, but in Lisboa Park, we get 3% back annually and a guaranteed buyback.

Guarantee by what?

We used Mercan BUT the fact that we had to
Pass a stringent written and oral language test to get the passport was never mentioned to us
That we had to Re new our residency cards every 2 years at a cost of e9000 for 2 persons was extra expense
Had we bought a property we could have collected rent money and gotten gain in the increase of the price of the property

You can choose various routes to prove the language proficiency of Basic A2 level instead of CIPLE tests which is not a difficult thing to do, also the renewal costs are around 7 Grand for a couple and not 9G’s. Regarding the House v/s your investment thats something you should evaluate … Having a hard asset with 100% control is something many people desire but the costs are at the higher end with IMT, IMI and more, I can’t speak about Mercan as a Veteran in creating Financial instruments myself throughout my career, I was unable to understand their marketing materials and I gave up to choose an alternative instead.

E7 000 per couple
E2 000 lawyers fees

Can you PM me too please?