Portugal Golden Visa is a scam - endless waits, misleading information and outright lies

The recent anti immigration and protectionist bent of so many countries is terrible. Incredibly frustrating to see populism do well.

But I suppose that’s a topic for another forum


I don’t fault the citizens of a country. If I want to become a citizen, I think I should prove that I bring something of value. I don’t mean prove in a literal sense, but rather to show by my actions that I am contributing to society. Not just show up expecting a free lunch. Its hard to break through the negative drum beat of articles bashing foreigners for rising home prices and inflation. Really, the estrangeiros need a lobby to explain how much investment and jobs are created. Until then, expect more of the same cold stares.


Immigrants, even unskilled, are very good for a country and a net benefit in many ways. Feel free to PM or start a thread if you’d like and I can link you some sources

As for real estate, portugal seems to make it very difficult to build, otherwise all the new people coming in could build new housing. To a point, old buildings can be renovated, but that doesn’t massively increase t he housing supply like actual new construction would

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The point of posting is to prevent others from making the same mistake I made. If I had read such a clear-eyed account before I invested, I would have chosen differently.

At the time, I thought it was “just Covid” that was causing all the delays. It wasn’t.

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A quick search of NomadGate reveals numerous posts from PGV applicants whose applications have been stuck for multiple years. Pre-approval is only the beginning of the story.

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Will the PR card really be honored in times of crisis? We already saw PR’s abandoned and locked out by numerous countries during COVID. Even if certain EU countries didn’t do this during COVID, what about the next crisis?

May be right about this. Europe hasn’t at all been spared the rise of xenophobia and populism, and this is terrible news for those looking to immigrate. May be time to look elsewhere…


You can’t really know. And in panic situations, even citizens can get screwed. We’ve seen that.

By and large, PRs tend to have rights over TRs. And if you achieve EU long term resident status, you have legal standing to demand it since it’s right there in black and white that you are basically equiv of a citizen.

Like where? Frankly it’s all a mess, and your only real answer is to have several ports in the storm and hope one works out, if that’s your concern. There really is only about so much you can do.


Yeah, this article basically says SEF hasnt really existed since April '21… So what we have seen since then are just the scraps…


Like I said, Portugal is a bigger mess. I warned you all…


Haven’t seen any posts to this threads in a few months. Has your situation improved? Any luck with moving this process forward?

thank you. absolutely no improvement. SEF is sending our invitations these days. but not to us. I have decided to sue SEF. It looks like the only way out. If you have decided to sue SEF (and would like to join me and other folks in the same boat), please drop me a message with your email. thank you!


Which company did you use for GV? Did you do investment? Which attorney represented you and couldn’t facilitate the appointments?

“costs (only) 15 euros and the availability of this document in an electronic format generally takes 72 hours”.


Hi, I’m brand new to all this, and found this all via a random google search.
I am considering doing the Portugal Golden Visa program. I am a US citizen. So far the program seems great, with citizenship within 5 years. But what I’m reading is that it gets delayed due to just red tape and delays? I am not in the worry of getting stuck in Portugal, so sorry to those that have. I am just worried if this is going to actually happen or not.
My plan was to use one of the many firms that have reached out to me. With a significant massive investment of ~300K Euros. Has anyone done these options, and what was the result?
Thank you all very much.

Hi and welcome… some observations:

  • Assume eight years, not five. Application through to first residence card is 2+ years, then at the back end a year or so to apply for citizenship
  • The whole thing is up in the air at the moment, as you’ll see from posts elsewhere. The govt is changing the rules to exclude real estate investments, bank deposits and index tracker funds. Until that law is passed, the old rules still apply, but it’s entirely unclear how people will be treated if they’ve applied via investments in those asset classes.
  • The safest route right now would be to invest in a venture capital fund that’s invested in Portuguese start-ups etc. Personally I wouldn’t touch anything involving real estate at this point, in particular if you’re locked in for any length of time and would lose money if you had to exit.
  • In any case there’s no guarantee that if you start now you’ll get your application in before the law changes.
  • Tread carefully, and treat marketing stuff with suspicion. In particular, real estate outfits are trying to squeeze the last bit out of the lemon before the gate slams shut, and may not have your best interests at heart.

I’m not sure what the appeal is of investing $500k in start-ups for a GV, since you can invest just $175k in a startup for the HQA visa which has similar low stay requirements (and much less politically volatile)?

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HQA has the same stay requirements as D2, D7 et al. You can apply for an exception if you can prove that you need to be elsewhere for work, otherwise it’s 8-10 months per year.


I would seriously reconsider whether or not it is a good idea to try to squeeze through the door as the host is trying to end the party, and blaming partygoers for its personal problems. The current program changes are unlikely to be the last, especially as the EU tries to end all GV programs. Is it worth tying your money up for an unknown amount of time and an unknown outcome?


There’s no other residence Programme like this. So if you can afford to tie up and risk the money it’s worth the risk, as there’s no other similar option. You can probably get an application in, in time, but you’d have to move very quickly.

Choose a fund investment that golden visa aside, is still a good investment.


Understandable. Good points.

Other than delays, has anyone had any issues? Like either not getting 100% of the buy back, or applying for citizenship and it being denied? Or any other added fees or unforeseen issues?

Also, Why avoid real estate, if it seems you get the $ back at the end regardless of where it was invested?

Is there any action/defense you can take if you are promised 5 years and it goes beyond and your investment is still tied up? There has to be something in the contracts to that end…

Sorry if this has been explained before. Thank you.

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