I am in the process of submitting a Golden Visa application. The current timing as I understand it, is the following, assuming you have everything fully lined up already on Day 0:
Day 0. Pay Money to Fund or Purchase Real estate
Day 15. Get Letter from Bank and Fund/Real Estate Company confirming that you have made qualifying investment.
Day 16. Submit Pre-Application to SEF with all documentation.
Day 316 (9-10 months from pre-application). Have in-person biometric visit with SEF and submit Application.
Day 406. (3 months from in-person appointment). Get Approval
Day 436 (+30 days). Visa is Issued.
This timeline is an estimate and approximation obviously but is what I understand the process to be now. Everything is slowed down significantly due to COVID.
But if this timeline is correct it means if you started today (Nov 9) you would be lucky to complete the process before 2022.
According to an article by Nomadgate itself GV Guide for PT, they raised the question about the risks and timing due to changes to the program. Specifically, they suggested that it is possible that if the Golden Visa program is cancelled before you get your approval, the visa could be void. I believe I am taking him slightly out of context as his discussion was about the Lisbon/Porto real estate, but I think the general point remains the same. There is risk involved due to COVID delays and the risks increase as the timeline drags on.
If anyone has any information about the timing please comment, particularly if you have already had your pre-application or biometric appointment during COVID times.