Too late to try?

Have really appreciated all the very valuable info on this forum- but like someone said, it’s like “drinking from a fire hose!”

We are trying to obtain a GV in the 11th hour and questioning/re-evaluating our motives. We are late 50’s/early 60’s couple, not yet retired. We have 2 young adult daughters, out of the house, oldest getting married. We used to think doing this would give all of us options of automatic dual citizenship with options of a “quick escape” from USA if determined need be. Now realize that with our children adults that’s not an automatic. We’re evaluating other reasons to proceed: nice, peaceful country, free apparently excellent healthcare (no small consideration when compared with our expensive/disappointing healthcare system in this country), ability to travel freely throughout the Schengen area, etc.

This post is simply an open ended question to have others chime in as they see fit to help us “make or break” our case. Any input much appreciated!

Thanks,
Curtis

Hope you don’t mind me being brief…
If you only hold one citizenship today, then I’d say go for the PT GV while you can and get another one (albeit in 5 years).
And if your only citizenship today is a US one, then you should not be even asking this question :wink:

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I would say that you are very, very close to too late, and that many others in your shoes would be too late, but seeing some of your other posts around the forum, you have some good things going for you:

  1. You already have an IBKR account which will simplify money transfer;
  2. You aren’t applying for children, which would require more documents (this isn’t as time urgent, though, see below wrt marriage license);
  3. You have your funds already consolidated and have the total amount ready.

You might have the following going for you:

  1. You have a lawyer?
  2. You are already in the process of setting up your PT bank account?
  3. You have picked out a fund/investment?

And the following could cause delays if you haven’t done them already:

  1. Have you done the background check and submitted it for apostille?
  2. Do you have an apostilled marriage license ready for your spouse (you can apply for the GV before the 12/31 deadline and then very likely add her under family reunification later, but you might feel better if you get this all submitted before 2022)?

The reason that I ask these questions is that the pinch points are:

  1. Choosing and going through due diligence for your investment choice. We had to submit a lot of documents for this, and get our PT lawyer to witness our signatures, and then send everything to PT (this was done simultaneously with the bank account).

  2. Opening the right type of FATCA-compliant bank account in PT. We are one of the rare birds with Atlantico, and I feel like we have a great group of people on our team, but this is still taking forever. We started our Atlantico “journey” on Oct. 8, got all of the documents sent to us electronically on Oct. 14 (our turnaround was pretty much immediate), signed them with the lawyer witnessing on Oct. 20 and sent them back 2-day mail to PT, and just received our account opening last Thursday (and still don’t have electronic access to the accounts).

Once we have the electronic access, we can send some money from the B.A. account to IBKR, then the total investment amount back from IBKR to B.A., then our chosen fund does the capital call, and then more time passes until the shares are purchased, and we have the final documents we need for the SEF app.

  1. Our FBI background checks took ~2 wks from requesting to getting back the apostille. This is VERY fast. Some places seem to be able to get some through faster, but 3 weeks is the norm.

  2. Getting the proper version of your marriage license and getting it apostilled is heavily dependent on what state you were in when you got married, what state you are in now (as in, can you drive somewhere to do this, or do you need to pay someone to do it for you), and the covid-era procedures of the relevant state. We were able to turn ours around within a week. For comparison, for our kids’ BCs, that total time took 2.5 weeks (different state), so this is highly variable.

I don’t know if this will help you or not, but just some details to round things out for you beyond the standard published timeline!

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Oh, and by the way on the point of being ‘too late’.
The PT GV is not going anywhere any time soon. You can still make your investment and apply in 2022 if you wish, no need to do everything in a mad rush 5 min before Christmas.
Yeah, I know some options would become more expensive but if you look carefully you’ll find that some wonderful areas for RE will stay unaffected, so even if you wind up a tad short on the funds path, you can still go RE at a lower mark (e.g. find an older property eligible for renovation in some very nice location).

So you are not at all ‘too late’.

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Yes, absolutely, which is why I put in that caveat - it just depends on the comfort level of OP. I know that it is fine, but some people prefer to do everyone close in time together. Thank you for pointing that out, though!

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I sent a long message thanking you all for your input but it’s still “awaiting approval”? Not sure why? But thanks!

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These are all great comments to hopefully give you a clearer picture. Don’t let the year end be the deciding factor. The bigger thing would be what the EU wants to do with this program. We’re fully invested and pre-approved, but still waiting for biometrics and the interview, but the legislative changes still worries me.

That’s one thing I’m not at all knowledgeable about: EU plans? Any thoughts on their intentions?

@crmark , eliminating the golden visas, at least for southern European countries. Ursula von der Leyden and the EC is pretty keen on killing all these programs. I’d highly recommend setting a google alert on news. I’ve got it set to <<“golden visa” -UAE>>

Funny enough, the same schemes for northern countries doesn’t seem to be getting the same scrutiny. Ultimately they’re trying to cut down on the money laundering and not cheapen European citizenship, which I get. On the other side of the coin, these are great investment schemes for countries who have not traditionally had this capital inflow and they seem to somewhat be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. As US citizens, we have enough oversight from our own government if we’re showing the money trail, it’s other country’s nationals that seem to be somewhat problematic in some cases.

Expats rush for Portugal golden visa deadline as EC prioritises end of Malta revised scheme (internationalinvestment.net)

Thank you Matt. That throws a bit of a wrench into the works!

Also I wonder if down the road I’d have more success pursuing the D7 Visa route?

@crmark It would be easier, but depends what you’re looking for. We’re a little younger and our son is still under 18 and as long as he goes to university, can potentially get a passport with us. It also affords the opportunity to work there as we transition to retirement. We’ve being going through this process partially for a cheaper place to retire from the VVHCOL place we live and for a second passport.

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Thank you very much for you all for your input but I’m afraid it is inadequate- neither of you said either “do it” or “don’t do it”! …Kidding, of course!

Laura: we do have a lawyer who has started process of setting up bank account with Atlantico. I’ve been a little concerned because the associate I’ve been communicating with at Edge law firm keeps WhatsApp’ing me asking if we’ve heard from the bank yet? It sounds like we’re a few weeks behind you?

Otherwise “yes” to most of your other questions though we haven’t submitted FBI BGC’s for apostille yet (have an email from WDC Apostille just now saying we can email immediately and expect 3 week turnaround). I’m hoping that we can take our marriage certificate to Nashville to Dept of State to have apostilled in person in next couple of weeks, if that indeed is possible, which I need to find out.

The fund I’ve had essentially picked out for a while but lately, just for “fun”, I’m exploring possibility of splitting investment between 2 different funds/fund companies, but that may be time prohibitive.

Anyway you’ve given me plenty to think about…and maybe a little hope after all? I’d prefer not to wait until 2022 and the increased minimum but may need to step back and re-evaluate the priorities.

Thanks,
Curtis

Hi Curtis,
My wife and I are in a very similar circumstance. We are in our late 50s/early 60s and have three adult children. We have been contemplating this move for about two years and “took the plunge“ a few weeks ago.

It’s great that you have the banking stuff lined up and sounds like you have a good, communicative lawyer. The main sticking points will be the FBI background check, and marriage certificate both with apostille. I’ve heard one attorney say that this is not absolutely requisite for the online application but is requisite for the SEF interview. Obviously, it would be best to have this in place for the online interview but in case it does not come through, you may want to discuss if this is possible (From what I gather, some of these rules may not be black-and-white but may be subject to the interpretation of a given civil servant).

My recommendation to you is to stick with one fund rather than two funds. If you are like us, you are not going through this process for the primary purpose of investment. You were going through this to obtain future living options and Portuguese residency/citizenship. Investing in more than one fund may slow your application process down since you’ll require two different sense of fund documentation, from two different fund managers. Additionally, you will also have a greater burden for PFIC Documentation for Uncle Sam.

Congratulations on your decision and Godspeed.

By the way, which fund/funds are you considering?
Roger

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Awesome, it does sound like you are in good shape. The bank account and FBI apostille do seem to be the slowest things. I’d also be a little concerned about Thanksgiving slowing down the DOS apostille a tiny bit, but not significantly. For the marriage license, that’s lucky that you are in TN, and can just drive to Nashville - they are doing those in person, just also make sure that your marriage license was issued within the last 6 months. (We had our tatty, ~25 yo original one and had to get a new one issued!)

For Atlantico, we received our on-line information on Monday, to put a cap on the timeline in my earlier post. That interface seems to be very straightforward, and I’ve been very pleased with our B.A. rep/contact.

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Curtis,

Thanks for your thoughtful inquiry. I hear much of your inquiry focused on “why?” For me, the decision was more about the general ideas, rather than the specifics, of where I want the next chapter of my life to lead. And it was about where I want to go, rather than about what I want escape. I too have two adult children and will always be connected to them. When raising them we treasured travel and shared experiences. The GV is one facet of one way to continue that. The decision was also about having options in an unpredictable future. I could not have predicted the state of the world today even a mere 5 years ago, so I value having the option to be other places for extended periods of time. Health insurance looms large as well. The US doesn’t have adequate public coverage and a major health event could be a significant hit in retirement. Lastly, I’ve love Europe and Portugal from the moment I set foot.

Hope these reflections spur or catalyze some thoughts or feelings for you.

Best of luck,
Shawn

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I really appreciate everyone’s, @mecht3ach @rogerpart @mmd @shawndguse and anyone I missed, input and help. At this point we’re pressing forth with the GV. @roger I am staying with one fund company, but splitting between 2 funds within that company (Iberis) so hopefully it won’t slow things down any- your point’s well taken. Had I it to do all over again I would’ve spent more time vetting funds because there are at least a couple of others out there I might’ve gone with, but I’m comfortable going with Iberis.

Thanks again and best of luck to everyone

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Laura, thanks for sharing your experience. A question about transferring funds between Ibkr and your PT bank account at B.A… why do you need to send some money from B.A. to Ibkr first? Is this necessary? Or is it a B.A. specific step? Also, how do you get money into your B.A. account in the first place? Appreciate your feedback!

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It’s an IBKR required step (as far as I can tell). Any time you want to transfer money out of your IBKR account, it has to be to an account from which it has previously received funds (they ask you that explicitly during the withdrawal process). I used Wise to send a couple of hundred dollars to the the B.A. account, then SEPA within B.A. to send 20 euros to IBKR, and then SEPA within IBKR to send the 350k to B.A.

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Thanks for your prompt response, Laura. I used my Ibkr to send (via SEPA) some fees to my PT lawyer’s bank account which I have never received any funds from. And it worked. I never came across the step in Ibkr where it asks if it’s a account I have received money from. I wonder if you can skip the step of sending money from PT bank?

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