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EU residency could be closer than you think

by Andrew Rissik | Oct 03, 2017
  • For years, the Golden Residence Permit Programme (GRPP) has offered South Africans and other non-EU citizens the opportunity to apply for EU residency by making a capital investment in Portugal. Due to its popularity, the Portuguese Immigration Services (SEF) have just announced measures to streamline the application process. You and your family’s EU residency could be closer than you think.

    Revamp of application processes

    The GRPP grants participants Portuguese residency which affords the holder and their family the right to visa-free travel throughout Europe. As such, the programme has been wildly popular. Unfortunately, this popularity has caused some delays.

    Until April this year, SEF had a massive application backlog, which meant that processing times took much longer than expected. This created immense frustration for many at the time. The good news is that SEF has taken steps to rectify this.

    They have streamlined their processing on their back-end and have hired two dedicated teams to focus purely on the application backlog, while the new applications are being processed by a different team. They have also lessened the amount of required paperwork needed for applications and renewals. All this has resulted in speedier application approvals.  

    See also: Portuguese Golden Visa programme: Approvals now at 80%

    More good news for applicants

    Previously, it was mandatory for applicants to submit their applications and renewal applications to the SEF office in the location of their investment. Due to the high number of investments made in Lisbon, the central Lisbon office became the busiest office by far, causing lengthy delays and the consequent backlog of applications.

    See also: Why people are investing in the Lisbon life

    The great news is that the SEF has just announced that a host of regional offices will now be accepting applications regardless of the location of one’s investment. This means that the Lisbon office will be relieved of much of the work and applications will be processed even faster.

    The new approved application offices are located in:

    • Porto
    • Evora
    • Santarem
    • Vila Real
    • Viana do Castelo
    • Figueira da Fox
    • Coimbra
    • Guarda
    • Videu
    • Faro
    • Tavira
    • Portimao

    Interested in Golden Visa Portugal?

    Over and above this, the government has announced that they will be setting up an electronic payment system to facilitate and expedite the payment of administrative fees. This will also speed up applications, resulting in an all-around more convenient and pleasant experience for applicants. 

    Our team is at the forefront of the Golden Residence Permit Programme and can assist you with any questions you may have. Get in touch with us on +44 (0) 20 7759 7581 or

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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