Golden Visa misery: “This is an absolute scandal”

Golden Visa misery

Dear Editor,

I really appreciated seeing the article, “Golden Visa Misery” (June 9 edition) in the Portugal Resident. I’m one of those lost in limbo for a year now, thanks to the mess that SEF has made of itself.  I’ve been baffled for months as to why news like this has been so long in coming out, and even damn hard to come by. Everyone seemed scared to tell the truth or even ask hard questions. And finally, it’s starting to get traction.

The firm, and its partner law firm, that I chose to help with our Golden Visa have both been trying their best to navigate this situation, as bad for them as it may be for us. Their principals are as equally flabbergasted as I am for a long time. At least going back to summer when things had gotten so bizarrely frustrating with SEF, with absurd COVID excuses and websites allegedly down for weeks.

I’ve been eager to become a contributing resident in Portugal for a very long time now, and this experience with SEF has gutted my enthusiasm and faith. More frustrating is, I have locked up and lost out on well over €350,000 I invested in Portuguese firms in good faith and trust. Money I now, in retrospect, would have much rather invested in a property in the Algarve.

So, not to bellyache, cavil, and carp, but just noting that this article was important and validating of our experience.

While deeply shaken and put off Portugal right now, I still hope that this has a happy ending, and we find our place on your little corner of the continent before the end of this year.

John J. Lipsey

Blacksburg, Virginia and Manila, Philippines (for now) 


Dear Editor,

Great article on the whole incredible situation so many professionals find themselves in.

My wife has a Golden Visa which was renewed twice. The last date for renewal was a year ago and our lawyer can’t get an appointment or answer.

Not as drastic but I have an old ‘residência’ dated 2019. I renewed with the Brexit application on May 21 and am still waiting to hear anything definitive. We all want to live here, but it would be great to be legal.



Dear Editor,

I am one of many investors in Portugal that have invested several hundred thousand euros and are waiting for the Portuguese government (SEF) to process our resident permits in return. I’ve personally been waiting since August 2021, but many have been waiting for more than a year. I’ve created a survey that has collected 80 responses so far. The median wait time is 1.3 years and some applicants have been waiting over two years. The result of this delay is that investors who wish to move to Portugal are unable to and those that intend to obtain citizenship after five years of residency are, therefore, having the start of that five-year clock significantly delayed.



Schengen 90/180 rule

Dear Editor,

I agree totally in what you say about the unfair treatment of non-resident property owners in Portugal.

We pay our local taxes, pay for services and spend our income which contributes to the economy.

When the UK left Europe, many issues were overlooked including our rights to travel back and forward when we wanted or needed to.

This is especially important if there are any issues requiring our presence while out of our 90-day period.

Would a simple solution be to allow current householders free access for 180 days per annum?

Recently, I have also seen many articles stating that residency and the ‘Golden Visa’ are available with new investments. If the rules can be changed for them, why not for the current owners?

Michael Wright