Photo: Porto Convention & Visitors Bureau

Portugal remains open for business!

The announcement by the Portuguese government on February 16 that it would be ending its Golden Visa scheme has led potential movers to seek clarification and greater understanding regarding their options for settling in Portugal.

But all is not lost, according to the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK, which points out that Portugal still has a range of residency visa programmes that are open to those who want to move there.

“Portugal is still very much open for business. There are visa options available to those who want to live there, from entrepreneurs and digital nomads to families, students and retirees. If a life in the Portuguese sunshine is what you are seeking, that is still entirely achievable,” said Christina Hippisley, General Manager of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

The Golden Visa scheme granted residency to those who invested in Portugal, through investment in real estate and capital transfers. It also provided unrestricted travel access to the Schengen Area.

Between the scheme’s inception in October 2012 and January 2023, a total of 11,628 residence permits were issued – 5,258 were issued to Chinese citizens, 1,178 to Brazilians and just over 500 to citizens from each of the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and South Africa. A further 18,962 residence permits were issued to applicants’ family members.

And after the UK’s departure from the EU, the Golden Visa scheme became one of the options for Britons seeking to move to Portugal. In total, the scheme resulted in more than €6 billion worth of investment in Portugal.

Photo: Ana Abrão CM Faro

While the Golden Visa scheme is not closed yet, as public consultation on the closure still needs to take place, the Portuguese government seems intent to end this route to residency.

However, both the D7 visa programme and the recently launched digital nomad visa programme remain open. This means that Britons who would like to reside in Portugal have clear pathways to do so.

“The Portuguese Golden Visa was never the only option available for British nationals interested in relocating or investing in property in Portugal. The industry is still awaiting the final draft about the Golden Visa ending and confirmation of a possible transitional period, meaning that it could still be an option, albeit for a limited period. However, as the door to one visa program closes, others remain open, such as the D7 visa – a long-term residency visa for non-EU citizens with a stable passive income; and the recently launched Digital Nomad Visa, allowing remote workers to be based temporarily or permanently in the country. We will explain, in detail, all there is to know about these two visa types at the Moving to Portugal Show in London”, Patricia Casaburi, Managing Director, Global Citizen Solutions.

All things residency-related will be discussed in detail at the forthcoming Moving to Portugal Show and Seminars at the Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel, London on March 23. Open from 11am to 9pm, the free-to-attend show will cover a wide range of topics relevant to those considering or planning a move to Portugal. Visa options will be a key focus as part of the show’s seminar programme.

“Clearly, residency options are going to be under the microscope over the coming weeks and months. We look forward to sharing the latest details with all those who attend the Moving to Portugal Show in March. We have hand-picked specialists from Portugal who will be coming to the Show to share their

knowledge. They include legal experts, tax and wealth management advisors, currency specialists, emigration experts and more, so that attendees can find out everything they need to know,” added Christina Hippisley.

The Moving to Portugal Show will also be attended by representatives from the real estate sector, as well as individuals who have previously made the move from the UK to Portugal and are available to share their experiences of doing so.

For more information, please contact the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK: www.portuguese-chamber.org.uk or www.movingtoportugal.org.uk, tel 00 44 207 201 6638 / 00 44 7463 689666.

About the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK

The Chamber runs regular online and live Moving to Portugal events in the UK all year round to advise Brits who want to move to Portugal or buy a second home there on how they can sort out their tax, residency, property, insurance and lifestyle issues. The Moving to Portugal Shows and Seminars are the premier and largest event held in the UK that is focused on moving to Portugal. Over 7,000 Brits have attended Chamber events so far and the demand is growing exponentially now Brexit is finally done.