Portugal Professional Views: SEF reopens GV applications and biometric appointments
Christian Henrik Nesheim (Founder of Investment Migration Insider), Sara Sousa Rebolo (Partner at Caiado Guereirro), and Michael Maxwell (Head of Business Development at EQTY CAPITAL) share their professional views on SEF reopening GV applications and biometric appointments.
Christian Henrik Nesheim (Founder of Investment Migration Insider)
"The morass resulting from the restructuring of Portugal's immigration system and the planned transfer of golden visa processing to other agencies had threatened to ruin Portugal's reputation as Europe's premier investment migration destination. Indeed, a few of the market's leading voices had already run out of patience and written off the program altogether. Now that SEF has resumed acceptance of new files, it will have a chance to salvage the program's reputation. In that respect, it took an important step last week by restarting the booking of biometrics appointments, at least for a large share of pending applications. Because it didn't accept any new applications between January and mid-June, the backlog of applications awaiting biometrics appointments can be dealt with relatively quickly. But because SEF received more than a thousand new applications from June 15th, the day it starts accepting them again, there will unquestionably be a hangover of a few months, when that avalanche of applications reaches the biometrics stage. SEF must start preparing for that NOW or run the risk of once more imperilling the program's reputation."
Sara Sousa Rebolo (Partner at Caiado Guereirro)
"I believe that the unblocking of the calendar in relation to residences for investment is an indication that the Government supports the regime and is working to improve it. In fact, the recent statements about "being time for an evaluation " are a clear indicator that the Government is willing to justify the benefits that the program brings to the economy, the country and the population in particular.
The fact that there are several European and non-European countries implementing this type of program demonstrates its usefulness and the interest it arouses in the global society in which we live. With the right measures, namely transparency and response to the needs of the economy, the environment and the community, it can be an essential tool in recovering from the impact of covid and the conflict in Eastern Europe."
Michael Maxwell (Head of Business Development at EQTY CAPITAL)
"The challenges posed during the first half of 2022, while regrettable, have importantly in large been dealt with. Thanks must go to the various stakeholders for the pressure and lobbying and we look forward to moving forward efficiently and positively. Portugal is clearly in high demand and it is paramount that services align with the brand. EQTY thankfully has worked with leading lawyers and fund managers in the general Golden Visa space who have been managing exceptions of investors transparently. We expect volumes to pick up once again and a successful year ahead."