The Government plans to create a priority process within “SEF” (Immigration and Borders Service) to accelerate the granting of Golden Visas. Currently, many of these potential investments are going to Spain due to excessive delay in Portugal, where applications take as much as ten months for approval. So far this year, investments have already fallen by around 60%. In 2016, Spain attracted €1.1 billion as compared to €873 million in Portugal.
In January, 221 gold visas were granted, which allowed residence permits for a total of 622 immigrants. Most invested in real estate. Since the beginning of the programme, 11,461 foreigners, mostly Chinese, have been legalized. Overall investments total €2.7 billion.