The request for a Residence Visa to exercise an independent professional activity or to become an immigrant investor (visa D2) is normally issued to the applicant in his country of residence through the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate. Once application has been made, the deadline for the decision is usually 60 days, starting from the day of submission of the application with all substantiating documentation. This period may vary depending on the country of origin. Continue reading
If one partner becomes a civil resident in Portugal, the other partner, as a third-country national, is also eligible for Portuguese civil residency under the statute of “family reunification”, even if they are not married but have been cohabiting at the same address for more than two years.
Cohabiting couples enjoy many of the same rights as formally married spouses when, regardless of their sex, they live together in conditions similar to those of the married mates for more than two years (according to Law nº 23/2010, of August 30, which amended Law nº 7/2001, of May 11). Continue reading
The EU Commission announced that American travellers will need a new type of “travel authorisation” – a European Travel Information and Authorization System or ETIAS – to visit the European Schengen Area beginning in 2021. Currently, US citizens can travel in Europe for up to 90 days with a valid passport without any visa requirements.
The new travel document will be valid for three years allowing for multiple entries into the Schengen Area. With ETIAS, travellers will need a passport, complete an online application and pay a fee of US$7. In most cases, approval should take only a few minutes.
News reports first called the process a “visa”, but authorities have been quick to clarify the semantics. Officials state that ETIAS is simply a “travel authorisation” for visa-free visitors, similar to the US system (Electronic System for Travel Authorization – ESTA) to screen people in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
The Highly Qualified Professional Visa in Portugal targets foreigners who are not nationals of the EU, EEA and Switzerland and who have been admitted 1) as students to higher education (principally at doctorate level), or 2) as researchers to collaborate in research recognized by the Ministry of Education and Science, or 3) as a University professor.
At the opening of the 2017 Web Summit in Lisbon, the Minister of the Economy, Manuel Caldeira Cabral, announced plans to create a residence visa for young entrepreneurs. The initiative aims to attract investment, talent and innovation to Portugal. As of January 2018, third country entrepreneurs who want to open a company will have quick access to a residence visa, allowing them to create or move their enterprise to Portugal.
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.