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Navigating Portugal’s Visa System: AIMA Updates and Golden Visa Insights

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The Latest News! The President of the Portuguese Immigration and Asylum Agency (AIMA) expects to have a task force in place in about two months to swiftly clear the enormous backlog of pending visa applications.

We are today passing six months since the creation of AIMA, the agency that replaced SEF.

According to his president, Luís Goes Pinheiro, as referred to the daily newspaper Público, about 100 thousand resident permit applications were granted in the last six months. 

However, according to Público, there are currently 350 thousand pending resident permit applications.

About one million and forty thousand foreigners are currently living in Portugal, a bit less than 10% of the total population of the country.

The Brazilian community is by far the largest foreign group representing 35% of the total. The African Portuguese speaking Countries represent about 15% and UK, Italian and France together are already over 10% of the total.

Also, according to Luís Goes Pinheiro, AIMA is currently hiring more 112 employees, added recently a reunification of family’s portal and celebrated cooperation agreements with the Lawyers and Solicitors Bar Associations. 

Additionally, the task force being currently prepared by AIMA to clear the 350 thousand pending applications, should be operational until June this year and expected to have a quick positive impact on the reduction of the huge backlog.  

In the second half of the year, he wants to add new services in the online portal like the manifestation of interest in emigrating to Portugal and simultaneously start using the local municipalities to perform the biometric data collection.

In conclusion, despite the overall harsh criticism about SEF and now about AIMA, the agency´s president looks optimistic that with the right human and technological resources and other initiatives in place, the situation will improve substantially throughout the coming few months.

Golden Visa, new funds continue to come to the market, with a increase highlight in tourism, IT and energy renewables. 

In 2023, a new law was published, introducing significant changes to the Golden Visa program framework, excluding real estate investment as an option, but Eligible Investment Funds like Private Equity Funds (PEFs) are still a valid option.

Due to the significant interest from investors that seek to obtain the most desired Golden Visa in EU, new fund options have been coming to the market.

More recently we saw several tourism sectors linked funds coming to the market. It´s obviously not a surprise considering that tourism has a significant direct and indirect weight on Portugal´s GDP and has been a major contributor to the Portuguese economy growth after the COVID pandemic has been eliminated.

We are also seeing new funds coming and appealing and growth areas like IT and renewable energy.

Investors in those funds benefit from diversification, not just within one fund, but across multiple Eligible Investment Funds.

Funds are managed by experts who typically outperform the average individual investor.

Income from funds isn’t taxed, and income paid to non-resident investors remains untaxed (unless they reside in a “tax haven”).

The Blue Portugal team has unparalleled insights into the Eligible Investment Funds domain. Our founding members, with extensive international financial careers, have deep-rooted ties with the players in this sector.

For more information on the different options, please contact The Blue Portugal

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