UK businessman slams Golden Visa scheme “a trauma”

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A Hong Kong UK businessman who recently obtained a Portuguese Golden Visa has slammed the application process a “trauma”.

According to The South China Morning Post, Jason Gillot paid €30,000 (US$ 33,204) to €40,000 more than he should have because his family was unfamiliar with the rules when he moved to Portugal with his family in 2018.
First his wife, who is Russian, found it hard to get a long-term visa. Then he encountered trouble with the tax assessment and was asked to pay more for a reassessment.
Gillot applied for the Portugal Golden Visa because he wanted to retain European Union citizenship for himself and his children and secure it for his wife.
He discovered on joining several ex-pat clubs that Chinese investors often encountered similar issues. In some cases they only got one year of residency as the properties they had invested in were not qualified for a Golden Visa. These investors had to make fresh investments of give up their chance of becoming permanent residents of Portugal.
Gillot told the South China Morning Post, “Among themselves and the expat clubs they would complain about it but never in public because the Chinese do not want to get involved in local politics.”
Gillot told how he set up GoldenVisaPortugal six months ago with some partners to help Hongkongers find properties in Portugal that would allow them to secure permanent residency, among other services, for €7,000. The company aims to help Hongkongers get in touch with reputable lawyers, agents and property developers.
“My friends asked me about how my move was and I told them that Portugal is a beautiful country, bit there are a lot of red lights that people don’t educate you about. You are sold a story that it’s very easy to go through the process, but it’s actually complicated and there are a lot of big issues,” he said.
Another agent said bureaucracy in Portugal was not easy to navigate, and that reputable agents conducted their own due diligence to ensure their clients were getting their money’s worth. “I know law firms which are charging more and more and taking advantage off this process and this is ridiculous,” Luiz Felipe Maia, director at Lisbon-based Maia International told the China Morning Post.