Digital Nomads Leaving Portugal in Large Numbers Following End of Golden Visas


The Portuguese government announced it would end its residence-by-investment programme, also known as golden visas, which has affected the interest of digital nomads picking Portugal as their destination.

According to local media, the announcement of the end of the Golden Visa has caused this community of expats to have concerns about future border lockdowns and remote workers seeking other places to move, reports.

Although Portugal’s Golden Visa programme is one of the most popular programmes for digital nomads, other countries have started offering similar programmes, which sometimes can be even more attractive. As Portugal announces the end of the golden visa programme, applicants are headed towards other countries such as Dubai, Turkey, Singapore, Germany as well as Hong Kong.

What makes these programmes, like Golden Visa and Digital Nomad Visa attractive is the freedom, a life lacking complication but yet offering potential. However, the Golden Visa programme was expected to attract more applicants but instead, there is a growing community of digital nomads that are joining the wealthy in a mass exodus from Portugal.

It would seem there is concern that cancelling one form of visa can intimidate others, and push them to think of having a life in a country they might not want later which happened with golden visa investors. Now, remote workers are looking for destinations that offer Wi-Fi and a different way of living, which offers them more safety.

On the other hand, Antonia Costa, the Portuguese Prime Minister previously revealed his government’s decision to focus on digital nomads and to make the country more friendly to such people.

“We have an open program so that we can be a factor in locating these digital nomads, as we have a program to attract Foreign Direct Investment. Each company that makes major strategic investments in Portugal also does so on a contractual basis. And, fortunately, Portugal has been increasingly attractive,” said the prime minister.

The Foreigners and Border Service (SEF) previously revealed that a total of 11,189 golden visas were granted to foreign nationals in Portugal in the last ten years, adding an additional €5.87 billion in real estate investment. In addition, a total of 18,368 family members benefited from visas issued to these nationals.

SEF data show that the main nationalities to benefit from the golden visa programme were Chinese, accounting for 50 per cent of the total, while Brazilians, South Africans, Turks and Americans followed the list. In addition, some visas were issued to Russian and Angolan nationals.

>>European Golden Visas – How To Get EU Permanent Residence By Investment

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