IMI Official Partner
Some immigration law firms and agencies dealing in the Golden Visa that feel they were not given reasonable notice about the termination of the program haven’t been listening to Portugal. The Portuguese Government and EU Commission representatives did communicate Portugal’s preferred investment migration alternative to the Golden Visa, starting back in 2018.
Empowered Startups, a global expert in entrepreneur-investor startup programming, was, and continues to be, an industry mega-phone for the Portuguese Government and the EU’s business immigration ambitions.
Empowered Startups works closely with Portuguese officials at many levels in the design, policy, and procedures around the fast-track immigration of highly qualified businesspeople who add immediate and direct value to the Portuguese R&D, startup, and highly skilled employment ecosystems. How immigration law firms can grow significantly more revenue with Empowered’s HQA Visa™ program than they did with Golden Visa follows below.
The government-backed alternative to the Golden Visa
It was no coincidence that the Government of Portugal heavily endorsed Empowered Startups’ HQA Visa™ program on February 8th, 2023. The Government publicly endorsed the HQA Visa™ alternative, saying the program is of great importance because it attracts investment to the interior, diversifies the productive fabric associated with the stimulation of entrepreneurial skills and business capacity, and therefore the HQA Visa™ is crucial for regional development.
Less than 24 hours after this public endorsement, on February 9th, the end of the Golden Visa was leaked to – and reported in – the Jornal Espresso. It is highly unlikely the timing of the two announcements was coincidental. Portugal did, in fact, line up an alternative investment migration option and announced its prioritization of the HQA Visa™ before announcing the end of the Golden Visa.
Empowered Startups confirms that almost every major immigration law firm and agency that had a significant history in Golden Visa was contacted directly by Empowered Startups’ leadership between 2018 and 2023 and was delivered a clear message: Both the Government of Portugal and the EU Commission will be ending Golden Visa schemes in the very near future, and policy direction will be to fast track R&D backed startup incubation for accomplished business people – and that Empowered Startups would be leading the implementation of this new category.
The benefits to Portugal will be immense if the majority of old Golden Visa firms pivot to work with Empowered Startups to deliver the HQA Visa™ Program. Clients in this program directly and positively contribute to master’s and PhD students’ opportunities, the scientific pursuits of R&D institutions, and the startup eco-system in Portugal. For the client, this will mean the fastest processing of any EU business immigration program, while building the client significant connections and ties to various business and R&D ecosystems in Portugal.
On April 22, 2019, IMI (Investment Migration Insider) published a detailed article written by Empowered Startups’ Executive Chairman, Paul Girodo, that attempted to inform all immigration professionals that on March 26, 2019, the EU Commission voted to adopt the TAX3 Committee’s report – “Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance” – calling for a phasing out of residence and citizenship by investment programs in Europe.
In 2019, Mr. Girodo was clear – and provided objective evidence – that the Golden Visa was ending soon. The present-day frantic comments, dismay, lobbying, and anxiety being displayed by most of the major Golden Visa firms indicates they did not listen to the multiple sources of information clearly broadcasting that Golden Visa was ending and the future is in entrepreneur-investor business incubation programs.