Anybody else coping with delays on apostille for background check?

you do need to have them translated. I used and they turned them around in a few business days. I think it was $40 per document. They dont need the original, just a scan.

Much cheaper than when I was required to let my attorney handle while in Lisbon. Same 3 dox cost nearly $400 which included $100 for the attorney’s certification.

@Calpoidog I was going to use monument visa to translate them but I think I misunderstood the information from lawyer and they said they would translate these but if not will look into the company you suggested.

Also are you applying from the US and did you need the Portuguese consular to authenticate any of your documents (like a copy of my passport)…it seems from the SF Portuguese consular web page that if the document is apostle either by US State Dept or individual states (ie Oregon State department) that the apostle document is valid in Portugal… again maybe a misunderstanding on my part…thanks again

I am applying from the US. Was not required to have passport or any other document authenticated by Portuguese consulate. Only needed marriage certificate apostilled by California Secty of State (which takes just as long as U.S.) and of course FBI by US. State Dept. My understanding, if memory serves, is that my attorney somehow “authenticated” our passports. You are correct that once a document receives the apostille, it will be accepted in Portugal (as it should pursuant to treaty). No further authentication should be required.

Attorneys seem to offer to arrange translation. As I mentioned on this last trip for biometrics, translation was much more expensive than getting it done myself, but unfortunately there was a time crunch due to the biometrics appt.

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I was told that I had to be IN the United States to apply for an FBI background check and apostille. However, now I am hearing differently.

So, is it possible to get the documents I need done to apply for either the D7 or student visa from overseas without having to return to the States?

This is what I gather from other posting at other sites…If your in the US you likely can find a USPS that will do the electronic fingerprints and electronically submit those to FBI, otherwise if you are not you would have to get the correct FBI fingerprint card and would have to get a local police department or maybe US embassy to make the fingerprints on the card and MAIL the card to FBI.

It does seem that for the D7 visa the VFS Global service that does the D7 visa applications for Portugal will accept the UNOPENED FBI report that is mailed back to you in lieu of the apostille FBI report but that also seems to apply to some of the global VFS locations specific.

This is what I did. Went to the US post office that had fingerprint services available (there aren’t that many of them that do). You must have your FBI background check already filled out and submitted on the FBI site prior to going to the post office. They take your fingerprints and submit them right away. I had a link in my email with my FBI report in less than 2 minutes. About a week later, I received the sealed copy of the report in snail mail (not sure I am going to need it). I sent the PDF version in email to an FBI Apostille service, and it took just a little over 8 weeks for the FBI to Apostille it. (Submitted on 10/11/2022 and received on 12/14/2022.
The bad thing is that this report is only valid for 3 months, per the SEF, so it is a very tight window. I sent the apostilled report to my attorney in Lisbon via USPS and it took nearly 3 weeks to get there for some reason. It was in December so maybe weather slowed it down? Anyways, my lawyer said that I only had one day to spare before I would have to have started the whole process over again.

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There is not much you can do to shorten State Department’s turn-around, but I have found that USPS is by far not the best means of shipping documents to Portugal. My bank documents took 6 weeks by USPS/CTT, despite marked as “Expedited” services at a cost of U.S. $40 or so. Next time, I used DHL for just U.S. $10.00 more, and they got there within 4 days!

Department of the State won’t use any other service but USPS, but once the apostilled documents are delivered to your U.S.-based address (don’t send them directly to Portugal), consider using a commercial courrier (DHL was the cheapest) to ship them to Portugal.


I know that this is replying to a post from long ago, but thank you so much for this tip! We ended up getting 3 weeks notice of my family’s biometric appointments (coming up this Monday), and thought there was no hope of getting the apostilles on time. We reached out to one of our Senators, and the apostilles will apparently be arriving at the expediter’s office today, in time to send them to us by tomorrow, before we leave for Portugal. It is cutting it super close, but it wouldn’t even be possible without that intervention (and your recommendation to try that).


Congrats. Kind of crazy that senators can help people cut in line like that.

The impression I’m getting is that it is far better to do whatever it takes to show up at the biometrics appointment with all the required docs, rather than getting lost in a stack of incomplete applications at the SEF paper shreddding facility…