Awaiting Biometrics (Stage 3)

@garrett The thing is these things are expensive. I mean really expensive if one were to do this every month keep updated copies at all times. And I’m not even counting state apostilled documents or foreign docs.

At least based on my experience here is what we had to deal with per person -
FBI Application $18
UPSP Fingerprinting $50
Apostille $165

So nearly $466 for two people per month if we are to always retain updated copies. Seems silly but in hindsight may not be a bad idea if we at least have a rough idea on when these appointments are going to be.

Another possibility - is not choosing early biometric appointments within the period offered - but choosing dates towards the middle or end of whatever period opens up? Perhaps this would permit a less stressed collection of an updated set of apostilled (and other) documents by the time of a scheduled biometrics appointment?


I had my SEF appointment on January 16, 2023 in Coimbra. They called my attorney in before me for some reason (attorney said that had never happened before). Everything else was more or less how others have explained. It took maybe 20 minutes. We were ready for everything except three things, only one we were expecting.

  • Current FBI background check (we expected them to request it so it was already in process, but we hadn’t received the apostilled copy yet)
  • Copy of my U.S. Social Security card “certified” by our attorney (we weren’t expecting it, but it was easy to get a digital copy and send it to our attorney for translation and certification)
  • Updated letter from the bank that holds the shares of our investment in IMGA AÇOES PORTUGAL that says our investment is still current (we weren’t expecting it, but the bank was very responsive with a new letter so we had it the next day)

They gave us 10 days to get these together. The first two are already complete, but we’re still waiting for the apostilled version of the FBI background check. We’re going to have to request an extension.


Thanks for sharing this @mrmozambique I knew about the police certificates (apostilled) and the tax number (notarised and apostilled) but you have prompted me to enquire regarding the IMGA investment. Yes I guess SEF will want to know that we still hold the investment (and not gone and withdrawn the money just as soon as we were pre-approved!). So I’ve written to my lawyer to see if they are asking the bank for some kind of updated confirmation letter. Trying to make sure they have EVERYTHING in hand so no excuse to put our file in the deep freeze. Our appointment is not til March 6 so fortunately there’s a bit of time to get everything together.

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SEF’s agent in Coimbra said it wasn’t necessary to apostille the tax number (Social Security card for those in the U.S.). We just needed to have our attorney “certify” it (and translate it, I believe). I’m not even sure if a SS card can be apostilled, to be honest. I guess we’ll find out if they agree once we submit it. I’ll update here.

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According to my lawyer the tax number needs to be apostilled. This was the instruction my lawyer gave me - exact words:

Certified copy of the tax number of the country of residence (or origin), translated into Portuguese, apostilled or double certified (stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and afterwards stamped by the Portuguese Competent Embassy or Consulate); valid for 1 year once issued.

In the UK you can download a ‘National Insurance letter’ from your online tax account. This letter states your NI number. A notary will notarise this which you then send off for apostille (legalisation in the UK). Then you send this to PT. Regarding the translation into Portuguese seems as though my lawyer has sorted this out since I haven’t. But perhaps it is different for US applicants/US Social Security cards, or perhaps some SEF offices/clerks aren’t too bothered whether it’s been apostilled or not. If they told you it doesn’t need to be apostilled then you’re probably fine.


its pretty easy to mail it in yourself (via UPS or other trackable means) with a check and their online form. The services dont provide it any faster so not sure what you get for their service. They will express directly to you attorney (for add’l fee) so I guess there’s that.

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What I did is filled out a W9 and had it notarized and that was accepted. They just want a doc with your name, SSN, address and notarization.

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I am headed for my Bio tomorrow with a huge problem. I have a letter from SEF confirming the appointment at Coimbra on 26th Jan for 14:30. But my lawyer tells me that the appointment is missing from the system. My travel is all confirmed so I’m proceeding with the travel and trying my luck.

My lawyer has also placed ac omplaint about the issue with SEF, but as expected, we have no response.
I’ll let you all know how it goes. For all you know my records may not be there and I’ll have done a wasted trip to Coimbra all the way from Singapore!



Hello all! I will really appreciate if someone can answer me regarding the following problem!
My card (main applicant) was expired and I submitted the auto renewal option and it worked but when I want to submit my family golden visa cards’ numbers for automatic renewal, it doesn’t work?
Thanks in advance!!

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What are the rough dates of expiry of your permit and your family’s permits? What error message are you getting when you try their renewal? I assume you are registering separate email ids for each member.

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@minimaxr : thank you for your message, mine was expired in the last week of December and my family expired yesterday. It gives the following message
(Unable to validate the entered residence permit number. Please, confirm the entered data and try again).
I used only one email and password for the whole family. And I think it’s not possible to two different emails or password for the main applicant and family.

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@Zach1 The ARI system ( is different from this one. I have a single email address and password for all 4 applications, plus lawyer’s email, for the ARI page.

For what it’s worth, I registered afresh for the renewal at Registo with a different email address and password for each family member. These are distinct from and have no connection with the credentials on the ARI site. My family’s permits expired in the last week of December, mine was a few months earlier. All renewal applications have gone through without error.

If your family’s permits expired just yesterday, it may take a day or three for the system to recognize it (yesterday was a Sunday too).


[quote="minimaxr: thank you so much, it’s really helpful. But I don’t understand the following point:-

(For what it’s worth, I registered afresh for the renewal at Registo with a different email address and password for each family member. These are distinct from and have no connection with the credentials on the ARI site).

As you said for ARI only email and one password is for all family then I don’t understand why you create new email and password?

Did you renew on the new email address or with same email address which is on ARI site for the entire family.

These are two different portals. The ARI portal was designed with the idea that there is one primary applicant plus family, all within one account. If you login as the primary applicant, there is a ‘people’ icon on the top right where you can click and see the list and details of the family applications.

The portal used for automatic renewal looks like it is designed for individuals - each account has details for only one person. This is the same portal used by other residence permit holders like work permits.

It says in the FAQ: “Yes, each user must register individually (email, password, residence permit) on SEF website.”

So I don’t think you can use the same email address for all family members on this portal.

(The FAQ is slightly out of date as it says ARI holders cannot use this process to renew - they can as of last week)

For myself, I used the same email address as the ARI site ‘for the entire family’, but it’s not required, I could have used a different email address as well. For my wife and children, I used their individual email addresses to register. So I have 4 accounts on the automatic renewal portal each with a different email address and password. And I could submit all 4 applications. I told my lawyer I was doing this and they were fine with it. They have done the payments on my behalf, and now we wait for the cards to be issued :crossed_fingers:


@minimaxr : thank you very much :blush::blush:. I will try this accordingly and hope it will work. But just a quick question! If I register my wife and children with new email address, it will be new account so how it will be known to SEF that these are old applicants whose biometrics are already taken? Sorry to ask you too many question, but it’s very important to apply ASAP for the automatic renewal.


@Zach1 you may want to go to posts on “Biometrics for Renewals” and the post which deals with the process. With a separate (validated) email & password, and the alphanumeric code of residence permit of the family member, it opens a pre-filled page with that person’s data. See: ARI Holders (Stage 5) - #232 by mahayacout.


All the best Vikas, I hope all goes well with you. Keep us posted.



@Zach1 The registration process identifies people based on old residence card number and date of birth. To repeat, you need to register each family member separately with a different email address for each one.

Also: the date of birth is DD/MM/YYYY (if you’re using Google Chrome and translate, it may show up as mm/dd/yyyy, don’t be misled). The address to which the cards will be sent will be pre-filled to the address on the old card. If that was a lawyer’s address, ensure it is up to date or change it.

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@Onward and @minimaxr
Thank you so much :blush::blush: