Awaiting Biometrics (Stage 3)

In my case –

  • My appointment was on 9 Feb in Coimbra
  • My wife appointment was on 10 Feb in Coimbra
  • My son appointment was on 11 Feb in Coimbra

my application was pre-approve in month of March 2021

SEF staff in coimbra is very helpful

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We was informed the latest appointments SEF have opened are from applications approved in May 2021.


When my girlfriend arrives in Portugal from a non EU country, we will apply for her right to remain with me as my partner. I live and work in Portugal, but I am British. I have some questions I hope someone can answer.

  1. Appointments seem to be taking a long time, she runs her own business in her home country, will she be allowed to leave and return while we wait, as it seems it could take over a year.

2- Can we apply anywhere - say less congested location than Lisbon as we have total flexibility, Coimbra, Madeira, or any other place that I have heard moves faster.

Thank you.


Question 1) ARI-GV applications are into a central portal ( No appointment here. Speed depends on how fast you can meet all documentary requirements. There is no requirement to be in Portugal during any part of the application, except for biometrics and for 7 days/year p.a. (or 14days within first 2 years). For many, being offshore while obtaining residency, is a major advantage.
Question 2) Since mid-Dec 2021, SEF has begun processing applications and biometrics in chronological order. SEF opens up a calendar for your application (post pre-approval, previously ≤ 3 months, now ~4months) so that you/your lawyer can choose dates & SEF location for biometrics. The SEF calendar is not opened up immediately upon pre-approval.
Hence, the unknown delay is the length of time between pre-approval and the calendar opening up for booking for first biometrics (and renewal biometrics), and the delay between first biometrics and receipt of the first residence card. The first card date is the start date for residency. Good luck!


do you even need GV? seems like there are other alternatives, for which timelines etc would be different.

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Sorry, to clarify, we will just be applying for family reunification upon her arrival, I was just trying to form a time line, as I hear horror stories about SEF, I’ve just clocked the GV tag.

processes and timelines for other app types are completely different. We’ve complained about D7s getting through in a couple-three months throughout this. You need to look into your specific situation.

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Does anyone have the difficulties to renew the resident card under the GV?

I can’t get an appointment to renew my visa

I also can’t get an appointment to renew my visa, been trying since March 2021.

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I would not worry too much. I think this would apply.


Short-stay Visas and Visa Waiver/Temporary Visas/Residence Visas holders should apply to the SEF to extend their stay (visa renewal).

SEF has a pre-booking system whereby the appointment for any customer service bureau can be booked either by telephone or on line, scheduling a date and time for SEF’s personal customer service.​

According to Decree-Law n.º 87-A/2020, 15 October, documents and visas for stay in the national territory which validity has expired as from 24 February 2020, are accepted (if valid) under the same conditions, until march 31st 2021. Its extension after 31-03-2021 is accepted as long as its holder has supporting evidence in which the schedule for the extension is already been done.


I don’t know if that’s good news lol. I guess it means we are not close to getting an appointment!
I thought it was only until 31 March, where did you see this? On the SEF website?

Well, i cited the exact law… Lol. You can look it up. I dont remember where i saw it.


Does anyone know how the 5 years of residence requirement under GV exactly count? There are always breaks between issuance of each resident card e.g from application to the first Residence card, then to the 2nd…


Your residence starts clocking from the date your first residence permit/card is issued. Renewals does not stop the clock.


Hello all,

Any news from SEF on scheduling appointments for application pre approved in Q3 2021 ? Did any got notified ? Thanks !


I was approved late June 2021, I am still waiting for notification that I can sign up for biomerics


Thanks. However, that is complicated. The no. of days staying in Portugal (7 or 14 days) need to follow the valid period of residence card. Given the serious delay on each renewal, the 3rd resident card will likely be issued only 5 years after the issuance date of the first resident card… In such case, how to fulfill the last 2 years of 14 days?

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So has SEF appointment scheduling paused at May 2021? Doesn’t seem to be moving beyond that. Stark contrast to the speed at which appointments were being scheduled so far. Any news on why there seems to be a lull? Thanks

this was already answered upthread.