Awaiting Biometrics (Stage 3)

Hi Wendy / folks - summary of our case.

Applied in dec 2021 - main applicant, wife - april 2022 , daughter - june 2022 - took longer to manage the required docs for family.

Received pre approval for all 3 in Mar 2023

Received biometric appointment for June 2023 for myself, wife and daughter no update yet

I heard from a friend he was able to reschdule his biometric appointment by a month. Basically, via the SEF ARI portal there is an option to pick another slot just that it takes more effort for lawyers to keep checking and update. I check myself every now and then and then ask my lawyer to make specific changes. This perhaps can buy you more time to get your docs in order.

Do note that the SEF email specifies the date range within which you have to book an appointment, also slots open up till a specific date and not too far out, hence, there are limits to pushing out the date. The most you can push out it is perhaps by 4 to 5 weeks dependent on the availability of slota. I got the last possible slot in my case by continuously checking the ARI portal and then informing my lawyer to book.


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Is there anyone who has been able to reschedule their biometric appointment multiple times and stretch over a few months vs weeks?

I have received date for my biometric appointment but no update on my wife and daughter’s appointment and we will prefer to travel once vs multiple times - traveling with an infant plus 20 hours of travel.

Thanks for the information!

My lawyer has advised me that SEF will allow a time extention to provide the document.

I will be interested to know when your family will get their residency cards after your June appointment. I’ll let you know how things go for me.

Best wishes,


In a similar situation, submission 17 Dec 21 main applicant, dependents 22 Dec 21. Pre approval end Mar for main applicant and partner, but our two kids/minors still have not had pre approval. Main applicant has appointment in June but the remaining dependents do not.

Keen to avoid multiple long haul trips (looking like 3-4 separate meeting dates at this point) but have been advised to keep main applicant appointment at all costs, to avoid being relegated to the back of the queue. Also told that this is very common that the main applicant is only getting biometrics interviews and the dependents will be processed later (although when remains very ambitious).

Are you getting similar advice?

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From various stories on here, it definitely seems as though it main applicant might have different approval timeline versus the dependents (and even between the dependents themselves). That does cause the applicants to have different biometrics appointment windows.

I have not heard of anyone trying to continue pushing their appointments to try and wait for their dependents windows to open. If it were me, I would not do that. Starting the clock for the main application is most important. Family reunification applications (which is what the dependents are effectively) is much easier. There is no race against the GV regime ending. Similarly, you may eventually run out of days/times to push your biometrics appointment to. Especially if they are going to open up the next window. Who knows if that’s an absolute end date or not.


Hello All,

In preparation for my biometrics appointment, my lawyer is asking me to sign a couple of documents related to Segurança Social; to determine whether I have any Social Security debt.

It appears, but I am not sure, that in this case SS means Portugal SS - not US social security. I know I can ask the lawyer for clarification, but thought I’d seek a second opinion here for those that have done Biometrics.

Any experiences people are willing to share?


Yes, Portuguese social security. It’s standard for biometrics - I signed a power of attorney so that my lawyer could request the declaration that I had no social security debts, then that forms part of the biometrics paperwork stack

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yes, exactly as @cj807 explained - it is a standard SEF requirement, same as Tax Authority no-debt declaration which you can download online yourself from Portal das Financas.
The Social Security cannot be obtained online unless you have a record there (e.g. you worked in PT).
So it is either obtained by your lawyer via PoA, or by yourself in person at the Social Security office (note most offices require pre-booked appoitment for that which can be done on the phone).
I had to do it by myself both times (first submission and biometrics).
Also note that for family members it is not required at this time, despite the SEF portal listing it as a required doc.

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Yes, i am getting similar advice from my lawyer and others. Guess everyone’s saying the same thing - don’t miss the appointment even if it means traveling multiple times.

On your other point - my lawyer said the same thing, apparently between 23rd May and 2nd June a special window has been opened for primary applicants whose applications have been pre approved but havent received biometric appointment slots yet, largely 2021 application submitted crowd.

Given this situation, I am planning to catch my biometric appointment slot and hoping they could at least give my wife and daughter (still an infant) a slot together but not sure.



Ima-tell you - this process is the epitome of “things happen slowly, and then all at once”…

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Biometrics appointment on Feb 08, 2023.
Awaiting approval.

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Have you heard of any pre-approval notifications lately?
The last one that I’m aware of was shared on March 28 2023 for applications submitted in Dec 2021.

My application status:

  • Application readiness: Feb 2022 (but our lawyer could not submit as the SEF portal was not allowing any new applications from Jan 2022 to June 2022)
  • Application submission: June 2022
  • Pre-approval: pending…
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At least one person (me) was pre-approved last week. I would guess that you have at least a few months to go having submitted in mid 2022.

I encourage everyone to keep this database up to date.

That way:

a) folks don’t have to ask these questions - the answers are always available
b) we can gather accurate statistics that might be useful to the general “cause”, eg. news articles / legal complaints / whatever. Having proper data is always better than inferring from sporadic individual cases.

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Thanks Nik! I checked the database before posting my question… couldn’t find any entry with a pre-approval after 3-28-2023. I second your point on keeping the database up-to-date. Do you mind sharing the date you submitted your application? (or updating it in the database :slightly_smiling_face:?)
Thanks again!

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Ha! Well that all makes me look a little silly.

But I definitely updated the database this morning, so something seems wrong there. Does anybody know who actually owns this spreadsheet, so we can work out the issue? Not sure if there’s a manual process after submitting changes - if there is, that’s possibly why there’s a delay in reflecting.

I submitted (well, paid, which is the important thing apparently) around 28/12/2021.

I think the spreadsheet was originated by @loheiman and @jjmz


I’ve tried to enter my details a couple of times, but think I was unsuccessful too.
If there’s a really basic way of entering or checking once you’ve entered it would help me contribute to this useful tool.


It would be good to include usernames (with the option of entering an alternative private id for those that prefer to be anonymous). That would mean you could quickly find your own entry and check the details are right.


I don’t have access to it unfortunately - only @loheiman controls that sheet.

Updates to the spreadsheet are entered manually by the owner, so it has fallen into sadness of late.