Awaiting Final Approval (Stage 4)



Jamal Bdeir

Lisbon is the slowest of all the SEF/AIMA offices to issue residency cards following biometrics. There is evidence in this forum that this office is still working, slowly, through biometrics done in August 2022 and has barely moved forward in the last six months. For your reference, other offices around the country have issued the cards for biometrics done early 2023.

We did our biometrics in February 2023. In December, our lawyers issued an urgent summons via the court system to force AIMA to issue the cards. It was accepted as a process, AIMA has not responded to the detail of the summons but it has released our case file to the court, and we are currently waiting a decision from the court which will force AIMA to issue the cards. Essentially, if successful, the urgent summons is a method to queue jump. There’s a thread in this forum on the topic if you want more insight and perspectives on this course of action. It will cost a few thousand € and is not guaranteed but at least you’re doing something that gives you a decent chance. If you want more information on the summons then I’d suggest reviewing the thread and asking there. Some have succeeded, same have failed. I personally think it’s worth the punt.


Can you link the thread with more detail? Thanks

Hi RG, my biometrics were also in Lisbon, exactly one year ago today. I’ve been debating legal action, with the rationale for requesting urgent action being the risk of missing the new deadline for applying for NHR. Not sure if that will fly or not.

Card received today!

Continuing some updates:

Today, one dependent received the card. Printed date on the card is 26th Jan 2024 although the fee was paid in November 2023.

In conclusion: 3 years 10 months from the moment of submitting application to the moment of card in hand.

Other dependent is still waiting for card…

  • GV application submitted: April 2020
  • Pre-approval: June 2020
  • 1st Biometric Appointment (missed due to Covid lockdown): Sept 2020
  • 2nd Biometric Appointment (missed due to fever, unable to boarding): Feb 2022
  • 3rd Biometric Appointment: April 2023 (in SEF Porto)
  • Final Approval: November 2023
  • DUC received: same day with Final Approval, but needs to wait 48 hours until it comes in force. (fee for card issuance is: 5798,68Euros. Not sure it is more or less but I am not going to argue anything about it).
  • Card received: Feb 2024 (date printed is Jan 2024)

Felicitações, amigo!

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Congratulations, but how absolutely absurd, almost 4 years. Unacceptable. If they don’t pass that law about wait time counting towards citizenship, I’d be inclined to sue if I were you on the grounds that your rights were violated with the wait time, see if the courts will rule in your favour to count it retroactively. GV investors may be able to make this case individually via lawsuits if the law doesn’t pass.


FWIW my lawyer thought this was plausible as a case, and I plan to do so if the law doesn’t pass


You and me both buddy!

While I agree with you in general, for this case most of the delay was due to missed biometrics appointments due to Covid and the OP’s actual timeline is not too bad if you check the timelines between the initial submission > pre-approval > first biometric appointment > COVID JUMP > actual biometric appointment > final approval > card received = about 15 months. We could all wish for such a timeline.


Hello, everyone. I had a good call with my lawyer yesterday and just wanted to update you all.

Context: My biometrics appointment was in September 2022 (family in March 2023). They requested final documentation for me in December 2023, which indicates they are in the final stages of looking at my file. My lawyers recommended filing a lawsuit late last Fall, but I decided to wait. Yesterday we had a call to update each other.

The Conclusion: My lawyers now advise me NOT to file a lawsuit. Since I do not have an urgent need to be in the country, the lawsuit is unlikely to be successful. Further, since the nationality law is changing to allow for our “wait time” to be counted toward our countdown to citizenship, we are actually advantaged to wait (because we may not have to buy another renewal).

Additional Information: The legislation allowing wait time to be counted toward citizenship has been received by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has subsequently sent it to the Supreme Court for constitutional review. If approved by the courts, the Prime Minister will sign. If not, it will go back to the legislature for revision, then back through the process again. While it will still take quite some time, my laywers were confident that this would get passed eventually.

They do not yet know if the timer will start at the date of initial application or at the date your application is fully complete (following your biometrics appointment). This will come once the law is finalized and they provide clarity.

The upcoming election will put a bit of a snag in all of this, but my lawyers did not seem to think it would prevent the law from passing. Only delay it.


Your lawyers are strangely confident that the incoming parliament, which may include more anti-immigration members than the parliament which passed the initial law, will be so kind to immigrants. Did they give any reasoning behind this or just a gut instinct?

If the clock starts at biometrics then that makes the law mostly worthless to a lot of GV applicants…a 2+ year wait for pre-approval is likely the majority of the waiting time. Once you receive that, biometrics happens fairly quickly of late. And apparently AIMA may speed things up regarding final approval by outsourcing the processing.

So it kind of seems like filing a lawsuit – and “embellishing” your urgency as garrett’s lawyers did — is a smart hedge against the law not coming into force at all and/or the clock starting at biometrics.


10 months since your biometrics completed and you’re still waiting?! Mine was only done in Portimao in October 2023 (Dec '21 application date.) I guess, nothing will happen for yet another year for us either. Day 776 of what I am now calling, the “hostage situation”. :-/


Suggest your lawyers read this thread. It’s quite iffy whether that legislation will pass, and when the 5-years might start for GV’ers.

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Thank you for the great update. Just one point: it is the President (Marcello) who sent the draft law for the constitutional review and eventually signs it into law. Prime Minister (then Costa) has resigned, which is why we will have another elections this March with still-uncertain outcome.

Yes, you are correct! I’m still learning the Portuguese Gov’t and legal system. A phrase I never, ever thought I’d have to say. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

“Ainda estou a aprender a sistema do governo e sistema judicial” se precise de dizer isto em Português :slight_smile:

Yes, still waiting. I thought Portimão would be one of the quicker locations! :rofl:


Me too! As my Mother used to say, “you see what thought did? it planted an egg and thought a chicken would grow!” :sweat_smile: :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

I’m approaching 12 months (10 days away!) and my biometrics were in one of the “faster” (at the time) locations, Coimbra. Seem to have lost about 3-4 months due to the change over to AIMA it seems.

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