Awaiting Pre-Approval (Stage 2)

I heard from my lawyer that applications submitted in December 2021 are still pending for pre-approval. Any idea how much time is being taken for pre approval ?
SEF is saying they do it in chronological way.

Read the thread. There are many users here from mid to late December 21 still waiting for pre approval

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But there’s also hope. Some have been pre-approved.


Yeah, in general it seems SEF is working on applications from the very end of December 2021. What we don’t know is how many there are, nor how long it will take them to get through those…it would be painful if the final week of December had more applications than the rest of the month combined, for example.

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Yeah, I got pre-approved on March 15th 2023, and applied on Dec 21 2021.

I’ve done a quick analysis on the available dataset which should answer your question:
Application Submission to Pre-Approval Data Analysis

It wouldn’t surprise me if we see 2022 pre-approvals before all December 2021 is done, SEF variation of processing is very wide…
(I’m early December applicant and still waiting, similar timed applications started getting pre-approval in 2022)

What’s about signing a petition to parliament to allocate sources / staff to end backlog and ask for the needful. Recently, such petition / request is successful to remove retrospective effect of new legislation against GV applicants. Joint petition as a request may work.


We have seen one or two 2022 applications receive it already, but I think those were family members of December 2021 applicants.


July SEF report was published as per the below:
July report is showing a decrease in the Nb of final approvals vs June ( which can be explained by summer holidays).
Obviously, The main challenge in the whole process is now the pre-approval rate as we witnessed a very low Nb of pre-approval cases in July ( only 2 or 3 cases reported in this forum during the whole month on July). August is having the same trend and I am becoming anxious regarding the slow rate of Pre-approvals. I will reach to my lawyer later on today for feedback and appreciate also if you have any info/comment regarding this topic.


Pre-approvals have trickled to a halt. It’s going to be purely speculation as to the reasons behind it though. This slowdown could now mean that 2021 pre-approvals might yet continue beyond September this year, which is a huge bummer.

It’s now 20 months since I submitted my application (16 months since I moved to Lisbon thinking I’d get it soon)
I used to measure the time in weeks not months, soon it’ll be years :sleeping:

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Can I ask how have you moved to lisbon without the preapproval? I thought that’s what we needed to stay over 3 months in the country. Have you had any issues coming in and out of the EU since then?


@razo Anyone who applied before Jan 1st, 2022 is legally allowed to stay in Portugal with no time limit.
The evidence of application is sufficient as proof of eligibility.

(Legal basis was discussed a few time on this forum, it is here:


ah got you. thanks so much for the link!

Just to add, I’ve not experienced any problems with my status during that period, which is why I’m pretty relaxed for now, and hope i’ll get there eventually :sweat_smile:

Damn it, they should have this provision for everyone. This is so frustrating ahhhhhh!!

Is there anyone who submitted the application in 2022 has received preapproval?

Just a couple of family members of 2021 applicants, I think.

with main applicants in the future