Can I live in Portugal before obtaining preapproval?

We submitted our application for GV in December 2022. My child just got accepted into our top choice school and we would like to move there this summer (Jul 2023). However, we do not have preapproval. I’ve gone through the threads and see that they’re only processing the Dec 2021 GV preapprovals. My lawyer says that we can go ahead and move there ahead of obtaining preapproval. But my question is, under what grounds are we allowed to live there? What would we say to the immigration officer when we don’t have any right to live there? Obviously if my child is attending school, we will easily exceed 90 days. I couldn’t find anything from my research giving us the right to live there prior to obtaining preapproval. Any advice?

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Can you apply for another type of visa in the short term? I don’t know about Portugal but where I live schools want to see the child’s legal right to live in the country.

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My advisors said something similar to me, I was skeptical at first. But I’ve been here 12 months without pre-approval & no problem. (It’s 16 months since I applied)

I generally use the e-gates at Lisbon, no questions.

If I’m asked by an officer I say " I live here" ( the first time I said “I’ve applied for a GV”)

I don’t know the legal basis but I know it works for me as of now.

I don’t have local employment or schooling.

Hope this gives incentive to keep looking


Thank you for your reply. In the year that you have lived in Portugal, have you flown in and out of the country often? I’m worried about the 90 days (as a tourist since technically I don’t have any other visa to be there any longer, other than to say I applied for GV). And sorry for the dumb question, but what is e-gates?

I enter/leave Schengen at least once a month and travel within Schengen a similar amount (mainly southern eu, no immigration control). No issues to date. I always enter & leave Schengen via Lisbon. After 90 days I do not recommend entering/exit anywhere else.

E-gates allow certain adults from specific countries with biometric passports to enter/leave by a facial scan. If the gate opens you get a manual stamp, if not you must speak to an officer.

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I saw some comment here saying that moving before getting pre approval only applies if you submitted before 2022 but I’m not sure.

I’m also looking into moving there as my application is also still pending approval.

I just found this link from another post
Despacho n.º 12870-C/2021, de 31 de dezembro | DRE

Does anyone know if there has been any other updates since this one was published? I think this one is only valid until March 2022.

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I’ve been “told” (take this for what that’s worth) that if I exceed the 90/180 limit, to carry a copy of the GV application fee receipt on my phone. I was told that there is no penalty for overstay, but there is risk of hassle on reentry to Schengen with an agent that may not be sympathetic. Six months in on my GV project and now buying a home on the coast in 10 days. I may not see “pre-approval” until December. I need to be in California for some family in July. Should be interesting!!

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Interesting - thanks. Do you know what the position is after the approvals and biometrics, but before receipt of the residency card? I had my biometrics meeting last week, but have been told it will probably be 3 months before I get my card.

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This Despacho is still valid.
If you read it carefully the March 2022 date was in relation to renewals not the validity of the Despacho itself.
As far as I know there was no other update to this Despacho since 31 Dec 2021.

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Are you currently living in Portugal? I might have to do that, carry around the GV application receipt everywhere I go. Very frustrating, without preapproval,I’m going to feel like some illegal immigrant overstaying my visit.

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I’m still abiding by the 90 day bit, but on top of my 350k GV investment, I will have a 550k home here in a week. I have no other home, nor possessions anywhere. The summer is nearly booked as an AL…so at least it will offset my costs in Panama or Mexico or ??? Pre-approval currently taking 16 months…thinking of a trip to San Francisco to file a D7 app. My application was on Feb 13 2023…so I can hardly compare to others here. But I am without a home for nine months now and am getting a bit tired.

Scott, not sure when your 16 months started but if you are a Dec2021 applicant you can live legally in PT.
See the Despacho I posted.

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I’m a Dec 2022 GV applicant, can I also use this despacho to “legally” live in PT?

In theory - no, as the condition of the said Despacho was to have a ‘pending process’ before 31 Dec 2021.
In practice - I suggest you check with your legal rep as there might be some overarching legal principles that I am not aware of.

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Does anyone know about this? Decreto-Lei n.º 90/2022, de 30 de dezembro that allows you to overstay as a tourist?

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This is interesting.
Looks like it does.

Unfortunately, it does not have the same clarity for the GV applicants at various stages of their application who are still waiting for their first permit, so have no “expired documents” as such.
I would love to see the corresponding Despacho n.º 12870-C/2021, de 31 de dezembro updated accordingly, but it does not seem to have happened.

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