Can US citizens travel to Portugal?

Hi- i have heard conflicting information on airlines website and US embassy. I am unable to get an affirmative confirmation that US citizens will be allowed to enter Portugal. Does anyone here know?

Is “looking for property and opening a bank account” for GV considered an “essential” reason?

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Currently not allowed. Is it possible? Yes. You need to consult your lawyer and they could help you.

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If you are working with a lawyer yes they can write you a letter saying you are travelling for essential reasons.

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Three places to find answers about who can enter Portugal
Official EU site: Re-open EU
Air transport industry site
Portugal’s Immigration and Borders Service FAQs

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Has anyone used a letter from a lawyer and use it for entry? My law firm said that they can write a letter, but then there are no guarantees that border police will accept it.

Honestly, I am surprised that is the response from your lawyer.

I did find this order passed a couple weeks ago:
Order n. Âş 4473-A/2021 of 30 April provides that every foreign national with applications pending before SEF, submitted between March 18 2020 and April 30 2021, is deemed temporarily regular in national territory.

So, if I were your lawyer I would attach copy of your SEF pre-approval and a copy of this order, and recite per this order that you are entitled to entry into Portugal, and have the entire thing certified by your lawyer.

If it works, you can pay me what you are paying to your lawyer. :rofl: :rofl: If it doesn’t work, you will have a long plane trip back home. :rofl:

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@mmtravelguy you have given me good advice, and i would pay you anyday.

I have not applied yet, so there is no SEF pre-approval. I have been waiting for Portugal to open, look at the property, finalize, make a deposit and open bank account. My realtors have been asking to invest without physically seeing the location, and that most of their clients are doing it. But i do not have extra 400K euros to risk.

I have seen your name here a long time so I assumed you had application pending. :man_facepalming:
Anyway, you are only sort of screwed and you possibly have other options. Also keep in mind that Portugal is supposed to open up for US citizens on June 30.

Maybe your lawyer could indicate that you have appointment to look at real estate for purchase. I know some have been successful with this approach. But for me that would be quite a risk for SEF to reject it at the border. Probably many people are trying this as a ruse.

Meaning if you entered Portugal legally, and applied for a residence permit, you can stay in Portugal until 31 Dec 2021 and, after that date, as long as its holder proves that he has already scheduled the respective renewal. See quote below from Order No. 4473-A / 2021

Site is in Portuguese. Chrome browser translates.

Considering that paragraphs 2 and 3 of article 16 of Decree-Law no. 10-A / 2020, of 13 March, as amended by Decree-Law no. 22-A / 2021, of 17 March, expressly provide that the «documents and visas related to the stay in national territory, as well as the licenses and authorizations, whose validity expires from the date of entry into force of this decree-law or in the immediately preceding 15 days, are accepted , in the same terms, until December 31, 2021 “and, after this date,” as long as its holder proves that he has already scheduled the respective renewal ;

The following is determined:

1 - In the case of foreign citizens who have made requests under Law No. 23/2007, of 4 July, in its current wording, which approves the legal regime for the entry, stay, departure and removal of foreigners from national territory…

The above reference to Law No. 27/2008, of 30 June, refers to requests for residence permits made under Articles 58 to 62:

Ok. Thanks for that analysis. I was too hopeful I guess.

Hi I just made it to PT this morning using my lawyer’s letter (in it the ARI and other laws / numbers were cited). The SEF agent at border control did look at it for 30 seconds but not “seriously” – and happily let me in. There was not even a screenshot of the SEF “screen” but just my lawyer’s words including “mandatory” and the exact appointment date and office.

I was anxious up til then for weeks but @mmtravelguy has been right : >


Thank you all for insights, this is helpful!

I just need to get comfortable with the idea that a lawyer’s letter, nif and bank account opened in Portugal is sufficient for border police to determine that i am seeking entry for non-tourism purposes.

I think it is a moot point now. Next week EU will open to tourists.

@mmtravelguy it’s not firm. EU council has agreed to lift the restrictions because all the ambassadors of EU countries agreed. However, the resolution is not legally binding for member states. Each country can choose to adopt it without change or with some changes or not adopt at all.

But i agree that it does raise hopes!!

Either way, the prices for flights in July are surging so it is good news for airlines and including the national airline TAP. I was looking at rushing over to Europe but it seems that it will be chaotic for some time. I might sit back and see what happens over the next few months, especially because I have no rights more than a tourist at this point. I will spend my money in the US for now since it is less risk of having to fight for a airline refund if they do not open the border for US citizens.

What really should happen to ensure equity for GV applications is the following steps the Portuguese government could consider:

  1. declare that any pre-approved GV applications will be deemed approved as of the date of pre-approval even if the actual biometrics comes much later. This would ensure that any investments will not lapse before the period of time 5 years from the date of pre-approval.
  2. declare that any GV applicant and family members that have been pre-approved have full temporary visa rights in the national territory of Portugal as if their visa was approved effective as of the date of pre-approval.

This will give peace of mind to visa applicants and avoid people trying to fight over available biometric appointments.

The other option is simply to open up a lot more biometric spots and push through the backlog.

My main concern is that when I elected to apply I was told it was a 5 year process. Based on what I am seeing it looks more like 7 years might be possible before I would even have a chance for permanent residence. On the bright side, it does give me more time to reach A2 language level :smiley:

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