Change Citizenship on SEF GV Application

Wondering if anyone has tried (successfully or not) to change citizenship in their filed Golden Visa applications with SEF?
Context: I’m a Russian national, permanently residing in the US and have just recently obtained US citizenship. I have filed my GV application in November 2021 as a Russian citizen. Who knew Putin would start the war?
Anyways, now all of the Russian applicants’ GVs are stuck, not making any progress and I’d like to be treated as a US citizen, with respect, but without restarting the process entirely.

I have asked my lawyer, but would like to learn from community experience. Thank you.


Hi Victor.

I am in a similar kind of situation. Asked the lawyers exactly the same thing, was told that it can be done only by starting a completely new application, and that way my investment of 350k will no longer qualify, as 500k will be needed. So no idea what to do.

Could I ask when in November did you submit application? I am December 3rd, still no approval. Lawyers told that it’s due to the overall delay at SEF, and nothing to do with Russian citizenship. Thanks


I’ve tried to reply to you but the forum didn’t let me.

You can add your second passport during biometrics, but remember, you’d need to provide them with the FBI report as well.

What’s the main reason for you to update it? I wouldn’t do it to “erase” the RU side as they already know about it and you’d have to keep supplying both document packages.

Also your NIF is probably registered as RU citizen. Not sure how easy would it be to change, I wouldn’t until you’ve went through the whole process. Making government confused may significantly delay your application, as far as I understand.

Another issue you might have is naturalization name change. SEF doesn’t seem to understand US name change and no change on the RU side (common situation if you didn’t file for a name change in RU).

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I see there are multiple problems with it, but we have already submitted FBI report with our application, so at least this one is out. We also haven’t changed names during naturalization, so that shouldn’t be a problem either.
I understand it’s impossible to “erase” links to Russia completely, but my hope and my goal was to be treated as a US citizen by SEF - looking at statistics, US Citizens are getting processed, whereas it’s been a dry season for pre-approvals for Russian citizens.

My lawyer also told me about an option to restart everything, invest additional 150 000 EUR and apply again as a US Citizen, but given my experience with Portugal authorities (and investment funds) so far, I’d rather not dump even more money and time into this.

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I do not recall the exact date, unfortunately - late November to early December 2021 is when our application was submitted. Still no progress at all.

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It might not be you being Russian - I’m American and December 7th, nothing yet. They’re just really slow

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Ha, I liked to think I was being discriminated against. If they do it to everyone, then class action it is.

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My lawyers forwarded me a reply from SEF to a russian investor, who applied for GV at the beggining of December. Basically, SEF apologized for the issue and specified that the applications are reviewed based not on the submission date, but,rather on the payment settlement date. The discrepancy in the dates of the preapprovals is mainly attributable to the fact, that the applications are electronically distributed by the ARI portal. So I guess it has a life of its own.

The good fact is that the letter had not indicated any issue, regarding the Russian nationality and that the application will reviewed ASAP, given the December submission date.


hey Victor, just curious whether you had any luck? I am filing a legal complaint with the SEF, on the grounds of possession of the green card, as there has been no further info about my case.

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I have just received my US Passport, going to send it to my Portuguese lawyer to see if it can possibly further my case.

Let me know, Sam, if your complaint goes through!
I’ll be posting updates as soon as I have any.


COngratulations on the passport! I have to wait a couple of years to apply for it, unfortunately.

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Talked to a different lawyer, who informed me that Russians are being approved after the biometrics, however, they do not receive the actual cards. That is because the government is holding them until the Ukrainian situation clarifies. So no confidence that we will get them any time soon.

Hi Victor, I have a similar situation.
I am a citizen of Israel and Russia, I applied for an investor visa in November last year. Since then, there has been no progress on the application, as well as no response to our lawyer’s requests to change the citizenship of the application.

My mistake was to apply for a Russian passport, but who knew the government would go crazy, right?

The piquancy of the situation is added by the fact that they discriminate against me just as much on the basis of a Russian passport as they do against an Israeli citizen. After all, I am one person.

In general, based on my experience of being here and all this madness, I can say that I am very tired and deeply disappointed. People came here for a variety of reasons, including myself as an IT entrepreneur and LGBT loyalty in Portugal. In fact, we were deceived. I don’t know why Portugal is holding IT conferences, introducing start-up visas or digital nomad visas, if a person who came as the sum total of all possible legal migration programs is so badly received here after they got my money.
I still plan to compete for my Golden Visa, but I have significantly reconsidered the possibility of doing a full-fledged business here or investing more.



Were you able to determine if citizenship change in the later years of GV would impact further GV renewals or portuguese citizenship application.

I am a green card holder and hoping to naturalize in the US in the next few years.
If that would mean restart of the GV application completely then there is no point in continuing my GV journey. I would rather make peace with it. There are better use of 350k euros.


Unless you renounce your original citizenship, you can continue with the GV process, obtaining another citizenship doesn’t change anything. If you want to apply as a citizen of the new country then yes, you’d have to restart the process. Not a lawyer, but that’s my understanding!

Yikes. My country of birth does not allow dual citizenship so I will have to renounce it if acquire US citizenship.

I have difficulty believing that the Portuguese law prevents you from renewing a GV after changing citizenship, but I can entirely believe that the bureaucracy (or even just SEF’s IT system) makes it extremely difficult and discouraging.

I would try to contact an immigrant help group like CLAIM or Mundo Feliz and see if there’s anything they can advise about that…
Local Centres of migrants’ Integration Support (CLAIM) -

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Do you have to tell your original country you are now a us citizen? I thought that was the trick for those sorts of countries

In my opinion, not a good decision to renounce your original citizenship. you can acquire permanent residency or the green card and still maintain formal country.

How can i secure a green card from the US without necessarily residing in the US.