Clarifying the timeline for investing adn applying for a GV

I am new to this discussion, and confused. If the timeline from application to preliminary approval and scheduling of the interview is 6 months, how can I invest now for a GV and still make the Dec. 31st, 2021 deadline? Do I invest then apply?
Thank you JLC

The consensus seems to be that you need to submit your complete application to SEF before the end of the year in order to qualify based on the current requirements. In order to complete the application, you must get your NIF, open your bank account, make your investment, and obtain documentation of your investment. You will also need your apostilled and translated FBI background check, along with a translation of the apostille. The apostille is usually the long pole in the tent if you are a US person.

Thank you for the quick response. How do people find someone to translate all the documents into Portuguese? Or do they use googletranslate?
JLC

It must be translated by a certified professional translator. Google Translate won’t cut it.

Here is how I handled the process from end to end.

  1. I obtained fingerprint cards from a local service bureau. I bought two copies since I’ll surely need another set in the future. You can save a few days by having this done digitally at certain post offices, but it’s substantially more expensive, and the nearest participating post office from my home is hours away.
  2. I applied online for an FBI background check and mailed my fingerprint card as directed. I requested the result to be mailed to me, and sent by email.
  3. When I received the emailed background check PDF, I immediately submitted the electronic copy to languex for professional translation ($20 or so), and to Monument Visa for expedited apostille processing ($50ish). Although you can mail your FBI background check directly to the State Department for apostilling, it would be a starkly false economy as I will explain below.
  4. I took advantage of Monument Visa’s option to FedEx overnight the apostille to my lawyer in Portugal for only $60. That saves about $100 on shipping. That also puts your apostille request into the State Department queue the same day, rather than after spending a week strapped to the back of a turtle on the way through the badly broken USPS, and saves at least another week on the way back to your mailbox, at which point you’d turn around and spend nearly $200 to FedEx it back to Portugal. So, like I said, Monument Visa is a screaming deal.
  5. My lawyer contracted out the work of translating the apostille for around 20-25 Euros and submitted my application the following day, getting in just under the three month deadline.

The critical issue is that the State Department is taking nearly three months to process the apostille request, but Portugal refuses to accept a background check that’s more than 3 months old. The State Department delay is not controllable by any known means unless you have a friend in the diplomatic corps who can hand-submit the request for you. To avoid losing your whole investment and starting over from scratch in three months, it’s essential to shave off every possible delay between receiving your background check from the FBI and submitting it to SEF. Use an expediter, and don’t waste one minute submitting it into the expediter’s queue once it arrives in your email.

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Wow! That sounds stressful. Can one use the background check done by local police for a gun permit?
JLC

It must be translated by a certified professional translator. Google Translate won’t cut it.

Here is how I handled the process from end to end.

  1. I obtained fingerprint cards from a local service bureau. I bought two copies since I’ll surely need another set in the future. You can save a few days by having this done digitally at certain post offices, but it’s substantially more expensive, and the nearest participating post office from my home is hours away.
  2. I applied online for an FBI background check and mailed my fingerprint card as directed. I requested the result to be mailed to me, and sent by email.
  3. When I received the emailed background check PDF, I immediately submitted the electronic copy to languex for professional translation ($20 or so), and to Monument Visa for expedited apostille processing ($50ish). Although you can mail your FBI background check directly to the State Department for apostilling, it would be a starkly false economy as I will explain below.
  4. I took advantage of Monument Visa’s option to FedEx overnight the apostille to my lawyer in Portugal for only $60. That saves about $100 on shipping. That also puts your apostille request into the State Department queue the same day, rather than after spending a week strapped to the back of a turtle on the way through the badly broken USPS, and saves at least another week on the way back to your mailbox, at which point you’d turn around and spend nearly $200 to FedEx it back to Portugal. So, like I said, Monument Visa is a screaming deal.
  5. My lawyer contracted out the work of translating the apostille for around 20-25 Euros and submitted my application the following day, getting in just under the three month deadline.

The critical issue is that the State Department is taking nearly three months to process the apostille request, but Portugal refuses to accept a background check that’s more than 3 months old. The State Department delay is not controllable by any known means unless you have a friend in the diplomatic corps who can hand-submit the request for you. To avoid losing your whole investment and starting over from scratch in three months, it’s essential to shave off every possible delay between receiving your background check from the FBI and submitting it to SEF. Use an expediter, and don’t waste one minute submitting it into the expediter’s queue once it arrives in your email.

It might work but it seems risky. Such a misstep is probably recoverable, but at the price of delays. Another strategy some have practiced is to submit the ARI request without the required apostille, then provide the apostille later when the application is kicked out for missing documentation. The possible advantage of this approach is that this potentially stops the clock on the expiration of your background report while the apostille is slowly churning through the queue.

There have been a couple reports on this forum of a creative strategies for circumventing the State Department apostille, and getting the application accepted. Receiving a paper copy of the FBI background check was key for one of those strategies. I’ll let you read back through the thread for more info if you’re curious.

Free advice: if you had any mind to do so, don’t bother trying to save on annoying administrative costs; it is a false economy. For example, I sent my bank account paperwork using international priority mail rather than express mail to save <$100, and it took almost a month to arrive. :frowning: International express mail goes through a different channel (they were sending priority mail by ship last summer!) and arrives vastly faster. FedEx is even better.

Excellent and quick reply. I thank you for your level of detail and understanding of the issues at hand. I was less concerned with expense than time, but expense is not nothing, as they say.
It seems we are starting this journey too late in the game/year for our meager savings. Hopefully we can figure it out.
Thank you again
JLC

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YMMV quite a bit on this. When I did the apostille the first time, Monument Visa turned it around in about a month. Others have had longer delays. It just depends, it seems, though there was a period when turnaround at DeptState was clearly bad.

My lawyer submitted the application with an expired fingerprint apostille; it had just expired a couple weeks ago. She requested I get them re-done and have it ready by the time they expect SEF to actually get around to looking at the paperwork, in about 6 weeks. So there’s another YMMV there on how your lawyer works and what they’re willing to do and not do.

You probably cannot use one that’s done locally simply because SEF is probably going to want to see one from the FBI, not from a local agency.

For what it’s worth, look at using one of the “FBI channeler” services for fingerprinting. Fieldprint has a number of offices scattered around in various shipping/notary places. We had one nearby. Filled in the forms online, paid $50, drove over, nice woman fed our hands into the scanner, out the door in 10 minutes. Got results back from FBI via email in 3 hours - we literally just got back, stopped for dinner and to hit Big Lots, email with the PIN came in just as I was sitting down to catch up. Waiting for the wife’s now so I can pop the PDF off to Monument Visa tonight. USPS has fingerprinting locations now too, but I paid $50 + $18 and it took 2 days to get the results from the FBI. shrug

To Nevada’s point - I fedexed the bank paperwork. The fund paperwork is going cheaper prio mail because despite a “please send wet-signed paperwork within 15 days” admonishment, both went forward based on scanned paperwork and the bank’s instructions, the shares are officially registered, and neither has said a peep otherwise, so they’ll get the signed paperwork when it gets there. :slight_smile: The lawyer said she’s fine with scanned documents and simply wants me to re-sign her POA when I show up for the biometrics, so I’m not wasting $0.01 on postage for those. There’s certain things to not dick around about and others that simply don’t matter, the trick is figuring out which is which. :slight_smile:

for more, check the apostille thread -
https://community.nomadgate.com/t/apostille-and-document-preparation-for-us-gv-investors/28602/232

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There is also another apostille topic for US people. People also share appstille and translation resources here: