Documentation requirements for Portugal GV application and SEF appointment

My husband and I are currently still working and living in the US, and working on a plan to retire in Portugal and travel in Europe. Our plan currently includes applying for a Portuguese Residence Permit for Investment (ARI) to get that in process so we will be able to easily move to Portugal when we retire.

We are in the process of opening a Portuguese bank account and transferring the required funds for the ARI visa and submitting the ARI visa application. We are planning to use a path not involving real estate investment, so we do not plan to visit Portugal before our SEF appointment for interview/biometrics.

My questions:

  1. We know we will need to schedule an SEF appointment in Portugal as part of the ARI visa process (interview/biometrics). At that appointment, will we need to show a visa as part of the ARI paperwork, or is our 90-day entry as a US citizen with a valid passport all that is required?
  2. If we need to provide a visa, which visa do we need to get that will satisfy the ARI paperwork requirement? Schengen, National, or either?


you are getting through property route?
plz share your experience, i am also working with advagados and looking to select a property for GV

Hi @AdamS,

No, we are planning to use a path not involving real estate investment, so we do not plan to visit Portugal before our SEF appointment for interview/biometrics.

Hi @Jake-n-Ann,
1/ This is not our specialty as a consultancy, but as far as we know, the visa is asked for citizens of countries which require a separate one to enter Portugal. Therefore, your 90-day entry should prove to be enough. I’ll ask our legal team for more information.
2/ Therefore, this is not really relevant; nevertheless, for our clients who have submitted through a specific visa, it does not matter if it is schengen or national (actually, they are both the same since PT is in the schengen area, it is more about the single/multiple entry or duration of the visa that the schengen/national aspect takes importance.

Hi @AdamS,

Should you need some help, we have been providing services for a few years, specifically regarding the real estate property selection, focusing on the Lisbon and greater Lisbon (Cascais, etc…) area. Should you need help to not get duped by the real estate agents who tend to overprice the market, do not hesitate to get in touch, I’ll give you my contacts in PM as well.
FYI: You do not necessarily need to visit portugal before the sef biometric step, with the new regulations in place; we currently have a few applications that are going to get done this way; of course, if you are present, it is much more confortable to choose.

Cheers and good luck !

Hi Fred

Plz explain in detail, how without visiting it can be done?

Hi !

To make it simple: if you decide to work with us, we have a team member in Lisbon ready to go and visit the properties that we select with you (you give us the main criteria and purpose of investment, we select a few houses on that criteria). They make a live video tour of the house with us and you; When you decide to take it, we start the negotiations with the agency for you, and once we’re satisfied with the price, make the official offer.

2 important points:

  • I’m sure you’re aware, but the golden visa end for lisbon/porto/coasts before the end of this year. So if you want to invest in portugal, we need to work (very) fast. Otherwise, do not invest in lisbon for the golden visa.

  • You need mainly: a power of attorney with lawyers done at the portuguese embassy where you reside (but you said you already are working with some lawyers, so I suppose this is already done); a NIF; a bank account. Once these are done, we can go forward with the sale. Of course, there are certain documents you will need to get for the golden visa procedure (such as criminal records, which take time to get depending on your lifestyle; for us nomads it is hard because we live in many places for long times…). We have good contacts which can help us do all of that remotely.

Of course, you will need to go to Portugal to give your biometrics at some point, but if you have done all previous steps correctly, the embassy has to give you a tourist visa (if you need one) to complete your ARI visa procedure at the SEF.

If you are interested, please contact me by mail saying it is Adam from Nomadgate; I am allowed to give you a discount because of the urgency of the situation regarding Lisbon.


Also, and it is just a small detail, maybe overkill… But to go a bit further and provide some extra info, but most of the people working in the golden visa sphere (which at this point is quite literally about everybody :D, ranging from your cab driver to real consultants :rofl:) do overprice both their services (or ask for none, which is even more worrisome if you ask me, because it means they rely on commission only and do not take the buy-side as they should…) and make little to no effort on the negotiation side (when they do not increase prices in accord with owner/agency when they see interest).
So please beware and make sure you work with real life people, who put their name and reputation forward, and not corporates who care little about how important such an investment can be for people…