Has anyone declined an offered SEF appointment and been able to schedule another?

I declined one appointment during the pandemic. It took forever to get new ones, 2 years I think, but we did it finally. So it is not like you are black listed or anything, but it was extremely difficult.

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Previously you could attempt to schedule an appointment as soon as new appointments were released, no?

Now you have to be specifically invited, which is where people fall through the cracks

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We declined the offer and never got any new appointment. Do you mind sharing with us how you managed to get the new appointment ?

Can you tell us what your wife did to get the re-appointment? Did she provide any medical certs?

How did you manage to get a new appointment?

Would greatly appreciate it if you could share. Thanks


Pure luck I guess. After a long time (almost 18 months) there was a spot available and I got that. My husband got an appointment 1 month later in a completely different city. It was quite difficult.

You are extremely lucky, in a way we totally cannot understand. I personally know many people who turned down the appointment in the pandemic and never heard from SEF ever again.

This is really unacceptable.

As I had stated above, my wife who missed her appointment did not get another appointment for quite sometime. However, there is a positive update. My daughter’s biometric appointment was scheduled for mid-may in lisbon and my lawyers’ after petitioning the SEF, were able to get my wife’s appointment also on the same day. So my wife and daughter got their bio-metrics done a few days ago.


congratulations! how did your lawyer petition the SEF? nobody seems to be able to approach SEF through email or calls. and I heard other people in a situation rather similar to yours tried to do that but failed.

Email I think. They had done so previously as well a few times but with no reply from SEF. I am told 90% of the time SEF does not reply to such emails / petitions. We only got lucky, as my daughter, who is only 2, had her biometric appointment scheduled (her pre-approval was from Dec 2021) and for this reason her mother (who had to accompany her to the appointment any way) was also given an appointment.

So some of us have been waiting for biometrics appointments since before your daughter was even born! Would be funny if not so sad.

We declined the appointment due to Covid reason. But fortunately enough, we were invited again.

Here is some detail:

1st appointment: August 2020 - declined due to Covid reason
2nd appointment: September 2021 - declined again due to Covid reason
3rd appointment: April 2023 - we completed in SEF Porto.

Pure luck. SEF works under no pattern. Extremely random. In my opinion, all statistics do not help anything when it comes to SEF. Maybe randomness is part of the portuguese culture.

Stay strong and keep hanging out there. You will be invited again for Biometric!


You might be the luckiest person on the planet if you rejected SEF twice and they still came back for more.


Indeed, it is! For all of you who are planning to live in Portugal: get used to it! Try to have your A/C fixed (by simply topping off the refrigerant) - 6 months and counting. Try to have your entrance door fixed - 2 months. Car fixed - weeks (with no loaner, for those coming from the U.S.).

The best you can do is to roll with the punches and enjoy the lough with few ex-pats after couple of stiff drinks! :slight_smile:

Hell you have a hard enough time getting quotes in the US for repairs and upgrades on your house. I DIY a ton here, and plan to DIY a bunch there from the sounds of it


Congratulations! In your opinion, is there anything you or your lawyer did was remotely related to your luck? Thanks in advance.

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My former lawyer advised her clients that we might try our luck by flying in to Lisbon during autum 2021 and before the war and after arrival she would walk into SEF Lisbon office to petition an appointment with arrival boarding pass and departure booking. She had ~50% chance to get an appointment before the war started in late Feb 2022.
In my case, she went with me to see a supervising officer in SEF Lisbon on 28 Feb or 1 March 2022. The officer was receptive to her petition, asked her to send an email directly to him and he would reply. She did received the response but was negative. According to her, it was most likely due to high load of Ukrainian permit processing.
Suggest your lawyer to walk into SEF office to petition by presenting the evidence that you have been waiting this long.

Oh, you’ll be busy all right! Just remember, you can’t fix everything (like A/C which requires special R410A that isn’t sold to the public). And if you are living in an apartment in a major city, the common area maintenance would “keep you entertained”. If you are shooting for the suburbs, then you will certainly have more latitude - just remember to import your full-size Dodge Ram 2500 which you would not be able to park (or drive) anywhere! :slight_smile:

Sounds…pretty bad. Shame more ARI applicants weren’t starting businesses!