HOW-TO: GV Automatic Online Renewal Procedure (Jan 2023→)

This post describes the automatic online procedure for ARI renewals (golden visas) starting Jan 2023. It is fast, requires no documentation and is probably available for a limited time. There are a few things to be careful about, and this post attempts to consolidate the experience of the community so far.

  • Eligibility: Despite the official notification about this procedure being open only for people whose cards expired in Q1 2023, people with expiries in 2022 have successfully obtained cards. So the only requirement in practice seems to be that you have an expired residence card.
    UPDATE 21 April 2023: Online renewal is now open for those with card expiry up to 30 June 2023.
    UPDATE 20 July 2023: Online renewal is now open for those with card expiry up to 30 September 2023.
    UPDATE 07 Nov 2023: Online renewal is now open for those with cards expiring in Q4 2023.
    UPDATE 22 Mar 2024: Many reports of people being unable to use automatic renewal for primary holder cards expiring in Q1 2024, some reports of family cards going through.
    UPDATE 12 Jul 2024: Automatic renewal of GV has resumed on sef.pt, with the welcome side effect the renewal fees are reduced to €177, at least for those in the categories like real estate abolished by Mais Habitação. Unfortunately, several reports of second/third renewals not working.

  • What you need: Expired card number, date of birth. No documents, biometrics, proofs of stay, investment, criminal check, etc. required at any time during this procedure. Your previous data is assumed to be valid and current.

  • ARI portal should not be used: Please note that the ARI portal is completely different and not relevant for the Jan 2023 automatic online renewal process in any way. DO NOT use ari.sef.pt for renewal.

  • Registration: You need to register at the SEF portal , with the expired card number, date of birth and an email address. (I repeat, this is a different system from the ARI portal, you need not use the same email address as used in ARI.)

    • Expired permit number is the 9-letter alphanumeric code at the top right of the residence card, next to the words “TITULO DE RESIDENCIA”
    • Date of birth should always be entered as DD/MM/YYYY, you may be confused if you are using Google translate on Chrome which will render date prompts as mm/dd/yyyy
    • Email address format: Avoid using email addresses with funny characters. Periods in email addresses are fine, e.g. foo.bar@gmail.com is OK, but don’t use a ‘+’, e.g. foobar+son@gmail.com. There are reports of login failures with such emails, and you can’t re-register a different email address with the same details, so you’re effectively stuck pending manual SEF intervention.
    • Family members: Each family member needs to register separately, with their own card number and a unique email address. Don’t attempt to use the same email address for all.
    • ‘User already exists’ error: Some people report that registration fails because a user already exists with their permit number. The lawyer needs to contact SEF to fix it.
  • After registration, you receive a confirmation email to be clicked to activate the registration.

  • Renewal application: Once activated, login and go to Requests - Automatic Renewal. Enter expired card number, password. You will see a page with existing data SEF has on you from your previous card: name, marital status, NIF, address. You can update the address if needed. Note that this address will be printed on your new card AND it’s also the delivery address to which the new card will be sent. Typically people use their lawyers’ address here. Try to use a one-line address, some reports of trouble with 2-line addresses. People who are moving shortly and want to avail of duty-free shipping of their goods may want to consider their choice more carefully: Changing address on residency card

  • Payment: Once you click confirm, you will immediately get the payment advice PDF (documento unico cobranca, DUC) for download. It is also sent to the registered mail address associated with the sef.pt account. It has a unique reference number which must be quoted while making payment. There is no payment portal as such; you can make the payment using ATMs or internet banking as “payments to the state”. (It is the same procedure one uses for paying taxes in Portugal after filing the model 3 tax form and getting a payment advice.) Pay 48 hours after receiving the DUC, not earlier, as it may take that long for the reference number to become active in the system. Paying earlier can cause a failure (at best) and your payment going into limbo for weeks (at worst). Your lawyer can also make these payments on your behalf, given the DUC.

  • Status: You can keep logging in and checking the status of your application. Typically it will shuffle between “Awaiting payment”, “Processing request”, “Accepted - in instruction”, “Completed”. Once it hits “Completed”, it’s probably all done and your cards are printed, although the status may still keep fluctuating back and forth. Status fluctuations after hitting “Completed” once may be safely ignored.

  • Delivery: Cards will be delivered by post. Even cards applied together and paid for together may be delivered a few days apart. All cards applied together will have the same date of renewal and a validity of 2 years, regardless of their previous expiry.

  • Timelines: Applying for renewal takes a few minutes. Payment can be made 2 days after application. Status typically goes to “Completed” in about 2 weeks after payment, and delivery typically takes about 1-2 weeks after the status goes “Completed”, but has been known to take 8-10 weeks.

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According to my GV expenses spreadsheet I created a couple of years ago, at year two renewal, there were 3 different fees: A government Analysis Fee: €533, Government Visa Fee: €2.663, and a PT Golden Visa Renewal Fee: €750. Is this still the case with auto-renewal?

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There are 3 components to the (auto) renewal fee at year 2 as per the DUC:

  1. Análise - 539.66
  2. Renovação - 1348.15
  3. Parcela FRI (50%) - 1348.15

The total is €3235.96. It is the same for primary and family members.

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Lovely, I hope they keep it this way and allow for renew ~1 month between your previous card’s expiry.

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Question for those who’ve done automatic renewal before card expiry: was the new card’s start date exactly the old card expiration date? Or is there some gap / overlap?

Any news on the subject? I have 1 month left, but the system doesn’t allow for renewal.



I’ve got 30 days now until card expiry, the system doesn’t allow the renewa, and also the website tells me that it’s not even possible.

Does your card expire in July? If so, my understanding is that the online renewal system has only been opened for three months of a time. What I mean is that each quarter they open up renewals…so Jan-Feb-March, then for April-May-June…next July-August-September.

Now when they actually open up online renewal for July is hard to say. I’m doing same thing as you as my card expires in September, but I don’t your urgency issue as you need to renew in July. I hope they announce online renewals around July 1st at latest otherwise I have to plan to get a biometric appointment for renewal. Fingers crossed

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Any updates on the automatic renewals for the cards expiring soon? The system doesn’t even allow me to use the automatic renewals. Icing on the top of that, there are no slots available to schedule an interview either. Seems like we are a bunch of forgotten lot… lol

Beyond frustrating, they still haven’t opened up renewals for July. My card is expiring in a week so I’ll be probably stuck not able to travel for more than a month even if they magically open them tomorrow.

You are not alone mate, my situation is worse than you. Seems SEF doesnt care about us anymore

Hello All,

My application history says “cancelled by SEF”, does anyone know what this means?

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Seems the text under automatic renewals have changed and ARI holders might not be able to renew automatically anymore as per the text below:

Of course, it is impossible to call the phone numbers which are provided and the system doesn’t have any appointments available.

Well this doesn’t bode well for me. I have likely already lost my entire summer, I might have to apply for digital nomad visa or something like that in some other country in EU. This was supposed to be my last renewal and of course SEF finds a way to fuck me over one last time.

The text change doesn’t necessarily mean online renewals are no longer available but it is not a good sign. I guess we’ll find out more in a few more weeks.

Were you trying to renew for 3Q? I don’t think that is open yet, is it?

Also, I thought the simplified renewal process was in effect through the end of 2023 per the budget bill, until the reorg of SEF was complete; it was just whether the port was “open”.

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Correct, my permit did expire couple of days back and I am unable to leave Portugal with all the uncertainty of unable to return back home. SEF made it really worse for the full time residents this time

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But your permit is valid through December for Portugal, yes?

Yes, as per Decree-Law 90/2022 it is valid until Dec 31, 2023 but try explaining that to airport authorities abroad isn’t an easy thing to do. Even within EU people aren’t aware of it, which caused unnecessary confusions.