HOWTO: SEF Account setup to allow your lawyer AND you to access the account

Thank you, Roger. At least I now know that my lawyer is being straightfoward with me.

I believe she is referring to a scenario where a lawyer registers themselves on the portal first, then they start adding their client accounts as child records under their own ‘lawyer’ login. In this case, you won’t have no access to your record because their is no separate login.

I discussed this scenario with one of the prospective lawyers when I did my selection and she explained to me that indeed this is their ‘normal’ scenario. When I told her that I want to have my own access, she said it would be possible if I (i.e. the GV applicant) create my own account first, and then grant her access to it - i.e. exactly as Jim described in his detailed post above.

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I can definitely confirm, with my own eyes and hands-on:

If you create your own account on, then enter your lawyer’s registered email address on your application, both the client and the lawyer will have shared access to the file for submission, payment, scheduling, etc. I recommend this approach for motivated applicants who want to help things along.

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did you try this AFTER submission or before submission?

I know before submission works - I wonder if you can make this work after submission - or more appropriately I think it is who creates the immigrant record first - the lawyer or you. If you create the record, it will automatically show up in the lawyer portal. I am less sure if your record gets connected to the one in the lawyer portal if the lawyer has already created a record for you in their portal.

I do not believe that you can easily create a personal login after the application has been created through the lawyer’s portal. I know that you can grant access to your lawyer from your personal portal by updating the “lawyer email” field. It is a controlled vocabulary of email addresses for lawyers registered on the SEF ARI site; it will not accept any old email address.

I don’t see any indication that the business logic cares whether you add the lawyer before or after you submit the application, but I haven’t explored it in detail and I am not likely to do so.

Keeping to the HOW TO theme.
BEFORE an application is set up, you should ask your lawyer to set it up so that you can see the status of the application and, importantly, make SEF appointments for biometrics. Thus on the Original Poster’s list of Steps, your lawyer does what the OP did, as follows:
Step 1 Your lawyer registers you as the applicant /requerente (with your email address). Below that are identification, fiscal identification, current address, and “legal representative/representante legal”. Under legal representative, the lawyer puts in their email address OR the SEF registered email address for the legal firm. The address is where you live currently (later linked to the apostilled police records that will be uploaded).
Step 2 to 4 ** are completed by your lawyer. When the screen is set up - which is achieved BEFORE it is populated with any documents, SEF will send you an email stating: " Your registration as applicant for Authorization of Residence as Investor (ARI) was accepted. To conclude the process you should access the site xxx using your e-mail as identification and the user password xxxxxxx / O seu registo como requerente de Autorização de Residência de Investidor (ARI) foi aceite. Para concluir o processo deverá aceder usando o seu e-mail como identificação de utilizador e a senha xxxxxx". Follow the instruction which takes you to the SEF/ARI portal and access to the application. You will see a € Euro sign, a people icon, a QR code, none of which are active until the application is populated and payment made first for you and then for others (if any).
Step 5 The documents required by SEF are uploaded by your lawyer. When correctly uploaded and sent to SEF, your lawyer will receive a DUC (Documento único de Cobranca- a bill) which is sent to you to pay the first fee. Once the fee is paid, the status changes to “Em análise”.
Step 5 is repeated for each additional member in your application.
So it is important to ask your lawyer to do Step 1 BEFORE registration, and in a way that you can see what occurs.


@M-n-G, Not to overly confuse things, but what you list as your Step 1 is also the same as my step 2 - you don’t need your lawyer to do that for you - you can do that yourself as long as you have the email for the lawyer.

The issue with asking your lawyer to do it is that most lawyers are telling their clients, that they don’t want to create a separate account for their client as they don’t seem to understand that doing it the way I have laid out above does not require them to use this separate account and that they can continue to use the their account and still see it.

Your Step 5 still stands :slight_smile:

I wish I could convince my lawyer to let me set up a separate account with her listed as legal representative. But she is adamant that this is impossible. I keep pointing out that I live 8 time zones away, so that I can do the checking and refreshing in the wee hours (Portugal time) when, according to others on this forum, cancelled appointments become available on the system. I wish there were a simple step-by-step instruction I could send her, but by this point in this thread, I am confused about what to suggest to her. Note that I am waiting for my appointment for my second renewal.

It is not clear to me that after they have already created your record in the SEF system, there is any way to then create a record for yourself to get access. So you may be out of luck unfortunately. This was only to set it up before a record is created for you in the SEF system - if you create it, it also shows up in the lawyers portal. If they create it, there does not seem to be a way to associate your personal login with that record.

The only thing you could try to create a login with the steps above and put it the lawyers SEF registered email and see if it works to associate your account with the record for you that the lawyer already created.

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@ jjmz Agreed. Did not mean to confuse. Step 1 is either the applicant doing the Set up (as you did) or the lawyer doing the set up in a way that enables access for the applicant. This appears to be required at the beginning of the process. My intent was to make this clear (give information/ammunition) to new applicants vetting lawyers – that this IS possible AND can be done by their lawyer. Thus if the lawyer does not agree, the applicant can decide to choose another lawyer who agrees, or initiate the process themselves.

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A GV seeker who is just getting started can simply create an account and begin the process at Once the lawyer is chosen, add the lawyer’s registered email address to the application and the lawyer will immediately gain shared access to the application file. That allows both the applicant and the lawyer to fill in the forms, add required documents, make payments, and schedule appointments.

I have directly confirmed all of this firsthand.

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Dumb question but does the SEF portal have both READ and READ/EDIT access? My lawyer set me up with an account so I can see my application, but I tried to edit my address but wasn’t able to. Wondering if it was user error or if I somehow am only able to view but not edit my application.

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I was able to edit the details along with my lawyers. I have not tried to edit since the application has been submitted - maybe that has something to do with it?

I logged in to my SEF account while my lawyers were still collecting all the docs to submit, and got reprimanded for trying to change things - apparently if I had submitted it it would’ve thrown everything off because you can only do that once per account or something.

Definitely talk with your lawyer

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If your application is not yet submitted, you should be able to freely edit anything and upload or delete documents. Once it is submitted then it gets locked (obviously) in the “Em análise” status until such time you have it pre-approved by SEF or rejected back to the non-submitted state for you to correct or add some missing stuff.

Thanks for the responses! My application hasn’t been submitted yet. There was a small typo in my address that I tried to fix, but kept getting an error when I hit the computer disk save icon. Not sure what I was doing wrong but I eventually had my lawyer do it instead. Glad to know it’s user error in case I decide to be crazy enough to one day join the crazy search for a biometrics appointment slot.

Very clear, thank you for the information.has anyone tried to register this year? I was just trying to register,but it asks me to choose the investment option and when I click, it says the investment option is under review and hence does not allow me to go to the next step.

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My lawyers combined all of their client into one SEF account and so will not share access (to my complete annoyance).
Can anything be done to separate my login from the rest so I can monitor status?
Putting all clients into a master account saves the lawyers time but prevents client access. I suggest this might have been done on purpose. Cynical? Yes, but likely true.

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As far as i understood it is standard practice for lawyers. Same thing happened to me. If you need to have your parallel access, you need to setup up personal one first and then add your lawyer email address.
For me it was too late to realise this, but i am ok with it.


A follow-up question to these step:, do I need to create an account for each applicant separately, including for minors (who don’t have email addresses of their own at the moment!).