Introducing the new Golden Visa Timeline Database

After maintaining the initial GV timeline spreadsheet for the past two years, @loheiman asked if someone else would be interested in assisting with the work of keeping it up to date.

Since I think this would work well as an integrated part of Nomad Gate, I saw this as a good time to build a more integrated and automated replacement, while migrating over the existing submissions.

I’ve now published the initial version of the tool, which consists of two parts:

1. Your personal GV timeline dashboard

This is where you can add or update your timeline (or those of your family members).

It looks like this:

To edit an existing timeline, just click the title or Edit button and you’ll be taken to a form with the current data pre-filled. Then just add your changes and submit.

To submit a new timeline, add the Add new timeline button. You can also use the Copy button next to an existing entry to start a new timeline entry with the same values pre-filled—don’t worry, you can edit before saving!

To delete a timeline, click the Delete button. Don’t worry if you accidentally delete a timeline, you’ll have the option to restore it.

For Nomad Gate users

As long as you’re logged in to your Nomad Gate account it should load your timeline (I’ve populated it with the data from the sheet created by @loheiman—so as long as you entered either your NG username or email there it should match automatically).

For non-users

If you’re not logged in you’ll also see the option to enter an email address to submit or update timelines without needing a Nomad Gate account. So if you used a different email address than the one you use for NG, you can use this option.

2. The crowdsourced timeline database

The crowdsourced data is available in several Airtable views (same data, filtered or organized in different ways):

Grid/Spreadsheet views:

  • Main view: Shows the main milestones, filters out entries that contain clearly incorrect data such as applications submitted before 2012 or where approval date is earlier than application date, etc.
  • Detailed view: Unfiltered view showing all milestones.
  • Grouped by family: Same data as the main view, but grouped by family.
  • Grouped by biometrics location: Only shows applications that have reached the biometrics stage.

Timeline views:

Calendar views:

  • Calendar view: Good for answering the question “has there been any approvals lately”?

Note that in each view you can filter down further using the controls at the top. You can also view averages, standard deviations, ranges, etc for each grouping.

:point_right: You’ll find all the GV timeline views here

Note: To navigate to the database in the future, you can use the main navigation menu on Nomad Gate (Golden Visas > Portugal > GV Timeline Database):

Planned views:

  • :white_check_mark: Pre-approval timeline view: Showing a visual representation of how the pre-approval times have changed over time based on time of application). I could potentially create more timeline views if it proves useful.
  • :white_check_mark: Detailed view: An unfiltered view containing all steps, calculations (time between every stage), etc.
  • :white_check_mark: Last updated view: A view focusing on the latest updates/events (for making it easier to see if anyone has received e.g. approvals lately). (Calendar view serves this purpose)

Any other views you’d find helpful? Let me know below!


FAQ

I have a duplicate entry, can I delete it?

Don’t worry, just click the Delete button next to the associated entry on your personal GV timeline dashboard.

It's a lot of work entering the data for each family member, can I speed up the process?

Definitely! Once you’ve added the first timeline, you can use the Copy button to pre-fill the timeline of the next family member with the same dates and information. Then just make changes to the dates that differ.

What if I used an identifier other than my email address or Nomad Gate username when submitting my timeline in the old spreadsheet?

Luckily, this was only the case for a few submissions. If these are not updated or linked to a Nomad Gate account or email address, they will eventually be marked as “stale” (see planned improvements below).

If it was the case with yours, send me a message or email stating which identifier you used and I’ll connect your submission to your NG account or email address.

Which details are made public?

All the dates you submit in the timeline will be included in the public crowdsourced database.

These details remain private (meaning only you and Nomad Gate staff can see them):

  • Your email address (if any)
  • Your Nomad Gate username (if any, unless you opt to publish it)
  • The label you use for each application to tell your family members apart (e.g. myself, spouse, favorite child, Jack, or whatever you entered)
What if I don't want to link my entries to my Nomad Gate account for privacy reasons?

While the old version of the sheet allowed you to link your entry to a freeform identifier, almost no one used that option. Also, as far as I can tell, none of those entries were ever updated, contributing to stale data that skew the results and reduce the usefulness of the timeline database.

You can still remain completely anonymous, however, even to Nomad Gate staff. Here’s how:

  1. Open the GV timeline dashboard in incognito/private browsing mode or log out from your Nomad Gate account.
  2. In the email field, enter an anonymous email address that forwards to your regular email account (e.g. Apple’s Hide My Email)
  3. Click the link you receive via email to add or manage your timeline(s)

Planned improvements:

  • Marking entries that have not been updated in > 1 year as “stale”, so they can be filtered out of views
  • Setting up occasional emails reminding people to update their entries, including a one-click button to say that all applications are still waiting at the same step. Perhaps after 90, 270, and 540 days of no updates, and once your application is marked as “stale”. Any thoughts?
  • :white_check_mark: Add validations to the form that checks that dates are entered in the right order (application submission before pre-approval before biometrics before final approval, etc)
  • :white_check_mark: Adding instructions to the personal dashboard
  • :white_check_mark: Adding an option to copy/duplicate entries (to make it faster to enter all your family members)
  • :white_check_mark: Adding an option to delete entries (in case you accidentally create duplicates)
  • :white_check_mark: Styling improvements (especially email field)

I am also wondering if you would find these potential features helpful, so please give let me know below:

  • Automatically post updates to the relevant threads (stages 2-5) here in the forum whenever someone updates reaches that stage
  • I could create a json API endpoint in case someone wants to do any ongoing programmatic analysis or graphical representations.
  • Create visualizations outside the Airtable views (let me know what kind of visualizations you’d find useful), some potential tools:
  • :white_check_mark: The option of showing your NG username publicly in the timeline DB
  • :white_check_mark: A field with public comments about each timeline entry. E.g. for sharing information that’s not captured by the standard date fields, such as which documents SEF requested or if you missed a biometrics appointment.

Keep in mind that this is an early version, so feedback and bug reports more than welcome!

I’ll keep this post updated as I develop the tool further!

14 Likes

Looks great! Is it possible to delete an old one? I now have a duplicate…

Not yet, but I can add that feature. For now just DM me the details of which record you want to delete and I’ll take care of it.

Update: I’ve added a Delete button for each of your family’s timelines. Click it:

It then pre-fills an email addressed to me using your default email client which you can send with one click:

Update 2: The button now instantly deletes the entry (with an option to restore in case of accidental deletes)!

3 Likes

Awesome job, Thomas! I can tell a lot of effort has been put into this - thank you very much!
I also agree with all of your suggested improvement.

I know you mentioned that the Main View shouldn’t include erroneous entries. But I see 2 wrong entries (# 228 and #223) with pre-approval dates coming prior to the application submission dates. As an improvement, maybe we can have those entries to be automatically marked in red and the respective users can be notified by email to correct them?

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This is fantastic - thank you for the hard work on this!

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In some cases, I think data errors are due to confusion between US and international date formats.

Thanks for the heads-up about these @karimj. For now I’m manually flagging and excluding these entries until they are updated by their owner.

@cj807 Yeah that’s a good point. It’s why I default to the “ISO” format in the new form, meaning Year–Month–Day. Hopefully the date picker should reduce potential confusion further.

I may also add some logic to the form to flag these issues as people are entering the data, instead of waiting until after the submission.

1 Like

Well done!

FWIW, I use the format YYYY-MMM-DD … ie today is 2023-Jul-05 … disambiguates…

@tkrunning is there a way to make reference to cases where a biometric appointment has been missed, and then rescheduled? I know there aren’t many examples of this but it’s just happened to my husband. Hopefully this is the start of a trend! If I enter his dates it’s going to skew the data, without this extra information.

There isn’t a specific field or question for those cases at the moment. I felt the form was already getting pretty long, and worried that if I would add too many questions to cover any potential case then people would maybe not complete the form.

I was thinking this might be a solution:

Another solution could be to have a multiple select field where you can tag your application with anything that applies, such as:

  • Applied with fund investment
  • Applied with property investment
  • Applied with other investment type
  • Missed a scheduling window I was invited to
  • Missed a scheduled biometrics appointment
  • I got a last-minute biometrics appointment

Any other variables worth capturing? If it’s only these we could maybe just add the two extra questions (one for investment type, one for biometrics circumstances).

2 Likes

@Beanieskis I’ve added three more fields now:

  • One about special situations regarding biometrics (visible as soon as the pre-approval date has been entered)
  • Free-form comments (to add more details about irregularities or other special circumstances)
  • One about investment type (visible if the application type is primary applicant, it will apply to any family members automatically)

Hope that helps!

2 Likes

@tkrunning
I can identify that the entry (41) is my timeline from the crowdsourced timeline DB. However, it was imcomplete. Could you please let us know how to claim and edit this entry?

Generally you can just DM me if there are any entries that aren’t linked to your account already. That particular entry is actually already linked to your account, though, so you should already be able to edit it.

Don’t you see it when you open your GV Timeline dashboard? On that page you just click the entry title to edit it.

I extracted the data and created a couple of pivot tables. If you think those are useful, I can DM you the excel sheet so we can try to replicate the view on the dashboard.

  1. Pre-approval queue status (in # of primary applications):


    Observation: The first Dec 2021 applications started to be pre-approved in July 2022. Since July 2022, we’ve been seeing a relatively shy rate of pre-approvals when compared to earlier months. I can’t believe that we’re 1 year through and still hear of pending Dec 2021 applications!

  2. Average delays’ variation for primary applicants (in days) between application submission to pre-approval


    Observation: the time it has been taking SEF to pre-approve applications has been exponentially increasing. The last pre-approved application took a year and a half!

3 Likes

Thanks @karimj. Very nice. In your second pivot table, the average delay really depends on where the person did biometrics, so the average is being hugely skewed by the sloooow rate of Lisbon approvals post biometrics :disappointed_relieved: In contrast, Porto and Faro have redeemed themselves.
Those who have yet to have biometrics will be interested in where to choose for biometrics, whereas those who have already been through biometrics wait patiently (Lisbon) or jump for joy that they have chosen well!

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Am I misunderstanding something, those tables only show pre-approval, not post-biometric-approvals, no?

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Yes, you’re right! This has nothing to do with the biometrics… just one step earlier between application submission and pre-approval. Simialr graphical representations can be created for the subsequent steps.

That said, I would absolutely love to see a chart of average approval times for various biometrics locations if you feel like making them. Would be very useful for those waiting for biometrics

4 Likes