Is it Lawsuit time? (Processing times)

Given the excessive waiting times encountered by applicants for the Golden Visa in Portugal, some have resorted to legal action against the SEF. There have been instances where the courts have ordered the SEF to expedite the process, addressing delays deemed unreasonable (Source: Court Orders SEF to Grant Appointment to Golden Visa Investor Within 10 Days Following Unreasonable Delays - IMI - Investment Migration Insider (

Considering the inherent differences in the Golden Visa’s processing compared to other visa categories, it is somewhat expected for the processing times to vary. However, the current multi-year process, far exceeding the typical three-month window for other visas, appears grossly disproportionate.

One could argue convincingly that the SEF has been negligent in its duty, particularly given the previous judicial precedents where the courts sided with the investors. This raises a pertinent question about the feasibility of a class-action lawsuit against the SEF in response to these prolonged wait times.

However, I must note that as a non-expert in Portuguese law, I am unsure whether class action lawsuits are a viable legal recourse in Portugal. What do you think? Is it time for a class action lawsuit against SEF?

Lowkey, the SEF needs a wakeup call in regards to the ARI.

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Get a lawyer yeah

Possible roadblocks are that class actions aren’t really a thing in Portugal last I heard, and the sef is being replaced soon (when?) Anyway

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I searched for class action lawsuits in Portugal and found this result which sounds like they are possible?

But I’m obviously not a lawyer, let alone a Portuguese lawyer :person_shrugging:


Also not a lawyer, but I think class actions only apply to specific issues such as environmental law, public health etc. I remember reading through the criteria and concluding that SEF delays wouldn’t qualify.

In Portugal, a class-action lawsuit is currently not possible. However, I recently came across a suggestion on our forum that could help reduce the cost of individual lawsuits through coordination. The idea is to find a lawyer who can handle around 100 cases simultaneously, all sharing similarities, which could lead to significantly lower overall expenses. This approach has the potential to address the ongoing and future delays caused by the Portuguese government. However, as someone who proposed the idea of uniting to fight the Portuguese government a while back, I acknowledge that implementing the coordinated lawsuit concept may pose challenges for our forum members.


Good call,

Can you start a group & Spreadsheet.

Strength is in numbers, get the data/contacts, I’m sure there’s 1,000+ frustrated people, if we can find 100 of them, start DM-ing everyone who posted on the various topics about how they submitted in X and waiting X months, maybe we can get everyone to pledge to pitch in $100, get 100 to do this and a lawyer has a potential $10,000 pool of funds which you can collect so they can write opinions based on the various categories of the investors (e.g. those waiting 3 months, 12 months, etc.)

If we like what they say, maybe the chosen lawyer can ask say the 20 worst effected of the 100 who have been waiting 1+ year to each contribute $1,000 so they have $20,000 to take the fight up for us.

So first, we need to start a spreadsheet of names, application dates, time waited at step X, and try to see if people will contribute $100 to a cause. People might not be comfortable contributing to a random stranger on the internet, but maybe just a promise and the lawyer can take that as potential funding and we just pay the lawyer correctly.


I appreciate the suggestion of creating an online spreadsheet or another mechanism to bring together individuals who have been severely harmed by the SEF. However, there are some challenges. Firstly, people tend to be reluctant to share their emails publicly. Secondly, those who have truly suffered due to the SEF’s actions don’t frequently visit this forum, making real-time communication difficult. For instance, it took a week for you to be the only person who responded seriously to my proposal, which was essentially a repetition of another forum contributor’s suggestion a long time ago.

On a positive note, I have received private messages from several individuals who are eager to join forces in pursuing the lawsuit. I have already identified two lawyers who are willing to support our cause. If you would like to join us, we still have room for one more person. By initially uniting a small group, we can start gaining momentum and gradually convince more people to join our cause. If you feel comfortable, please leave your email address in my message box.

I was asking about the validity of this ages ago and it’s possible but there are certain qualifications necessary. I had spoken to one of the best immigration lawyers who had been considering it herself but all thus was a while ago.
I can try and get in contact with her again but ultimately it’s about those interested actually being prepared to come forward.
I’m about yo give up because it’s patently clear no one involved I the whole GV process can be trusted. In my case it’s a litany of dishonesty and lazy individuals and institutions from lawyers to the bank and now I have doubt about the fund, all thjs without mention of the utterly useless immigration system that’s treated decent people who intend to bring their money and move their lives to Portugal and make a net positive contribution to the public purse yet we’re treated like trash. For all those who bitch and moan about GV peeps as if we’re stealing from them when in fact the contribution is positive financially especially given it’s near impossible to take out. Unfortunately the GV’s have and will be used a political punchbag. Had I know what I’d be in for I’d never have started. Given my misgivings about so many things that I’m tied to if I stay in the program and my justifiable distrust of SEF, the bank, the fund, and everything about the visa I can’t face years of this uncertainty with my fate in the hands of people who show such contempt towards me and other GV’s.
It more likely I’ll be making a legal claim for damages than to force SEF to do something they don’t want to in court as it’s only kicking the van down the road to the renewal and beyond when it’s likely I’ll be screwed with for year to come.
Best we look to a place that wants us or at least can be trusted to keep their end of the deal.
What I don’t understand is why people think that the crap that’s being dished out now won’t continue for years and what say we won’t be right at the final stage to find the GV is terminated. Do you think anyone cares enough to prevent it!
I’ve notices a few giving up not because of the delays at the beginning part but because they like me have realised this could go on forever. How can you say any differently given what’s happened up to now and there’s no reason to believe it will change for the better
It’s late and I’m rambling but this whole sorry state of affairs is upsetting. I can’t subscribe to this debacle much longer so unless there’s a sudden change of policy I’m so over it now


I am with you on at least one point: I can’t imagine why anyone would be applying now. it makes no sense to rush into a program run like this, especially now that you know for sure the government wants to get rid of it.

There is only one likely direction for the program in the future and it isn’t “better”…

@crumbs.try-0g / @Vichy / @cj807 / @anonymous66 / @garrett / @kai.kiyoto

Let’s start communicating, I’ve put a spreadsheet/plan together in Excessive Delays in Migration Lawsuit *Interest Only* - Google Spreadsheets

I’d like to know who is legitimately interested in putting money down to start class action lawsuits, who all our lawyers are (if there’s a common lawyer amongst many of us maybe they should do it), so we can get this started, everyone has a different budget, 20 people getting 1,000 EUR each might be enough to get it started then other can join.

Re: Class action - Not really relevant.
If there’s 20 of us, the lawyer, let the lawyer just say “We can simultaneously do 20 lawsuits”, all using the same template/references, let’s clog the courts if they want to be inefficient.

It should be about 3x the effort (not 20x) so we can share costs, because all the legal opinions/research is shared. The legal hearings for the 20 cases should be quick in terms of a lawyer driving, doing their arguments, etc. our lawyer can appear 20 times across 20 days to make the same arguments, at this point a junior lawyer can take this for practice after they’ve seen the first few of the Senior Partner.

Also, they might start with 1-3 of us, then when they win those, file the rest, maybe most of the 20 get seen by the same judge and it’ll be an decision rendered in 1 hour “You win, SEF, just process all these 20 investors within 10 days”.

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It would be useful if someone found out what previous lawsuit winners actually paid their lawyers for the trouble, because 20 grand seems like a lot for something that may involve little effort on the lawyer’s part. (But I have no idea, obviously.) I imagine they put together documentation showing how long SEF has ignored the application, the court looks at it, and the court makes a decision?

20 grand is a random number I plucked out of thin air, I’d rather guess a much higher number and be conservative. I might try to contact the one I mentioned in the spreadsheet (who already won a case), but I want to first gather some people who are interested and actually willing to at least put up EUR 500 to get a quote. If say 10 of us are willing to do this, and 5 of us use the same lawyer for GV, maybe we should just engage our own lawyer as one of the key quote sources.


I’ve messaged where Bettino Zanini who won the landmark case in the article is a Partner now (he was at another law firm when he won that case).

Hopefully I can get a better idea on price, class action vs individual law suits, his ability to take on clients, maybe an idea on costs, etc.

I’d still like you to (if you’re willing to contribute financially) to fill the spreadsheet as I don’t want to be working with a lawyer and I’m the only one, although if it’s affordable by myself, I guess I can still sue and get an application approved in months whilst the norm is years, but that’s inherently unfair.


Thanks for attempting to get cost information, as that is critical to the value of pooling together. (If a lawyer charges a couple grand, I would see no point in complicating things by grouping forum users together. If they charge 20 grand and are willing to file all the lawsuits together for the same fee, sure.)

Another forum user has said on multiple occasions that there is no such things as class action lawsuits in PT, however, so it seems this plan would require filing individual suits.

Thank you, Michael! I updated my info in your spreadsheet. However, you are not yet pre-approved. I think most people who want to sue SEF are waiting for the biometric appointment.

After shouting out loud to encourage people to join my lawsuit for several weeks on this forum, only three people (including Michael) privately sent me message to express their interest to go ahead. Yes. only three. I don’t think we will ever get 20. Let’s be realistic. Most likely we just do the lawsuit individually.

I already talked to two different lawyers who both won cases against SEF before. If you still want to get info from me, please drop me a private message with your email address. If you do not want to share with me your email address, I don’t think you are that serious anyway. If you do not want to share with me your personal email address, why not create a new email and activate the email forwarding function? I will try to get a group discount from the lawyers, but I feel the hope is slim given so few people want to join us.

My biggest concern is still that the SEF would be closed in October. It probably makes little sense to win a lawsuit against SEF if SEF won’t exist soon.

If there’s recompense for the delay in pre-approval now that I’m already done with biometrics I’m interested but if the lawsuit wouldn’t help with that, either by giving me money or giving me time-credit towards citizenship, I don’t see the point

Why can’t you just post the information you received from the lawyers? Seems odd to require collection of peoples email addresses…

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Michael, I’ve been waiting 18 months for my biometric appointment. I am interested in joining your group.


I am cross-posting this from another thread:

I am in the situation that got pre-approved in 2/2021 and offered biometrics 12/21, but we could not come due to medical reasons and hesitant due to Covid. Since then, we’re forever “lost in the system”. My attorney recommended initiating a lawsuit, which I just authorized. The legal cost is 4,000 Euros and court costs 400 Euros. My attorney said that an expedited lawsuit will be heard in 3-4 months, and if successful, I’d be offered a biometric appointment within about a month. Sad that this became necessary. I’m interested in others’ experiences and/or advice. Thanks!


We will be issuing a lawsuit but due to my husband’s missed biometrics rather than waiting times.

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