Lost my Residency Card

Hey everyone, I received my first GV residency card in June 2023, and somehow misplaced it. I don’t live in Portugal.

From speaking to my law firm, it appears I’ll have to incur a cost of about 4300 euros to receive a duplicate (incl. processing fees, legal fees, filing a police complaint etc.). The government fees are about 3500, which is insane.

Anyone have a similar experience? Any wisdom to share? Have you been able to enter Portugal without a physical GV card at hand? Thanks in advance!

I can only speak to my experience. I have entered Portugal without the card using just my passport. They seem to link it to your passport because they did not ask me or my wife any “business or vacation” or “how long is your stay?” questions, but they asked those in front and behind us. We have US passports and so may be different with another if there are normally visa concerns.

Truly I have not needed it just for my two weeks here and there. I have scans of the front and back though just in case I need to send them to someone (bank, if I start renting a place) but I’m unsure who really needs to see it since I have not encountered it. (Maybe for a long term metro pass?)

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Because of fears over the scenario you encountered, I have started to carry a laminated copy of my card instead of the original. I think James is correct that for most situations this is adequate. When dealing with the government to request certain services they may want to see the actual card not a copy but I can’t speak to that. Due to the replacement fees, I would recommend you stall out any interactions with government services until you reach your renewal and you can obtain a new card.

The only issue you may encounter is if you are a citizen of a non visa waiver country, you will likely need to present your card at the border to enter the country. I doubt in such case they would accept a copy of it, but I don’t know for sure. Even then, I suspect it would be much cheaper to obtain a Schengen visa rather than pay 4000 for a new card.

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The other situation is entering Portugal via another EU country. I do not know if their systems “see” the card linked to your account like I suspect the Portuguese system does. But if you are on a friendly passport the normal visa waiver process will work fine as Garbonzo mentioned. If that is a concern you may want to simplify things and enter/exit Schengen via Portugal.


Apparently, one has to get an appointment to replace the card. Plus the police report etc.
In a thread last year, similar issue of lost card, @AlamoMustang said that the replacement appointment was after the renewal appointment for the card. Hopefully you wont need the original and can wait it out and obtain renewal online when due to renew !!

Thank you for all the good information, much appreciated. Given everything you’ve all shared, my plan is to get a Schengen visa from Portugal, show a photocopy of my residency card at immigration which they’ll hopefully lookup and validate, and I’ll meet my residency requirement.

I’m thinking that regardless of whether I enter on Schengen visa or Residency card, the immigration stamps would be the same and I can use them as proof of stay.

I’m already 7 months into my 2 year initial residency, so think it’s pointless to pay so much money to get a replacement card. Any thoughts/comments on this?

You should ask your lawyer, but here are my thoughts:

  • Depending on the circumstances of loss, probably worthwhile to file a police complaint to insulate yourself from anyone finding the card abusing it, especially for criminal activities. I think one is supposed to file in the country where it was lost, and then report to AIMA. Caveat: AIMA will flag the permit ‘lost’ in the Schengen database, so you can’t use the permit if you happen to find it later.
  • Don’t replace the card. The charges are ridiculous and unjust - one can understand the fees for the initial issue are high owing to the nature of the permit, but replacing a lost card ought to be at par with all other residence categories.
  • Use a Schengen visa. At immigration, show the visa - no need to add unnecessary extra and confusing details like photocopy of permit unless asked for. The stamp is the same stamp, and so long as you maintain boarding passes and stay records, it should count.

But please do check with your lawyer.


We entered through another Schengen country and they barely even looked at the residence card (since it wasn’t for their country). Just stamped us in as tourists regardless.

Good advice although I would suggest, fair or not, the replacement fees are exactly in line with the typical ARI fleecing. I am actually surprised they don’t charge MORE!

Could you tell us what you did because I have now the same issue?