Moving to Portugal right after pre-approval

Oh that’s the best news I’ve heard for ages!! Well done you, (and get booking some flights me!)

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How long did you over stay in Portugal? Was you out of Portugal long enough to “gain” any days back for re-entry?

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@mborcherding and All - can you please remind me what official document (despacho?) permits the entry and stay in PT with pre-approval papers only?


I moved to Portugal on March 15 and stayed in the States 3 weeks before returning to Portugal. As a golden visa applicant I only need to be in country 7 days a year, but I do live here perminantly. However, since I have overstayed my Schengen 90 day visa I can’t travel to any Schengen country until I get my residence card, and who knows how long that will take. Been waiting for my SEF appointment for more than 14 months.


Thanks for replying! Did you have to show any documentation , proof of SEF application etc… on re-entry into Portugal?

Looks like I have found the answer to my own question :grin:

I believe this is the latest ‘despacho’ on this subject, dated 31 Dec 2021.


Barely showed my passport. He stamped it in a hurry, no questions, and I was on my way. Frankly, I was shocked.


Tommy - Thanks for this link. I’ve read it a couple of times, but I’m struggling to interpret it, tbh.

So - somewhere within this content, is it saying that it is “legal” to start living in Portugal, after Pre-approval of GV has been confirmed?

I’m unclear at exactly what stage of the GV application process an individual is able to start going to Portugal and overstaying the 90/180 rule.

I have only just been pre-approved, so am expecting many many months of waiting to even be invited for a biometrics appointment… let alone attend one! Obtaining my card realistically isn’t going to happen at least, and at best, until 2024.

I’d like to ascertain now though, when I can legally go to Portugal and remain beyond 90 days?

I think my lawyer has said this will not be until I have the residence card literally in my hand. But based on submissions on this thread, I’m not sure if this is correct, and maybe I can challenge my lawyer on this point?

Any insights/ advice/ thoughts on this topic will really be most gratefully received!!

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I personally have not tested this ‘Despacho’ as I have not yet overstayed.
Everyone I showed it to though seemed very surprised and impressed :smile:
Including my lawyer, my customs broker, my local Financas office…

You should look for the quote which talks about ‘pending processes with SEF’ or something along those lines.

There you go, I have found it:

“ considera-se ser regular a sua permanência em território nacional, com processos pendentes no Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF)”

I definitely have a “pending process with SEF”, I even have the ‘process number’ - that’s the one showing on your SEF ARI portal if you look it up.

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Where did you find this quote? Would you please share the source (unless, of course, it is strictly confidential)?

Thank you.

This quote is from the document I shared in my post above in Nov’22 :grin:

Thank you. I will look for it.

And if you are not sure if it applies to GV, my answer is Yes - see clause 2a which mentions

“ 90.º-A da Lei n.º 23/2007, de 4 de julho”

  • that is us, GV applicants :slight_smile:

Actually, the document states in the end of the preamble that is valid “no âmbito da doença COVID-19”. Is it still considered in force in light of the “end of the pandemic”, so to speak?

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In my humble non-legal opinion, this Despacho is still in force and applies to your case as long as you initially applied before 1 Jan 2022.

The context of the pandemic is meant to say that SEF had delays in full years of 2020-21 hence this Despacho is extending the validity of previous ones.

It does not put any condition on the future continuation of the ‘pandemic’.

Thanks. I hope you are right. I will know in a month once I am leaving after an overstay in light of SEF appointment.

Sure, I recommend you print out this Despacho just in case.

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I certainly will! Thank you for posting it!

To U.S. Applicants:

I have finally managed to receive the text of the Treaty signed between U.S. and Portugal that grants 60-day visas to U.S. citizens with ordinary passports (that’s what most of us have). I am planning to have it on hand when I exit Portugal in a month in case someone starts questioning my status. Frankly, I don’t anticipate issues, but just in case, it might be good to have it on hand if you overstayed your automatic 90-day Schengen visa.

Text of US-Portugal Visa Treaty.pdf (1.3 MB)

Please note, this does not allow you to travel throughout Europe, but you can stay in Portugal beyond the 90-day limit if it is honoured by SEF at the airport. Book your flight to a non-Schengen destination so that you go through the border control in Lisbon.

Good luck!