Need some GV guidance - ghosted by Mercan lawyers

Hi friends; new to this group and the Portugal GV process. Recently submitted my application using Mercan. I have some questions to which I couldn’t find clear answers. Since the application was submitted on Aug 1st, I can’t get Mercan to answer any of my emails…; it’s like I’ve been “ghosted”.

  1. Our application includes my oldest daughter who is currently age 21. Depending on the time it will take to get the initial residency permit, she may turn 26 (or even 27) before she can meet the 5-yr requirement to obtain permanent status. Has anyone faced this and been successful, if their dependent “ages out” during the process?

  2. Looking at the timelines posted on this forum, can I really expect it to take 2 YEARS to get the actual 1st residency permit? Pertinent to my 1st question.

Muito obrigado.

Two years seems optimistically fast I think. Yes the sef is critically behind.

You can speed things up if you sue the sef but it’s obviously an extra expense

Our case is exactly the same.
Our son is 21 years old.
We do not see the proposed objective with optimism.
a lot of disappointment

If you’ve got a good reason to sue SEF (eg the age of your daughter), I’d do it. You’ll probably need a lawyer other than Mercan’s to do that for you I’d have thought.

I’m confused by your post. You say she “may” turn 26… If she is 21 now and the initial permit takes 2 years to get, its almost a certainty that she will be at least 28 by the time she meets 5 years of residence.
I am surprised that your lawyers didn’t advise you of the fact that the residence permits are not instantaneous and you are looking at 7-9 years total.

As for Mercan lawyer’s “ghosting” you, have you talked to Mercan about this? Mercan is a widely used company and I think they would want to protect their reputation. There are dozens of people here who have used them, and I have not heard of any similar issues with others.
I would start there.

You aren’t likely to find anyone who has been through 5 years of residence and had a similar situation. There aren’t many people in this forum who have been around that long. Good luck.

If you just recently submitted your application and did any reasonable amount of due diligence, this information shouldn’t come as a surprise. The end of the golden visa and the massive delays have been published in almost every Portuguese publication and most international RBI journals over the last year or more. I’m not trying to rub salt in your wound here, but honestly I don’t know how people are continually surprised by this information.

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“Ghosted” seems extremely unlikely to me. Not getting a response in a timely manner – and by “timely” I mean something in line with professional interactions in most first-world countries – then yes, I could believe that.

Welcome to Portugal. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Can you possibly clarify your 1st question?
21+8=29 if to count the age of your child at the time of possible citizenship application.
But what is the question exactly?

Unless you find this forum well in advance of your application, its kind of an open secret that nothing is moving as fast as those funneling people to the GV might claim or imply. For us on the forum, it is obvious in hindsight…but even people who applied in 2022 are in the same boat, and back then it was “oh yeah you should have your card in 6-12 months” from everyone outside this forum.

It is only when you start digging in deep do you find out: the ARI is basically one big scheming industry of lawyers and blogs and government. Lots of money, zero accountability. Lots of waiting.

Even the news in Portugal tends to report on “record applications processed this month”, not “SEF 2+ years behind schedule.”

I was pretty doe-eyed when I invested in GV and to some extent I wrongly trusted my lawyers but I also searched for every bit of information i could find before investing because I suspected there was a catch and I was quite skeptical of investing 350k into a foreign country with debt problems.

Now the information is MUCH more available than it was a couple years ago. Even typing into Google the phrase ‘Is Portugal golden visa a scam’ will return some interesting and relevant results.

So, yes I do understand how someone could go through this process without finding NomadGate, but if you sift through the paid ads search results from the Portugal Golden visa firms touting “Hurry! Last Chance to invest” its hard not to see the truth unless you don’t want to look.

Here is just one example I found: Portugal’s €4bn Golden Visa Backlog Would Take Until 2030 to Finish Processing, Insider Reveals - IMI - Investment Migration Insider (

Frankly, I am in the same boat as I have a older child but I saw this coming from the beginning and have been working on a plan to mitigate the risks.

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I appreciate all the above responses. Yes, I do now understand the math regarding my daughter’s age, but I was told by Mercan that this was a 5-year process and that it would find a way to work itself out. I was unaware of this forum, and the application backlog. M told me that the whole process takes about 6-12 months from application to initial permit. I admit that in retrospect I probably did not perform due diligence and “trusted” what I was being told by Mercan. Nevertheless, we are now down this road, with application submitted and investment funded. So, back to my original question if indeed anyone here has any insight: “If your dependent reaches age 26 either before the residency permit is issued or before the 5-yr clock has finished, what options does she/he have to continue towards the citizenship status?”. I am very happy to have found this forum, albeit belatedly, and hope that the community (esp. those with similar-age dependents) will forgive my initial naivety and help guide me along the road moving forward.

My understanding is that if the child is still in school and dependent on you, they can continue as long as they haven’t married. What I was led to believe is that this is not too hard to overcome but like all things with Portugal, it will probably be more complicated than I was led to believe. (We are in a similar situation, although my oldest is only 18).

Yeah, it’s funny how the promoters mention a “5 year process” but conveniently neglect to mention the other messy details. At this point there isn’t much you can do except counsel your child not to get married for 8 years. :slight_smile: As far as I know, there is no set age limit on a child as long as they are dependent. Some people have mentioned the age of 26 as a cap but I haven’t seen that in any laws.

GCS has this language on its website. I don’t know that it is accurate but if so your daughter would be barred from continuing with ARI at some point:

The following family members can be included in the application: Spouse or legal partner. Children under 18 years of age . Dependent children under 26, as long as they are single and enrolled as full-time students or can demonstrate that they continue to be financially dependent on their parents.


Again, I don’t know where they get this 26 year age limit. It might be correct, I don’t know.

Many people here are willing to help out. just read through the comments and most of what you would want to know is already here somewhere.

In our particular case, our son is 21 years old and in a year and a half he will graduate and go out to seek (deservedly) his professional and economic development.
I consider that we also needed to know this forum before making the investment.
The maximum objective, which was the status of our son, we believe that with this route we are not going to obtain it.

Saying that it would take 6-12 months is pretty shocking. Even back in 2021 before I applied we knew it was likely to take around 2 years to get the first card.

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@tkrunning should really remove any partnership stuff with mercan if that’s the sort of thing they’re saying

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Hi Guys,

I contacted Mercan through form here but yet to hear back from them. The window is closing soon on the GV and I am ready to proceed asap. If there are Mercan guys here on this forum, please contact me back right away by DM or responding to my email. Thank you

I felt like we did a good amount of research in 2022, and delays never came up until we got the sense that our application would be delayed. Knowing this, suddenly it was easy to google the problem.

“ARI delays” gives a very different set of search results in google than “ARI timeline”.

Anyway, I consider op a victim of the marketing machine. All the blogs and lawyers appear to paint a much nicer picture than reality.

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I would be surprised if any of the big companies / lawyers are giving people the truth. If they were, maybe there wouldn’t be such an explosion of interest right now. People cant fight against FOMO tho, so maybe it would always be an explosion…

Based on the state of the program, its almost questionable for any site or entity to promote it.

You have discovered the Google disinformation machine. Somehow Google gets you to the search results you want to see rather than the results you need to see.

Has anyone gotten an biometrics appointment in the last few months?

| Garbonzo Garbonzo Bean
September 26 |

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“ARI delays” gives a very different set of search results in google than “ARI timeline”.

You have discovered the Google disinformation machine. Somehow Google gets you to the search results you want to see rather than the results you need to see.