No legal support GV application


Just wondering if anyone has applied for the GV without legal support? Their fees all seem very high considering all the documents can be obtained yourself, legalised/translated and submitted online.

I’d appreciate someone to check my work and make sure I’m not doing something wrong, but I only seem to be able to find firms offering package solutions for v high prices for what doesn’t seem much work.

I was handling my initial application and submission almost entirely by myself as the lawyers I hired initially were incompetent to put it mildly. I can tell you it was a lot of work…
Reaching the point when I was expecting to receive a biometric invite, I hired a different (proper GV-capable) law firm based on recommendations from this forum. Based on my experience I think it was a right decision.

Besides, I know one other person on this forum who actually completed the entire thing by themselves without a lawyer’s support.

But in my opinion it is tough and risky to do it completely solo. There are pitfalls and undocumented items that you may get stuck with in a time-sensitive moment. So overall, not recommended.

I personally would recommend a hybrid approach - i.e. you take the driving seat on your process, get your own access to SEF portal, learn the SEF requirements, read SEF’s process manual, get access to Portal das Financas etc, etc. but still rely on a professional legal support where necessary.

Thanks! yeah, the driving seat approach feels most comfortable to me. Would love to hear who you found who was happy to work in that hybrid role if you don’t mind sharing thanks!

The hybrid role does not depend on the legal firm.
It is basically your decision/action as to how much time and effort you are prepared to expend.
Then you instruct your lawyers accordingly.


There are firms that charge more and less. The big names charge more. The small firms charge less. The more you are going to control the process the less you need a large firm to hold your hand.

There are people who want full handholding, in which case 5 figures is not out of hand.

There are people who want base service, in which case 5 figures is out of hand.

As tommi says, while the process can be done yourself, there are a lot of ways in which this can go wrong, and there is value in someone who knows exactly how the stack needs to be assembled and how to speak to the SEF agent who has the ability to either quietly accept your stack of paperwork or make your life hell and what buttons to push when.

That said, there is obviously the risk of hiring a less-than-stellar law firm. That… life is a risk, sadly. And sadly cost is not always indicative of quality.

Just my 2c worth. A good lawyer is worth the money. We’ve spoken to people who went the cheap lawyer route and ended up paying the same amount as we did after the various ‘extra charges’. I’ve lived in Asia for 20 years so I am used to ‘funky beauracracy’ but wouldn’t want to take on this one without an experienced person with Portuguese language skills. The issue is (as you can glean from these forums) that the clerks are not motivated to help with golden visa, quite the reverse. If you don’t know the way things work, I expect you could wait, thinking things are in process when they are stuck somewhere. Our solicitor cajoled, pushed and argued where necessary to keep things moving: it’s a big impersonal inefficient beauracracy. On multiple occasions we have reflected that the lawyer has earnt his fees. This system is not set up for foreigners without Portuguese language skills. I welcome input from those who have managed to do it. Their tips and insights would be worthwhile. This is a multiple year, complicated and frustrating process. You need to know exactly what documents and how they are to be presented. A small example. I got official fingerprints from my home country on official forms, a hell of a process. Not accepted because it didn’t have the rubber stamp from the police station it was done in - even though it was signed by the police officer and had the station details printed on the form. Without my solicitor the application would probably still be in limbo with me none the wiser.

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One other point to make, while previously an applicant had all the time in the world to complete an application, missteps included, time is of the essence as the process will be closing down soon. Personally I wouldn’t want to risk a misstep that would leave me out of the process completely, especially after investing money in something. I don’t get the impression that any of the Portuguese agencies will even go out of their way to let you know something is missing or you did something wrong. You are more likely than not to have to figure it out on your own.

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I very much appreciate all your thoughts thank you!