Obtaining Spouse/Children visa in PT: Golden visa vs Family Reunification Visa

I am hoping to clarify some confusion I have about the different scenarios to add spouse/children to a Portugal GV application. I thought there was only one way to go about this, but a recent post has me wondering…

In my case, Main applicant applies for GV, and spouse/children/parents are added directly to the application with family reunification. Per SEF guidelines, this can be done simultaneously with GV application but it subject to GV applicant approval. https://www.sef.pt/en/Documents/FAMILYREUNIFICATION.pdf

Here is a post from Facebook that has me confused:
[name deleted]
After MONTHS of waiting (since August of 2020), my husband got his SEF approval for our Golden Visa yesterday. Now we wait for an SEF appointment to open-up in Portugal. Our attorney said that she expects my SEF approval in the next week or so. For those who don’t know, for a couple only one person can apply for the Golden Visa and the spouse in effect reunifies. [Technically both can apply but the amount of money to qualify then doubles so unless you’re super wealthy that option isn’t really open to most] As soon as we are finished with the initial GV process I plan to begin to start the citizenship by grandparents process. I figure that I’ve developed a tolerance to pushing papers and the word apostille no longer makes me vomit, and I’ve begun my Portuguese language study, so why not? It’s a good day. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Confusion is three-fold:

  1. He said that if you add your spouse, the “amount of money to qualify then doubles…” . That was not my experience as only one GV fund investment is needed.

  2. He says “Our attorney said that she expects my SEF approval in the next week or so.” My experience was that the approval came more or less within a week of each other. I am not sure why there would be a 6 month delay if his spouse was approved August 2020 something seems off.

  3. He says " As soon as we are finished with the initial GV process I plan to begin to start the citizenship by grandparents process" I am not sure why anyone would pursue citizenship by grandparents if they are already on a GV. That makes no sense to me.

So now I am worried i did something wrong… :grimacing: Or possible, he took a totally different approach to getting a visa. Certainly, if there is a way to add family members using a D reunification visa that can save the money of the annual GV renewal fees for spouse/children, that would be appealing.

Hi, I had the same question. While it is best for you to discuss directly with your/an immigration attorney, when I asked mine, they said:

  • As for the GV application, the law considers you as the Main Applicant – you are the one fulfilling the investment which will grant you the possibility to go for the Residency Permit.

  • The law grants the possibility to the main applicant to regroup husband and children underage (or, already of age if economically depending on their parents).


  • The cards will be issued for all of you – which will mean that all of you will have a valid residency permit;
  • That will also mean that when cards are issued, clock starts ticking for the 5 years that allow you go for the Portuguese passport – all of you;
  • That will also means that all of your cards must be renewed –so, all of you must fulfill the requirement of staying n Portugal for, at least, 14 days.

I’m still mulling over if I get it, but what I think it means is that, at least with respect to the GV, the Methods one and two are actually the same thing. Family reunification is part of the GV process assuming you know now that you want to get everyone the visa and then the residency or citizenship at the same time. You are doing and paying for everything all at once.

But if the main applicant only wants to deal with their GV application now for whatever reason–could be financial, could be practical (like for the next couple of years it will be easier for the main applicant to travel solo for the required residency time frames or biometrics or whatever) that is possible as well. However once you decide to do family reunification after getting the visa or residency/citizenship, then there are still costs associated (whether the same or not I’m not quite sure) and the spouse/dependents, will still have to meet residency minimums, not for the visa, but if they want to get the residency permit (and language for citizenship). If you are living in Portugal by that time, that won’t be a big deal. But if you are still mostly outside of Portugal, then they would still have to figure out doing the residency minimums for residency /citizenship.

Or at least, that is how I am understanding it at the moment!!!

My original question was not so clear. I edited it to add the original facebook post from another GV applicant that was the original source of my confusion. Maybe my question is more clear now.

I wrote my response to your initial email, but I think with respect to two spouses applying separately, I believe that is certainly possible, but as you say, why since they would then have to do two separate investments. I can’t really think of why someone would do that unless maybe their financial lives are completed separate --like two very wealthy people as the poster notes) and they just want to make sure that challenges one spouse might have in an application (like maybe things that would come up in a background check?) don’t damage the other spouses application?

I actually can totally understand two independently wealthy people just wanting to do their own applications.

It could just be bureaucracy at play with the time differential. When I ordered copies of my kids birth certificates–on the same day, within minutes of each other, my son’s came a week before my daughter’s. And I had actually ordered hers first. When I received them, different people had handled the request. It could be the same with SEF. Even though the applications are done at the same time, maybe different people in fact processed them. Or something else, like the person who handled the wife’s application was sick on the day they would have handled the husband’s and so someone else didn’t and now it is in a separate process. Or even there was some question about her application that had to be answered internally before it could move forward in the process.

Possibly but that doesnt explain his post. The only thing I can figure in re-reading the post from Facebook is that his lawyer gave bad advice that adding a spouse to GV required 700k investment instead of 350k. So, he obtained a different type of temporary 1 year or 2 year visa and plans to pursue the citizenship by grandparents independent of the GV. That should be totally unnecessary if a spouse is on a GV so I can only imagine that they received bad legal advice.

This does raise another red flag though. If you have children you need to think carefully about whether to reunify them simultaneous with your GV application. If they turn 18 prior to you getting a GV, then they are not automatically eligible for citizenship in the same way that they would be if they were under 18 . At least that is my understanding. Ask your lawyer…

It is all very confusing, isn’t it. It could be he just didn’t understand what his attorney was saying?

As for my, even assuming everything goes smoothly, my older child would be at least 19 or 20 by the time the process is complete. However, “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 the parents.” He will likely be in school full time, and if not, he will still be financially dependent on us. And he would have fulfilled the residency requirement simultaneously with the rest of the familhy.

I think I’d have to go with bad/incorrect legal advice here as well. It doesn’t make any sense, and doesn’t map to anything my lawyer has said either.