Only able to get one appointment out of four - what next?

So we received the approval in October 2020 for the 4 of us and have been trying to get the biometrics appointment since. The issue has been that we cannot just take the kids out of school. The lawyer got us a date that definitely could not work, so she swapped it with someone and in return, I received 1 appointment slot in October 2021. I did my biometrics. I tried to “convince” the agent to let my wife and kids go too, but he was not open to it. Now that it is moving to the fairer chronological order, I am thinking 6-9 more months.

What is the downside of having our GVs almost a year apart? One kid is 11 and one is 13.

Our goal is to move to Portugal until our NHR status runs out and then move to a more capital gains friendly country. I would like the 11-year-old to go to University in Europe so citizenship in 7 years is a must for her.

@AlamoMustang, our lawyer told us that the start date of the residency starts when the investor’s card is issued. So, everyone in the family has the same date as you. Confirm with your lawyer, though.

Germany? Awfully cheap and a very, very popular destination for international students of all walks. The visa is super easy to get and easy to get German residency after - you get something like 6mo to find a job in-country, if you find a job you can stay indefinitely. Many programs now bi-lingual English/German. Can be very cheap to live on campus and there are government-sponsored support groups as well aimed at helping international students acclimate and succeed. I think some programs are still free, even, though I don’t know, either way they don’t cost much. I kind of wanted to do it myself - there don’t appear to be age restrictions. Don’t need to care about EU citizenship at all.

My lawyer said the exact opposite, her clock runs separately. If I recall correctly. Hrm. Maybe I need to ask again.

Honestly, this is the only thing that makes sense. If you carry this out to the logical conclusions you see the problem and fallacy. Lets assume that Bill gets gets his resident card in 2020. His daughter waits and gets biometrics in 2024. Bill would have been through 2 renewals by then and the daughter 0. But the daughter would have the same start date as the father So, under the former logic the daughter would be entitled to apply for citizenship in 2025 without having ever met the stay requirements for years 0-4. So, it seems really wild to believe that the dependents get the same benefit of the primary applicant’s visa issuance date.

Understood. I cannot guarantee we would spend the 183 days in Portugal to qualify for a D7. I will ask my lawyer again about the situation. She previously said it was the first time the entire family did not perform the biometrics at the same time.

My lawyer told me back in 2017 that the investment needs to be kept 5 years from date of investment, not date of GV approval. If you are going to double check with your lawyer, it would be great if you could clarify and let us know as we have 3 different answers.

So, my lawyer’s answer is nuanced:

You need to have the investment in-hand at the time of each application for relevant renewal.

It is theoretically possible to let go the investment after the second renewal, if one is going straight to citizenship. BUT if your citizenship is denied, or the application takes longer to process than you might wish (clearly a possibility, as we’ve seen), then you may be forced to either renew your temporary or apply for permanent (since having applied for citizenship does not obviate your need to retain residency). If this happens and you’ve let the investment go, then you’re up a creek without a paddle.

If you are choosing to continue with temporary residence for whatever reason, then you have to hang onto the investment for each renewal.

If you are choosing permanent residence, you can let it go after your application is approved since there is no ongoing requirement to retain the investment. (In theory you could let it go after the application itself, but what if they come back asking for more documentary evidence?)

If you are choosing citizenship and want to gamble on timing, then you can let it go at ~4 years and a bit, since it doesn’t matter for your citizenship app, and your temporary residency doesn’t expire at year 5 - it runs to year 6, it’s just that you can apply for permanent at year 5.

If you are choosing citizenship but don’t want to gamble, you’re left with your options above.

So whatever the headline, in practice on the ground there isn’t a strict 5-year requirement or fulfillment. It really depends on what you’re doing and the timing thereof. And this is accurately reflected in advertising from (IMO) the more reputable establishments - you can get your permanent residency in 5 years, not that you only need to hold an investment for 5 years. One seems to follow from the other but the reader/client is often merely not being disabused of the inferred conclusion as opposed to corrected in detail, I think. I also tend to fear that are now a lot of legal firms in the business that don’t actually have enough relevant experience with the administrative realities to actually know how things work and are themselves making inferences from law and orders than speaking from experience.

And no, I haven’t asked about the other. I find I only get decent answers when I get them on zoom; email never works, and I’m not going to bother them at this time since they are probably still scrambling around to appointments (since they’re one of the effective ones that got tons of appointments out of the free-for-alls) and it’s the holidays. Maybe I’ll drop in on them in Lisbon if we go in Feb. If that turns out even to be possible. :frowning:

Oh, and I did find a reference in article 65 saying that it’s very specifically 5 years from issuance of permit, not date of investment. That much IS documented. I can’t find it again to cutpaste it, sorry.

What Jeff was sayng was the law firm managed to secure a lot appointment slots at least during Sept SEF slot opening. They have been busy making logistic arrangement to accompany the clients. For the same reason, I refrained to press them to find me a last minute cancellation slot and did not travel to PT during Dec.

Wish everyone a relaxing holiday and sooner SEF appointment.

Something like 80, they said, from the September rush, plus a bunch more from the October-November one no doubt since they had the whole thing down pat. All over the country. So figure you’ve spent a good part of the day on each one just in traveling. For a firm with 3 lawyers you can deploy for the purpose (one was on maternity leave!!!) and other stuff to do as well, that’s a LOT of time you didn’t expect to spend that way, and it’s all priority-interrupt since it’s not like you can’t not attend given folks flying in special and all that, plus any needed handholding to get them into the country since some will have difficulties, plus pre-checking documents again, etc etc… The firm will have effectively come to a grinding halt for two-three months on any of its normal business. They haven’t even bothered generating a bill for me - what does that tell you? Yeah no, been leaving them right alone.

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What does the biometric appointment entail? Fingerprints? Will I need a new background check? Other supporting documents?

Thanks in advance for the info!

This is one of the great debate topics. You’re likely to get conflicting answers.

You’ll be required to provide a current background check. You can provide it on the spot, which they appreciate, and this will keep your application moving. Or you can show up without a current background check, in which case your file will be marked incomplete; you’ll be directed to provide this document, and SEF will resume work on your file at some point after you submit the required documentation. You may have difficulty complying before the deadline if you’re starting from scratch, though apostille processing times have improved markedly since the beginning of the year.

Your lawyer should inform you of what you need to bring unless you are doing your application by yourself.

Good news. With the new system, my lawyer was informed that she can go in and was able to get our appointments for Spring Break. As I can now plan the FBI background check, the completion dates for me and my family will be closer that I originally expected.