Passport application stories and experiences


It seems most posts on this forum are for initial application, and a few related to renewal.

My situation is that I already have completed 2 renewals now, and next year I will apply for the passport.

I would like to setup this topic for people who can provide experience and status if they have already applied for naturalization.

I am planning to use a prestigious firm for passport application, and am currently studying Portuguese.

Can anyone share their story?



Congratulation. You are almost there! :star_struck:

I will surely follow your updates until you get the finish line. For me, I am counting down everyday.
I have completed portuguese B1 before the Biometric :joy::joy::joy:. Maybe a bit too early. I am now targeting the B2 certificate in next 6 months.


Well am already there . It mentions nearly 2 years approval process. My residency has expired and no way of renewal or ability of travel to renew.

My law firm a “ prestigious “ firm do not answer emails or phones.

It seems this is a moving target , i bought apartment in 2015 at this pace will have to renew my residency ( if given an appointment and more importantly get a visa to go there ).

Like to hear of anyone who has better experience.

My suggestion hire a law firm who has a track record with someone ahead of you.

I started early so could not do this but if you can go with a firm who has delivered citizenship through the GV program and better pay more but based on success.

Anyone else appreciate some feedback .


@live2learn you are amazing. Would you mind share what with Apps, means you are using in learning PT?

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Hi there

I am happy to share everything about my journey of learning portuguese.

I did not learn thru any App.

I’ve learnt online privately (two lessons/week) with a teacher from Braga Portugal for 1.5 years. She is fluent in German and does not speak English fluently. I wanted to learn with her because my German at that time was also at B1. I have reached 1/3 of level B2 and all of sudden my lawyer informed me to come to PT for Biometric. Then I stopped taking the course with her. Here is her website:

Right now I am taking B2 class for free (PLA - portugues lingua acolhimento). The class is organized by government. There are some test/exam and at the end of the course upon the satisfaction, one will be given the certificate B2 issued by government and that is certified and qualified for the citizenship application. They have all level from A1-B2. Here is the link:

You shall send an email with your address in PT. Then they will send you a reply with some language centers in your area that provide the PLA. Then you need to contact the center directly to sign up the course.

If you are in PT, i suggest you to take the PLA course. It is almost free (20E for the whole course) and you’ll get the certificate afterwards, just enough for your citizenship’s purpose.

Hope it helps!


Dear all,

I am also about to do my final renewal by end of this year. If the extensions are counted I might become eligible for application by next year early Q4.

I do not work with EDGE group but check the below link for an article which refers to such case - a GV holder getting a residency by fulfiling the minimum stay requirement. If I do recall right, the updated citizenship law does spell out how you can demonstrate ties to Portugal, with property ownership being one. There are few ways to do so. Therefore early GV holders who mostly obtained GV through property owners purchase might find it easier to fulfill the ties to Portugal criteria than some others.


Hi Nassar,

I know the journey is somewhat filled with obstacles.

Just to understand a little more, you have completed 5 years already, but your existing card has expired.

They will count the time from your first card until now.
So that should be good news.

Also, I have contacted a really good firm for the passport process. They have very good connections and track record.
Unfortunately they charge 10K Euros for the passport application.

The reason I needed a good firm is that I’ve been in multiple countries (about 9) during my life, and it would be next to impossible for me to gather no criminal records from all.

So have your applied for the passport or you are waiting to renew first?


Hi thank you.

I have finished my 5 years and passed language and applied and it mentions around 2 weeks for approval…

In the meantime renewal of residency is still a requirement an fir EU travel a Schengen visa is still a requirement and there is no visibility from SEF or when to get an appointment for renewal.

Lawyers cannot supply an answer.

I am asking whether anyone knows of anyone who received it through this process . The EDGE statement am not sure how true it is as I feel lawyers are benefiting of this and doing all sorts of claims whereas reality .

Regarding criminal certificate I had to get from 3 countries , so am not sure how this can be avoided.

Good luck and appreciate any feedback or help.

Good thread that you stated.




According to my lawyers, renewals are being treated as low priority.

Last renewal I actually had to get a visa to actually do the renewal.

Since you applied for a passport already, there is wait of 18-24 months until approval, but you should be getting status updates on each milestone. I was told this by multiple firms.

I think the new SEF will do something regarding renewals.
We just have to follow the news and updates.

If you get the chance, I don’t recommend renewing your GV. As you have language, you should apply for the 5 year GV PR.
You won’t have to do renewals or biometrics after granting (you still need to do them to get the PR)…and hopefully your naturalization will be complete while the PR is still valid.

Im not sure but I think applying for GV PR is a different process…and maybe it won’t follow the same slots allocations for GV.

I will ask my lawyer and see if she knows anything about this.



Thanks. Sure PR is better but substantially more expensive especially with a family.
Also not sure of wait times, my lawyer avoided this option due to cost but maybe it would have been worth it as am not sure whether citizenship will come in the window suggested.

If you have any info on PR process plse let me know. I will also ask my lawyer but he is slow in answering.

Would love to hear any inputs or if anyone has info on how to get faster appointments.

Thanks again


Dear Bisho, what do you mean by a 5 year GV PR? I can only find info on a 2-year GV. Would you happen to have a link? Thank you for the information.


When you complete 5 years, you have 4 options

1- apply for citizenship
2- renew your GV
3- apply for GV PR
4- apply for normal PR

Option 1 can be done in parallel with any other option.
You need to have A2 language level and provide some additional documents…the process takes 1.5-2 years.

Option 2 is standard and similar to any renewal you did before. You will get a new card with 2 year duration.

Option 3 is a 5 year PR specially designed for GV holders who have completed 5 years. It requires a language A2 level, and costs 7000 Euros (approx). This allows you to be a resident for 5 years without residing in the country. There is a very nice post about this in the forum here.

Option 4 is a 5 year PR, which costs almost nothing.
It requires a language A2 level and requires you to reside in Portugal for 180 days for every year.

Due to the current situation I recommend anyone who reaches 5 years apply for citizenship immediately and in parallel apply for GV PR.



Thank you for your detailed answer. I will search GV PR here to obtain more information. EUR 7000 is a hefty sum, but I suppose that you are assuming that it may take over 2 years for citizenship approval so 2 GV renewals plus travel expenses will add up to that or more?

I’d love to hear about your progress and I will post about mine, although I’m not sure how much help that will be as you seem to be 1 year ahead of me. Good luck!


Hello all,

Since you’ve been in this process and almost reached the final stage, do you recommend this program for someone like me who is about to start? I see there are too many delays from gaining the 1st card and during the renewals and now your seeing more delays on the citizenship! I feel that there’re too many ambiguity about the whole process so is it really worth it?


What’s your alternative plan to get an EU passport? The PTGV is still one of the better programs, despite the delays etc.

If you can move the D7 is a much better plan imo though


It has been reported that SEF is set to be extinguished by December 2022. The functions of initial application processing for new residence permits will be transferred to a new agency (APMA). Biometric appointments are going to be available in local Town Halls, and additional service centres. Citizenship applications are processed by the Justice Ministry, not SEF. Let’s hope renewals will be processed much quicker in the future.

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SEF has been close to being extinguished before, so probably best to take the claims of it being replaced in December with a grain of salt. Likely happens eventually, but I wouldn’t bet on December. And while one may hope the transition helps the process eventually, I find it hard to imagine the transition going smoothly. If nothing else, this experience should teach us patience and to learn that when someone shows you again and again that they don’t meet deadlines, you’re the crazy one if you believe they’ll finally do it this time. Good lessons, both!


Reorganization of SEF may not exactly be finalised by the end of the year, although (sept 21) the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs did state that the Govt. wished to accomplish the objective by Dec 2022. However, since the Orçamento do Estado (State Budget) 2023 (will be discussed in parliament 26/27 Oct and finalised in November) now explicitly includes funds for the restructuring of SEF (transferring competencies to the PSP, GNR and PJ) and creating the new entity for administrative matters regarding immigrants it is an indication that slippage of timelines is planned and costed for! Expresso | Governo prevê concretizar no próximo ano reestruturação do SEF
As has already been pointed out (above and earlier) SEF Pre-Approval : Sharing Status - #581 by Lourenco) reorganization of a big and powerful bureaucracy invariably involves upheaval and chaos.

Here’s the detailed post on the options:

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To go with this program depends on your intentions.

Portugal GV is currently the only program that until this day (this could change) that offers a passport without actually residing in the country.

If you can reside in some European country or have no intention or need for a passport I don’t recommend Portugal GV…there is Spain, Greece and others with much more streamlined process.

However, even with it’s delays, it’s the only option for me.
I can not currently reside physically in Portugal and my goal is naturalization.

The only risk I see right now are delays, and uncertainty regarding Naturalization process since the awarding of passports is so limited, we barely have any statistics…

My advice, is proceed with Portugal GV, but keep a backup plan Incase you decide to scrap the whole thing with minimum losses.

I invested in a resort and it’s next to impossible to forfeit my investment at this time.

I hope the above helps you make an informed decision.