Police Clearance for Golden Visa Dependents (country of birth & country of residence)

Hi everyone. I am relatively early in the process of getting a Golden Visa from Portugal (in particular I am gathering the documents to make the application). This forum has given me quite a lot of insight on some of the challenges and I appreciate the sharing of information.

I have received conflicting information from my lawyer and other immigration consultants about one aspect, and thought I would ask what other people’s experience has been.

Me, my wife and my parents were all born in a different country to the country we currently live (and have been living for many years). Indeed my parents have not lived in their country of birth for over 40 years.

I have been told that (as the main applicant), I only need a Police Clearance from my current country of residence, however all my dependents (as they would be under Family Reunification) will required two Police Clearances, one from our current country of residence and another from their country of birth.

Is that what other people have found to be the case? In other words, did your dependents need two police clearances from the two relevant countries? Or is my situation less usual (because we don’t live in the country we were born in).

The reason for my question is that getting Police Clearance from the country of birth is proving more difficult because we are not citizens of that country and nor do we have an address in that country that we can reference (for non-citizens they may consider issuing a Police Clearance if you have been living there recently).

Welcome. I think what you have been told is technically correct. I am in a similar position to you: I am the main applicant, and my wife has not lived in her country of birth for over thirty years. However, I did not submit a police check for her country of birth in my application - just ones for our country of residence, and we received preliminary approval with no problems. It may be, though, that if/when we finally have a biometric appointment, the SEF requests this additional documentation. And of course different SEF offices may have different approaches on this point.

Please refer to my post here responding to the same question:

Technically, what matters is the country of nationality, not the country of birth.
So if your dependants are NOT the nationals of their country of birth then the certificate would not be required.
By the way, I am in the same situation for one of my dependants, and I am not planning to obtain the police cert from their country of birth due to them not being the national/citizen of that country (and never have been).

Thank you both for your responses. Thankfully the country of nationality and residence are currently the same for us, but it sounds like technically both is required (with it being up to the SEF official to decide if they ask for both of them or not). It would be interesting for me to know any experiences people have had, particularly if only one Police Clearance was submitted but then either SEF asked to provide the other one, or alternatively were issued a visa without SEF asking for the other one.

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Not sure what you mean here by ‘both’. If your dependants have the same country of residence and nationality, and they hold no other nationalities, then only one single Police Cert should be required.

The somewhat gray area is whether SEF will look at the ‘country of birth’ on your dependant’s application and decide to request a Police Cert from there. I am not sure if they are allowed that discretion.

That’s a good point. The SEF website says “nacionalidade” in Portuguese but “country of origin” in English (which could be construed differently). I am going to ask my lawyer again.

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That’s why you should always refer to the original Portuguese text :slight_smile:
As far as my limited knowledge goes, “origin” would be “naturalidade”…

I spoke again with my lawyer. He told me that (in his experience) SEF interpret “origin” as country of birth and not nationality.

He also told me that they can ask for it any time before they issue final approval (ie if they realise you haven’t submitted a document they are expecting), which means you may be pre-approved and completed the biometrics and still be asked to provide additional documents (including a potentially hard to get Police clearance).

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Ok, thanks for sharing your lawyer’s advice.
My lawyer advised the opposite :slight_smile: which I hope will turn out to be true with SEF, as I really do not like the idea of my dependant going to their ‘country of birth’ and trying to obtain a police certificate without ever being a resident or a citizen of the said country and not speaking the language.

Hi @tommigun, on the assumption that you already have pre-approval (I think I read that on another thread), do you mind letting me know which location you had your Biometric appointment?

We had a problem. We were living in Malta when we applied so that is the address on our NIF and application. But we left Malta - Lo and Behold SEF asked for a Malta police certificate. Which we could not provide. Lucky we switched to automatic.

Anyone had a similar problem and do you know how to cix it?

I had to obtain a police certificate from a country where the applicant did not have a citizenship or residence ever. Surprisingly it was possible.

I used a ‘facilitator’ firm one of many who deal with obtaining various govt documents in that country, instead of applying directly to the authorities who would have probably refused or taken years to issue.

But it was not Malta.

Does that mean @tommigun that you ultimately did need the Police Clearance from country of birth despite the ambiguity in the law?

Yes, but it was not for me, it was for one of my dependants.

As per the recent forum feedback, the criminal record certificate requirements from SEF are satisfied by:

  • country of residence for main applicant
  • country of residence AND country of birth for each dependant

Yes that’s what my lawyer indicated in my first post of this thread. I think you had pointed out that the law suggested ‘nationality’ rather than birth.

I hope I can manage this for my dependents as I am told that I need to provide an address where they lived (while being a foreign citizen), which was registered in the Foreign Registration Office, but that’s not really applicable for my parents (who haven’t lived for more than 40 years and all visits while they were foreign citizens were as tourists who don’t get registered in the FRO).

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Right, I see what you mean, there were many other later posts on this forum including some from me with the consensus that it is better to be ready and present both “country of residence” and “country of birth” police certificates.
The law is vague, but the SEF’s interpretation has been like this apparently.
So what I did was just requesting the certs from the country of birth before our biometrics and it turned out to be successful. The “country of birth” in my case did not ask for any local address, or any other details except the name, current nationality and passport.

I imagine each country’s rules are a bit different on that…