Portal ARI unavailable for new applications


We are about to submit our first online application and my lawyer said that it was impossible to apply on the ARI website from January 24, 2022, because there were some technical problems. The system doesn’t allow to submit new processes.
Please tell me, is this true? Has anyone applied since January 24?

Thanks in advance!

I cannot find the post now, but there is one other user that posted that their lawyer submitted the application by paper recently because they could not submit online.

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Welcome to SEF and thank you for your call. For new applicants seeking residency, press 1. For existing residents, press 2.


We regret to inform you that as a result of unexpectedly high intake volumes, the country of Portugal is now full. We are unable to accept any further applications for residency as of this time. Please leave your name and number and we will call you in the event any vacancies become available. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you for your interest and have a pleasant day.





Don’t scare people, mate! :slight_smile:

Yes, the SEF site has all kinds of problems and it is hopelessly outdated. I mentioned to my lawyer that I will volunteer my software development services to SEF in exchange for Portuguese lessons once I am in Portugal. I got a good laugh out of her… but not an approval from SEF yet! :slight_smile:


SEF is updating its site apparently: 2022 changes applied? - #12 by madalenamonteiro


Hi All!
Has anyone found a way out of the situation?
The portal is still not working for new applications.
If I understand correctly, it does not work from January 1, 2022.

Our application was submitted 4th of January, 2022 so if it is not accepting applications it may not have been a hard cutoff on the 1st of January.

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I have the same issue ( from the 21st of January). Besides your case I had already submitted my application in september 2021 but 3 weeks ago SEF requested additional documents to be submitted. Though it’s impossible now. My lawyer said that they will try to send the requested document by paper mail.

Thanks for the information!
Maybe somebody who send documents by paper mail, received the answer from SEF?
Please write about it, it would be useful to everyone.

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Here is a statement from the Mercan legal partner firm IAS:

Some of it is specific to Mercan customers, but the general information is broadly of interest to everyone reading this thread I think.


Really makes me admire IAS. They have great communication . My lawyer has never provided any sort of updates like this.


This article mentions that "The new government should be indicated on the last week of February "

Based on recent news articles I have read, the actual time frame may be March and the new budget not approved until June 2022. Unfortunately, not much may happen between now and then.

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Hi all,

I was just wondering if this gap in time since the Portuguese govt stopped processing applications would directly translate into a delay in our GV application timeframe? I.e. we were previously told that we should expect to get our golden visa by the end of 2022, approximately, but should we now expect that time to be pushed back to June 2023?

Kind regards,

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When did you apply?

SEF has yet to finalise applications lodged in late 2020 (with biometrics not completed). It’s almost the second quarter of 2022.

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I’m currently in the process of transferring the funds and buying the deed. I was previously told this entire process takes around a year or so, which is why I’m wondering if this ARI portal shutdown would have an impact on my overall schedule.

Currently the biometrics booking stopped for pre-approvals from May 2021 onward. Considering 3 months for pre-approval, applicants submitted in Feb 2021 are still not able to book biometrics appointments.

Let’s say SEF send out inviations of appointment booking for May/June 2021 pre-approvals in March 2022 and have biometrics appoint in May 2022. Most likely, these applicants will get the residence permits in Sept 2022. It will be a 18-19 month journey.

Before the pandemic, applications took an average 6 months to complete with residence card in hand. Since the pandemic, applications have taken 18-20 months.

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Hey everyone!
Maybe somebody has news on this issue?
The portal has not been working for 3 months.
3 months no one can submit a new application for Golden Visa in Portugal :frowning:

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The Cabinet of the elected government will likely be announced tonight, and the new Government expected to be sworn in by/on 30th March. Thereafter, the budget discussion and vote. An approved budget allocation is probable very late May or (more likely) June.
All that was expected. But as soon as Russia invaded Ukraine and people began to flee the war, Portugal offered practical support to those fleeing for their lives. Temporary visas and job offers. There is a large, well-integrated Ukrainian community in Portugal. SEF is now on the front line processing visas (~20,000 refugees as of 23th March) the majority mothers with small children.


which is to say, the GV process has probably stopped for a while even if the portal happens to get enabled.