PR or GV Renewal

Hi. Have been a resident for 5+ years on a GV and applied for citizenship.

However, my GV cards are expired for a year or more. Used the time extensions (decree laws) for them to be valid for now.

Considering doing an automatic renewal for myself and family but will cost around 14k euro. Will it make sense for me to do a PR application instead? I only have until July with the latest extension.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!

I would wait until July and decide then for the reasons that:

  • you may receive your citizenship by then;
  • your current expired GV may still be prolonged further than July by the next ‘despacho’;
  • your current expired GV will continue to be valid even under the current ‘despacho’ IF you schedule a renewal (which you can still do just before end of June).
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Thanks @tommigun! Appreciate the verry reasonable advice (especially if it saves me 14k!)

Just getting tired of banks, immigration officers and others asking for valid / current residence cards. And the anxiety when returning to Portugal via transit flights. Also a slight concern that SEF/AIMA may check for a renewed residency before awarding nationality (although technically the July extension makes the cards valid - but we know that things are not always interpreted correctly from one official to the next…)

Does anyone have any experience if a Permanent Residence application is quicker than citizenship? It is a pain though - more criminal certificates, apostilles, language certificates etc. Also, does anyone have any recommendations to an experienced immigration lawyer that understands the technicalities?

Keep in mind there are two PRs you can apply for. The GV PR is much more expensive but you have lower stay requirements. The standard PR is much cheaper but you ha e to spend the majority of your time in Portugal.

@susanayang had a good summary from a few years back.

What I’ve read elsewhere (on here too I think) is that applying for GV PR takes even longer than citizenship. As a GV holder you may not be eligible to apply for normal PR (although there are plenty of sources online that say you can, if you meet the residency requirements).

Joe, I assume you are living in Portugal and your naturalization application has been in the system just over 1 year.

Points to consider:

  • The current estimate is around 2 years for a naturalization process.
  • You don’t need a ‘GV PR’ since you’re already living in Portugal, normal PR should be good enough.
  • But for any PR, you need an in-person appointment. My lawyer says no appointments are available, and no idea how long it will take to get one.
  • The danger is that when AIMA does resume in-person appointments, they might shut down the automatic online renewal for GV, and get snowed under an avalanche of applications and take forever to process them the old way. This would leave you in limbo, with no quick option for either PR or renewal of the 2 year GV card.

As of today, automatic online renewal is the only process which works reasonably quickly. So if I was eligible I would grit my teeth and use it, and think of the 14k as positively the last installment of the “GV tax” - the naturalization will almost certainly come through well before this card expires. Of course, if your naturalization application is close to 2 years in the system, then it might make more sense to wait a few months and put up with the pain of explaining expired cards and extensions to everyone.

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Depends on what stage of naturalization are you at the moment. Conservatory requests SEF/AIMA on yr current residency status on the stage 3-4, and you need to have it valid and not just covid-extended. It is not written anywhere, but we have lot of evidences that it works this way. If you passed stage 4, you may just wait your birth certificate

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Thanks @minimaxr and @seagu77. My lawyer suggests that “Covid-extended” means that all residence visas are valid - since it is in the Law-Decrees. And the nationality law is clear that “proof of 5 years of valid residence” are all that is stated, nothing about remaining a valid resident currently. But of course, officials in the conservatory offices may not be aware of this or interpret the law based on their opinions

Yes, I live in Lisbon and have been for 5+ years. It sounds like a PR application won’t beat a June 30 deadline ("Covid Extension / SEF-Aima migration). And to be safe, having valid cards will make everything more formal. Alternatively, I could wait until July in the hope that the citizenship is approved or an extension happens as suggested by @tommigun

My attorney is saying that AIMA is not processing renewals online? Anyone else hear this?

Autorenewals are not opened yet for 1st quarter. And nobody knows if it opens at all.