Processing time from biometrics to resident card?

I believe they do mention the country of birth in the application.
However I think you will only have to provide clearance from country of citizenship and country of residence.

@Tosh- the database to enter all data is here: I have also done some analyses of that database, but have not yet posted that analysis.
But if the “sheet” you are talking about is to add you /your wife’s data to the Excel extract above, I can use what you posted previously, as you or your wife had biometrics out of Lisbon. Let me know if you wish the following to be used:
Nov 29 2021 applied
Sept 1 2022 pre-approved (wife a few days after)
16. Jan 2023 biometrics in Porto (me), 10 March 2023 for wife in Funchal.
And you will be one more individual tracking the wait to the card (in Table 2). We dont have anyone in Funchal, yet.

Thanks, my concern with starting from scratch would be that I’d be adding a second data point for my application/pre-approval dates and potentially distorting things if it adds a new row. So I’m very happy if you want to add the data

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Sure. Just to clarify that the data that Chris or I have used for the analyses above was from individuals who reported (ie shared info) in the open posts. Data was not extracted from the Excel database -where the data is anonymous. Indeed, not all people who shared their timelines in the open posts have contributed to the Excel database.

I have a slightly different thought on this court thing. I would like to question whether we can go to court with a request to get the period between pre-approval and card issuance (or at least the unjustified part of it which is roughly 2 years minus say 3 months) count towards the citizenship (or maybe the PR) requirement years. The court cases towards SEF doesn’t seem to produce anything other than a court order for immediate action by SEF. It doesn’t really compensate us for the time that we lose in the whole process. Claiming monetary compensation would be difficult because most of the financial impact would be consequential and difficult to prove. However the time that we lost can actually be given back to us by way of having the clock start from the pre-approval.

I know that this is very far-fetched and I don’t think there would be any prevailing cases however from a fairness perspective it would be the most fair and just outcome. It won’t have any direct cost to the government either as we would not be claiming financial compensation so a fair and courageous judge may rule in our favor. I’m saying this with zero knowledge on Portuguese legal system and technicalities of how to go about it.

Comments and thoughts would be welcome


I thought the same, meaning suing for time compensation. Not an expert on Portuguese legal system either, but I agree that this doesn’t cause any damage to the government. In my personal case, I haven’t got pre approval yet, not to mention biometrics, so I won’t take action i move further along the process.

If you are going the citizenship route, you or your lawyer will need to obtain from SEF “Certidão de contagem de tempo” as proof that you achieved 5 years’ residency. This document covers the periods in which your card was invalid. Thus the time spent waiting for a renewed card can be counted towards citizenship when you get the appropriate letter from SEF - which takes about 1-1.5 months to be issued - (see a recent post: SEF Document Proving 5 Years Residency for Citizenship - #8 by 2bcb21c800144f23f132).

So there is no need to go to Court - and you may be pleased about this because as the Portugal president (a law professor) has said, the legal system moves at a snail’s pace (or slower than SEF). :slightly_smiling_face:

There is an advantage - in the sense that your Contagem de tempo (or the 5 years) may occur early in the period of your last card, thus allowing you some time to apply for citizenship within the duration of your last card.

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This doesn’t cover the time between application and pre-approval or pre approval and biometrics though, no?

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Not sure. But logically it should be from after approval. However, only persons with such a letter from SEF would be able to state what period it covers, with precision.

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This would be a just and appropriate outcome. But the Portuguese residence and nationality system is quite strictly codified, in various pieces of legislation, orders and regulatory decrees. I suspect it’s not in the gift of a court to back-date the start of residence; it probably needs legislative change.

It’s partly why I asked a while back (“Performance Targets” thread) about the performance targets for SEF. It looks like their target is about 8 months all in. However, what of that is a legal requirement is not clear. I’m at double that.

I have been debating asking my lawyer to request that when any residence cards are provided, they start at the 8 month date, or “split the baby” and backdate them to a year from application.

Then I think “it’s a government department and they’re never (anywhere, ever) flexible or customer driven” so may as well save my lawyer’s time.

I think this comes back to where court cases against SEF have been successful they relate to getting SEF to perform (ie schedule an appointment within a given timescale) rather than change the law.

l wonder how much the court cases slow down application processing for the rest of us…

I don’t think that unless you’re living in the country that the time between pre-approval and the card can be counted towards residence. I’ve been wondering, too, about the lost time, but I just don’t see how this can be compensated.

In the proposed court case, I doubt it will be a case “against” SEF because we won’t be claiming anything from SEF. I imagine it will be a determination case, outcome of which can be used while applying for citizenship 5 years after pre-approval. SEF doesn’t deal with citizenship, it is a whole different process.

Again, just speculating with some creative thinking.


Following up on above; my lawyer received the card today, 21st March 2023 so only two weeks between final approval and the card. My lawyer made the payment immediately though.


Makes sense indeed. If only we could at least get the first card, to begin with… And congrats on getting yours!

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Great stuff @Onward ! Quick correction on mine. Biometrics on mine took 7 months, not 13. Aug 22 to Mar 23. And I lost a month there resubmitting a CNCC, so basically 6 months was the actual wait. The Guarda option seems to be in line with other places in terms of processing ti,e, roughly.

At this point I’ve asked my lawyers to get me a booking anywhere other than lisbon, if possible haha

Thanks Peter. Data corrected, and revised table placed in the original post. I will revise again when there are enough new data and new errors that change timelines.