SEF Appointment: Sharing Status (?)

How about outsourcing the biometrics and the application submission? There is a wotld company called VFS and they do that for many countries visa processing. You get an appointment with them and you bring your visa application, all supporting documents and they do the biometrics. They make sure you have everything in the check list. Once that is done they send your application to the embassy office the processes visa applications. Oh yes, you also include a prepaid FedEx envelope so thattheycansend your passport back. That would definitely speed things up. No pre approval, you either get it or you don’t! I just did this to get a long stay visa in France because the Portuguese visa is taking too long.

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I agree, it’s all a matter of intention. Yes there are things that could be done to improve the process. My broader point is that all of them take time and effort, probably some of them require significant effort - what seems easy to us on the outside can be a royal PITA to do on the inside for reasons the people on the outside can’t see - and when you are bogged down and distracted with 20 different demands on you, probably the last thing you are going to do is attempt to improve the process for this tiny fraction of the workflow, especially if the applicants themselves aren’t exactly a popular topic in the first place either with the general populace or indeed with the staff.

VFS doing biometrics is fairly clearly a no-go - it doesn’t work that way for D7 either - you can do some of the paperwork through VFS but you still have to go stand in front of a SEF officer and have your biometrics taken in country. This is actually written in the law - your application must be made while physically standing on national soil (and I bet embassies don’t count for the purpose). VFS doing paperwork probably means reworking the contract and we all know how government procurement works.

Has anyone managed to travel to Portugal with an expired Título? My wife’s residence permit expired few months ago and we have not been able to schedule an appointment for her 3rd renewal since then.
We are planning to go to Portugal this summer (travel directly to LIS without transiting through any other EU country) but just wanted to make sure we won’t have any trouble.
Our lawyer is confident that we will not face any issues with SEF entering Portuguese territory but the airline might not accept an expired document.
I do recall someone suggested traveling with Turkish Airlines though…


Hi. I would think the problem will be at the departing airport. Either the airline or the immigration will not let you board the departing flight.
SEF should not have a problem if you manage to get to Portugal.
I suggest you get a Schengen visa from France or other country.

My friend was in a smae situation some years ago, while not in PT. She got Schengen visa from PT consulate.

Your recollection is correct: SEF Appointment: Sharing Status (?) - #474 by Mr.E


Hi all, I’ve read some latest threads but couldn’t find anyone with similar situation. My GV application was submitted in Dec2020. Status of application on the SEF platform showed it has been accepted. As I still haven’t gotten the invite of biometric appointment, just wonder if anyone reading this is also experiencing such long pending time?

Three of my friends applying GV at the similar time has already gotten their appointment slots back in Jan2022. I have checked with my lawyer (we used the same law firm) again and again and they keep telling me my application is still pending for SEF’s notification email. I’m truly worried of my application status but besides asking the law firm (which am getting them annoyed perhaps), I can’t do anything else… sigh.

Definitely don’t worry about annoying your lawyers - you’re paying them! I can’t offer any other advice unfortunately but maybe some of the other smart folks around here will have suggestions

I saw this on Facebook today.

I’m really confused. There are people on this thread who have submitted after that date, and gotten appointments…?

O portal SAPA esta nao o portal ARI.

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Hi @foil_gem_0m _gem , don´t worry. When did your application received the pre-approval status (online approval)? We have similar situations with some of our clients. It seems that SEF has only notified those who have received the pre-approval (online) in the first quarter 2021.
Yesterday we have received some notifications from SEF. So things might be moving forward…

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HI @DumontdosSantos
Could you please explain what exactly you received from SEF.
After being pre-approved in Mar 2020, I received an email for scheduling biometric appointment from SEF in Dec 2021, but within the duration I supposed to make an appointment, the SEF agenda was closed for me (This is what my lawyer insisted in).

So it is interesting to know what exactly is the notification and movement you have received from SEF.

Same case here, pending since pre-approved in March 2020. My lawyers have not received anything yet.

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In my belief your case is cause for immediate escalation . Unfortunately it is not clear who to escalate with. I think that is why you pay lawyers to solve these types of problems.

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If you know any lawyer in Portugal who can escalate it, I am ready to hire him/her for that rather than my current lawyer!!


All lawyers are facing same issues. That is why a delegation of lawyers met the minister recently.

Hi @DumontdosSantos, thank you for sharing the information! My lawyer just told me that the SEF has closed GV appointments since January, and I’m confused is SEF still sending invitations now? Could you share more information about the current situation please? I got my pre approval back in March 2021 and am still waiting. Thank you!

Thanks Dumontdos. I have checked with my lawyer that:

  1. the law firm did receive my biometric invite during Dec2021 but missed the message. Having said that, SEF required me to complete the biometric within a week which my law firm thinks is rather impossible. During the process, the law firm has been helping me to request another slot but never hear from SEF.

  2. my parent is my dependent GV applicant and no pre-approval is obtained since Dec2020. My lawyer claimed they have contacted SEF to ask the status and the contact person verbally confirmed the application is actually good to go, however the status is not changed in the portal (hence cannot make biometric appointment).

  3. my law firm said they have bombarded SEF with enquiry emails but SEF never response. The lawyer has attempted to visit SEF physically but the SEF people say they’d require to book an appointment in advance, and again it goes back that my lawyer has sent the appointment request without response from SEF.

Seems it’s a mess in SEF and no one in the government really cares. Any similar situation perhaps someone in here have also encountered can give me some advice? Totally frustrated…

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