You don’t have to wait for an invitation, it just seems that SEF’s latest protocol is to open up the appointment calendar to groups of people based upon [when they applied] [when they were pre-approved] (not sure which of those events is the basis). They may change it tomorrow…
Previously, there was no need to wait for an invitation, you could go ahead and book biometrics straight after your pre-approval. But, there were no appointments available to book…
That situation was ‘improved’ late last year, so now appointments are always available upon invitation. But, you need to wait for invitation…
The latest round of invites on Jun 24th was sent based on [when they applied] with the cut-off at Sep 30th 2021.
But you’re right, this may change for the next round.
Are you sure? There must be a period for that since my pre-approval was on March 2020 and I did not received the invitation for Biometric.
Reza - I’ve seen reference on this site to a “black hole” for those who applied and/or got pre-approved right before the COVID shutdown. Everything went dark, and then they started randomly assigning appointment openings, and then they started a more systematic approach. I will bet SEF made an incorrect assumption that they had handled everyone who was pre-approved or had applied prior to “X”, and therefore started the systematic approach with applications received at “X” date.
I would definitely contact my lawyer if I were you to try to get some pressure on SEF for people in your situation.
Thank you. I contacted him many times, and he said always he can not do anything but praying!!!
I really don’t know what to do. Any suggestion?
The only possibilities I see would be (a) keep waiting and join him in praying, (b) find a new lawyer and hope that your old lawyer transfers all your files in a timely fashion and that your new lawyer is better, or (c) ask your lawyer to separate your application from all the others this lawyer has and facilitate allowing you to access SEF portal yourself. Then You’ll have access to appointment slots when they open, rather than your lawyer having that access. There’s no guarantee that this would work, though.
If it were me, I would be staying on top of my lawyer at least twice a month, if not every week, to remind him that I am here and not going away, and to remind the lawyer of the unfairness of my dilemma. And I would always be upbeat and nice to him - even when pushing him. Might help, probably won’t hurt.
To (a) I pray as I can not do anything else
To (b) I tried, but the new lawyer said mine is one of the best and it is better to rely on him and soon it will be solved by SEF!
To (c) I have my own access, check the SEF site every day, but there is no open slot
I do it from time to time, but I try to do it weekly.
Well, I’m sorry you’re in that situation, but it certainly sounds as if you’re as well-situated as you can be under the circumstances. Best of luck!
There are a couple of things I’d suggest, although please note I personally did not try these.
First, try to change the lawyer to the one who can help. You can explicitly ask the prospective lawyer that you want them to solve the specific issue, and that you are not going to pay if they can’t.
I bet you will have to discard a dozen before you find ‘the right one’.
Second, you may chance going solo to one of the SEF’s offices (not Lisbon) and telling them you’re not leaving until they give you an appointment.
There are immigrant support groups in Portugal like https://www.mundofeliz.pt/ maybe they have contacts at SEF who can get your file back in the line for appointments?
Biometrics done last week (whole family).
Everything went well, photo, fingerprints, signatures.
Now to wait for the residence card (4-6 months, per the lawyer).
Can you share your lawyer’s info if you were satisfied? and did it take 1 year?
Same for us. Lisboa last week for biometrics and hopefully cards issued before end of year.
Thought I would share my time line. It took a while but I finally made it through the process.
Mid-Oct. 20. - Investment made and SEF initial application
Feb. 3- 21 - Pre-approval of application
Late Dec. 21 - Biometric appointment scheduled
March 3, 22. - Biometric appt. in Porto
July 11, 22 - Application approved
Aug 1, 22. - Attorneys have my residency card in their
I will pick up when I travel back to Lisbon later this year.
We have the exact same timeline as you, Poe. Hoping it’s smooth going from this point onwards.
Tangentially, the Guardian newspaper in the UK today details the problems faced by UK nationals resident in Portugal who can’t get the SEF to issue residency cards.
Damn. Applied May 2021, Pre approval Oct 2021, and so far nothing on a biometric appointment. 11 months since pre-approval and counting.
If nothing by November I’m seriously considering starting the D7 process while I’m back in the US for a visit.
Does anyone know if you can keep your GV application live while applying for a D7? That would allow me to return to my home in Portugal without having to wait 90 days due to being bound by the limitations on a tourist visa if I give up HV pre-approval.
I just got notified by Monument Visa that the US State Dept. notified them that the current wait for an apostille is 4-5 weeks, which means in reality it is probably longer. I applied to get the FBI clearance to be apostilled on Jul 1 and am still waiting for it.