SEF ARI Portal - Did you register yourself or just let lawyer handle this?

For those of you who have submitted your GV application, did you register yourself on the SEF ARI portal or did you just let your lawyer handle everything?

And, if you let your lawyer handle everything, do you have access to the SEF ARI site such that you are able to see the status of your application and say book your own appointment for biometrics if a slot happens to open up?

Ideally, my attorney and I would each have separate accounts but could see the same information about my application and that either of us could for example book an appointment, but not sure how the site is setup.

I have not yet registered but from what I know by speaking with lawyers is that you can have these options:

  1. Lawyers register - you will have NO access as the lawyers handle multiple client accounts under single login hence they cannot share it with you.
  2. You register - you will certainly have access but your lawyers will not. Technically you can share your login/password with your lawyer if you want them to do something on the portal, like checking appointment slots.

Thanks. That unfortunately was what I was suspecting.

I like my lawyer/firm and trust them so not having direct access wouldn’t normally bother me. However, given how hard it is to get an appointment for biometrics, it would have been nice if either me or my lawyer could have booked one when something opens up. Instead, looks like I’m going to be subject to them jumping on an appointment and hoping that I can make it over to PT in time…

I’ve finished the whole process recently, and this is how it is at the moment.
The lawyer registers on SEF portal on your behalf. You can do it yourself, but there is no difference.
There is one account meaning 1 username and 1 password. You both can access it, if you want - no problem here, just share the login. No benefit either. The lawyer is indicated in the application as your representative.
If you hire a lawyer to handle the process for you - she/he will upload your documents and schedule an appointment instead of you. That’s all that you can do at the portal - 1 time upload, and 1 appointment.

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Is there a settings somewhere to change that login email?

Not that I see of. I only see the email of the representative as an editable field.

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Hi All, just as an update - I registered myself on the SEF portal without a reference to my lawyer.
As per above notes, I have done that to ensure I have full control over the documents being submitted, and also to have the ability for scheduling the SEF appointments by myself.

I also thought it would be possible to add my lawyer’s email during the registration so that my lawyer could possibly log in as needed to help me with SEF appointments.
But it turned out the SEF portal requires that email to be already pre-registered with them somewhere by the lawyer.
So either my lawyer is registered with SEF under some other email address, or (most likely) they are not registered at all :cowboy_hat_face:

I am wondering: if you put in a registered lawyer that is recognized by the system, do you still have full control of your account?

I wonder what date are they asking for in the “Address” section - “Commencement of residence period” field?
Is that the date when I moved in to my current address (i.e. could be very recent), or the date when my residence period started in my home country (i.e. some very long time ago)?

Looking at the questions you ask here in this thread, I’d strongly advise you to hire a good lawyer. You will have much more tricky things to deal with and tens of them. You didn’t even catch a glimpse of the Portuguese bureaucracy in all it’s glory :slight_smile:
So, abandon hope (of doing something personally) and get a proper immigration lawyer.

I think you would still have full control in that case.
SEF would then send email notifications to both you and your lawyer.

IMHO: share the account creds if necessary. Both you and the lawyer need access to the account - the lawyer will typically be doing the uploads and the bookings, you can download the submitted documents to verify exactly what was submitted, flag any data entry errors which they may have overlooked. And of course you will be checking for status and open slots more frequently than them.

However, it is important to be in sync about who will be making any changes to the account, especially bookings - the appointment date, time and location needs to work for both the lawyer and you. No point in attending the biometrics session without them.

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Just an observation from my experience - I would advise checking all the documents before they get uploaded, as I have found the ‘view document’ buttons on the SEF portal do not quite work (at least for me, on any browser).

Yeah, the view documents feature on the ARI portal does not work.


Just checked and yes, the document viewer seems to have stopped working :disappointed:. It was working fine in mid-2019 though.

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Can you change the lawyer email after signup? I want to sign up but if I use the wrong email for the lawyer I want to make sure I can change post sign up.

With the disclaimer that I have not tried it myself (see my post above), it looks like the change of lawyer’s email is allowed after sign-up and even after submission.
However, as I mentioned you are not allowed to just use ‘wrong email’ as your lawyer’s email needs to be already registered with SEF somehow. Switching from one registered lawyer to another mid-way is apparently allowed though.

So I registered online myself and added my lawyers email as my legal representative. He has now confirmed that I show up in their portal as well. So looks like this way BOTH of us have access via each of our portals. Of course, I have not submitted yet, so not sure if this will actually give us both access - will report back once I get farther down the process if both of us are actually able to secure appointments for me.

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