SEF Manual Requirements

Certificado de registo criminal do país de origem, ou do país (ou países) onde resida há mais de
um ano, quando não resida naquele – (certificado por representação diplomática ou consular
portuguesa). Deve ter sido emitido até 3 meses antes da apresentação de toda a documentação
legalmente exigida e traduzido para língua portuguesa (nos termos do artigo 172.º do Código do
Notariado ou nos termos do artigo 38.º do Decreto-Lei n.º 76-A/2006, de 29 de março1


This does not expressly state whether it is the date of document or apostille. “Deve ter sido emitido” could mean either, hence there is room for interpretation since the date of apostille technically validates the document it accompanies.

Thanks for sharing the SEF manual - it is very helpful.


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Apostille does not validate the document per se and does not extend the document’s issue date.
The meaning of the apostille is to verify the signatory of the said document.
Hence there can only be one possible interpretation of the ‘emitido’ - i.e. the date of the document issue itself.

However, as I mentioned earlier - we can theorize here on the forum to our heart’s content, but the ultimate decision rests with SEF. And they can throw an exception at any point before issuing the cards.
So in my opinion it would be most useful to:
a) follow official SEF’s guidance I shared; and,
b) take the conservative option when a requirement is open to interpretations.

That way the applicant would not be misled and rejected based on false hopes that may or may not come true.

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Absolutely. Always err on the side of caution, or you might end up like one of the poor bastards that post here about missing their biometrics appointment and getting lost in the system

I’m thinking of putting up a simple wiki for pt GV, would be much easier than running everything through the forum where things get buried

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Sounds like a good idea. The only issue is: it will be really hard to be consistent and cover all bases. As I pointed out, SEF accepted my FBI docs based on the date of apostille certificate whereas @tommygunn points out that per SEF manual, it is the date of the document itself matters… Go figure.

Give it a try and perhaps we can all “tweak” it based on our experiences.

Yeah the sef doesn’t seem super consistent but I assume the manual is the most conservative position so you can at least target that and hopefully you have no trouble or are over prepared

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Roman, my own documents were not all in a perfect order but SEF ‘accepted’ them too. Remember I only had 7 working days from booking to appointment over Christmas and New Year to refresh everything LOL :grin:
It was hard work and still a few papers not apostilled, not originals etc. etc.
But this is their discretion, not their rule.
If we want to help others on this forum to succeed, I’d rather we refer to the SEF rules so everyone is best prepared as PT GV is a very tricky process as we all now know.

For comparison, I am at the tail end of a residence application in another country, where I went all out relying on my lawyer. A few reasons and differences from my approach to PT GV:

  • much lower investment amount so I was accordingly less concerned
  • much faster process so any exceptions/errors would quickly be known
  • official requirements listed but not in much details (e.g. no ‘SEF manual’ etc. to be found) so I would not be able to ‘follow the rules’ by myself
  • no English-speaking forum to rely on (or indeed any other language forum I could find)
  • the process is much less ‘documentationally’ demanding for the applicant, e.g. no criminal records to supply etc.
  • I hired an awesome lawyer from the start :grin:

Tommy, I never doubt your good intentions. I appreciate your willingness to stay with the governing documents to the letter. I only pointed out that these, despite their imposing and “well-defined” rules, are not ultimately firm and are open to interpretation/argumentation. This is where, just as you pointed out in your other experience, a good lawyer could make a huge difference between long delays and more “streamlined” processing. That is why I encourage others to share their specific experiences to see how much the rules can be stretched and under which circumstances. Hopefully that would be of help to others as well who are yet to travel our paths.

Good luck on all your endeavours.

Any willingness to share the country?

Sent you a pm.

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