SEF processing time for initial application?

I just applied through my lawyers last week-ish. Anyone have recent data points on how long it took to get preliminary approval?

My experience was about 10 weeks. Documents were submitted mid December 2020 and preapproval received early March 2021. Recent comments on another thread have reports of about 2 months.

You probably know that the next step (SEF biometric appointment) is a completely different matter. :roll_eyes:

Thank you! Yeah the biometrics will be a great adventure I’m sure…

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Have you any updates on your biometrics appointment?

I just spoke with my lawyer today and she received a preliminary approval for another client yesterday and that one took 8 weeks from submission. She said in June/July they were running about 10 weeks which was in improvement from as high as ~18 weeks last year. The “normal” processing time is ~6 weeks so it seems like things are getting better (…at least until the flood of applications rolls in at the end of the year).

for what it’s worth - I had a chat with a lawyer last week who indicated 6-8 weeks from submission to pre-approval.

Hi All, Just wanted to let you know that I got my Golden Visa residency card issued for an initial 2 years last month. It has nothing but a roller coaster waiting ride from the beginning. Kindly shoot me anything you want to ask, shall be happy to answer.

Hi Everyone, i’ve been anxiously waiting for my Residence Card - It’s been almost ONE whole year since my biometrics in Oct 2020. I flew down to Lisbon as had an appointment and got the biometrics done as the primary investor. But i keep on being told that my Residence card (which should have been ready in 3-5 months from the biometrics) is in the last stage! Anyone here on this forum who’s had the biometrics done and is now waiting…and waiting…and waiting?

Hello

As a lawyer working on Golden visa procedures, I can confirm that the immigration office didn’t release any slot for several days, except slots with very little antecipation.

What we have been suggesting our clients is to travel to Portugal and wait (and hope) for a slot to appear.

My firm has divided a 24 hour schedule between all of our member of the golden visa team and we keep searching for slots with very little antecipation for our clients that are in Portugal

Another issue, is that many often, people that have appointments done and don’t have the means to come to Portugal, don’t cancel the appointments in the ARI portal, so that other applicants may take it.

If the situation is already complicated, if people don’t cancel the appointments when they know that they are coming, this makes the situation a lot worst.

Hi Mate, as per information I know there are no backlogs at this point of time as the Residency permits have been processed quite quickly in the past recent months. I got mine & the family members cards have been delivered to my lawyers office in Lisbon within 4 weeks after the fingerprints. You should check with the law firm if you are using one. It is impossible to make a phone call to SEF but the lawyer should have the Technical Administrators email, who shall be able to respond to the Lawyers request on a priority basis. 1 year is bit of a drag, I share your pain but you have to work with your law firm to sort this out.

Thank you for your prompt reply.
Yes, everything is being done by the lawyers and all i get as answers from them - is that it will happen soon.
When did you do your biometrics?
Your mail gives me greater push to ‘take this up strongly’ with the lawyers.

Hi Tommy,

Just wanted to clarify again - after i spoke with my lawyers in Lisbon citing your case (of having received the Residency Card 4 weeks after biometrics) and they were very surprised.

  • You did your biometrics/fingerprints just a few months ago and recieved the RC 4-5 weeks later?
  • This was not a renewal but a new Residency card - for the first 2 years?
  • Did you do your biometrics in Lisbon?
  • During pendency of the RC, did the SEF require any clarifications or additional documents from you/your lawyers or was it just straight through processing?
    Any other information that may help me to get my lawyers to sit up, take notice and act with the SEF for my Residency Card.
    I Must add in my case the SEF DID ask for 2 clarifications (though both had already been provided in all documents submitted in Oct) as late as April 21 and July 21 and were once again provided with the information. (Biometrics were done in Oct 2020!)
    Could this have led to delay?

Sorry - piled you with lots of questions…but much appreciate your time in answering
Thanks

  • You did your biometrics/fingerprints just a few months ago and received the RC 4-5 weeks later?
    Correct

  • This was not a renewal but a new Residency card - for the first 2 years?
    Yes, this is the initial application and not the renewal

  • Did you do your biometrics in Lisbon?
    Nope, not in Lisbon, it was in Algarve

  • During pendency of the RC, did the SEF require any clarifications or additional documents from you/your lawyers or was it just straight through processing?

They have requested me to submit the latest papers from the Financas and one more certificate (issued within portugal), I have designated the POA to my lawyer to do the same and it was taken care by the law firm and everything went well. The new card issued is in Light Blue Colour with 2 years initial validity.

-Any other information that may help me to get my lawyers to sit up, take notice and act with the SEF for my Residency Card.

I started my GV application in early Nov 2020 and got the ARI cards issued in the first week of Aug. So, it was close to 9-10 months for the whole process to be completed.

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