SEF Scheduling Update

Good news I suppose! Hopefully everyone will start getting scheduled according to when their initial application was approved.

SEF implements ARI schedules in chronological order
The Service of Foreigners and Borders (SEF), based on the principles of equality, opportunity and availability, implements, from today, the scheduling methodology for granting residence permit for investment activity (ARI) in chronological order, through notification to citizens and their representatives. As for the expressions of interest in the SAPA Portal, the SEF began to contact citizens with appointments for ARI concession in chronological order of payment date of the analysis fee and its application status accepted, until the first quarter of 2020, thus allowing the availability of a schedule for all investors in a more transparent manner, balanced and fair.


My attorney sent me this information today and while my case was submitted well after Q1 2020 and it will likely be awhile till I can schedule mine, I’m happy to see this change. Now, we don’t have to worry about whether or not our attorney is doing everything they can to fight for appointment slots.

FYI, source of this change:

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I’m in the same boat, but at least there seems to be some kind of order and possibly forward progress approving. I wonder if there are different queues from different visas or the investors and their representation had their concerns heard from higher up.


This is exactly why I’m so happy about this news. It’s muuuch easier to wait for an appointment without worrying about our attorney hustling enough!

I submitted my application in June, 2020 and got the ARI - Notificacao de Aceitacao in late August. Does it mean I will have a chance for biometric appointment soon? :thinking: :thinking: My lawyer have not yet told me the above update.

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Considering they’re on Q1 of 2020, you’re higher up on the list, but until appointments start being scheduled, we won’t know exactly when it’ll shake out.

Looks like they are now up to Q4 of 2020. From the SEF FB page:

Starting this Tuesday, those interested with ARI applications, for the fourth quarter of 2020, will begin to be notified by the Foreign and Border Service (SEF) to schedule. Overall, there are about 1.680 applications, thereby completing all applications submitted by the end of 2020.
It is recalled that the SEF began on 15 December scheduling in chronological order to grant ARI, and citizens whose application was accepted until September 2020 have already been notified, i.e. more than 2.500 notifications

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I have not yet received any notifications from my lawyer, although my application was accepted in August, 2020. I don’t know why but just sent email to ask them. :pensive:


Got the news from my lawyer, only have 1 out of 3 spots available for biometrics appointment, and the latest booking date is 18th January, 2021.

I am not currently in Portugal and the tight travel restriction in my home country, just makes the case even harder to proceed.

@codeastar, when did you get your provisional approval? Trying to figure out the lead time on these appointments, but from the sound if it, they’re moving through them pretty quickly. Maybe not Roman Abramovich quick, but quick nonetheless.

Question to everyone who’s gotten biometrics, scheduled for biometrics, or even possibly approval. Did you all have to resubmit your apostilled FBI background check or was that just for provisional approval?

Yup. Needs to be current as of the appointment.

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Yup. Up to date FBI background check plus apostille is required

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Hi, It is a question to all too. Why is the date so soon? Are we allowed to book a date a few months in advance? Recently, one of my friends’ lawyer also told her to have the biometrics appointment in early January. Of course, she can’t make it given the Covid travel situation.

I encourage you to go now if you can get appointment. There are plenty of people travelling right now to Portugal for SEF appointments despite the COVID situation. When I was at SEF office recently it was full. What is your country of origin?

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Yes. My lawyers initially booked a date for me in Mid-Feb. I requested them to give me one a few weeks later in March, and they were able to reschedule it successfully, for both me and my wife.

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Thank you for your information, Andrew. I am glad to hear that you got the appointment when you are available. My lawyers have not yet got a date for me, though I think SEF have notified them that they can book an appointment because my application was accepted in the 3rd quarter of 2020. Actually, I can’t get away till the late February. Hope that I will be as lucky as you. All the best! :grinning:

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Thank you for the information. I have not yet got a date from my lawyer, but anyway I can’t get away until late February indeed.

I’ve received the latest from my lawyers. Looks like things are moving along. We were approved in May 2021 and they have people getting biometrics from Feb. 2021 - See the attachment below.


Hello Matt, it should be around the Q1 of 2021.