Submitting Application without Background Check Apostille?

Question: Rossio Palace videos say you can submit an Application with a Background Check, but without the Apostille of the Background Check (which you can include later).

Do other reputable lawyers (Prime Legal?) agree with this?

THIS is my bottle neck, I had a background check done mid-March and immediately submitted an Apostille knowing it was a bottleneck as I awaited legal updates and government announcements.

Wed my congresswoman’s team contacted them to ask for expedition, but if the original ETA stands, I will have it mid-May so likely too late to apply.

I’m ready on all other fronts, had NIF in 2021, Portugal Bank Account with Funds and EUR 10k Deposit on Property already made. I have a legal team (who when I asked about this 2 weeks ago said I needed the Apostille, but if other legal experts say it can be done later I’d rather just apply without it)


It is my understanding that you can apply with the unapostilled report but must submit the apostilled version before the application is finalized. So yes, get it in sooner than later.


I have heard that it’s possible to submit it without the apostille from some of the most experienced law firms in terms of having processed the most GV clients. Your application will count as submitted and you’ll get a process number. SEF (or whoever will take over their role) would still request it before pre-approving your application, but the application would not be rejected as long as the unapostilled background check is included in the initial submission.

I believe this is based on their experience e.g. with the transition to the new rules at the end of 2021.

That being said, it sounds to me that you’re very very likely to get the apostille in time. It’s extremely unlikely that the changes will become law in less than a month. So my 2 cents would be to finalize your investment, get the deed or whatever else is needed. Make sure your application is ready to go with the click of a submit button in case things unexpectedly move faster than anticipated with the lawmaking process and promulgation.

The law will only enter into force the day after it has been promulgated, even if no transition period is agreed upon. So even if it makes it all the way to the president’s hands before you get the apostille, your lawyers will still have time to submit in time.

Edit: I will add that it’s likely that if the past year and a half is any indication, the closer to the deadline you wait with submitting your application, the longer the wait for approval is likely to become.


Hi everyone, my lawyer submitted my criminal records, birth cert. without apostilled/legalized in early March, the application fee was paid a few days later. Now I have all documents apostilled/legalized, does anyone know if I can submit the documents on ARI portal now or should wait for SEF to notify me/my lawyer to submit to apostilled/legalized documents?

Thank you in advance for your help.

I had a similar situation in Oct 21 and my lawyers decided not to upload the apostilled docs so as not to delay submission. The apostilled docs are required to be valid at the Biometrics. Im glad they made the decision not to delay, because my uninterrupted submission was in Oct 21, rather than later. And it did not “delay” pre-approval, in the sense that I was not asked for it, before pre-approval. It is, in the end, a judgement that you and your lawyers have to make.


Hi Onward, thanks for sharing your experience. Could you confirm you got pre-approval without uploading/sending the apostilled docs?

Confirmed. Your SEF officer may require it, but if so they will ask for it before pre-approval and give you
a 10-day period to submit. I was asked for something else before pre-approval, but not for an apostilled doc.


Thanks for confirming

1 Like

Given that it is impossible to apostille a background check in 10 days in the US, it seems fairly risky to hope the SEF officer processing your pre-approval will not ask for it?

The question, as I understood it, was whether one should deposit the document now online - and risk the application going to a later chronological starting point. OR see if SEF asks for the apostilled document before pre-approval.
In my case, my lawyers took the view that it was wiser to submit earlier and make sure it was updated asap and again for biometrics. The OP has an updated apostilled doc now. SEF have not asked for it. SEF may not ask for it for preapproval. But they may. They will certainly require it at biometrics.
So it is a judgement call - ie whether to file the apostilled version now. Risks - a change to the application date. Positives: SEF will only ask for it if they believe it is essential, in which case the current version (lasting 6 months) can be filed when they ask for it, with a new one at a later biometrics. And if it is filed when SEF ask for it, it has not changed the date of the application.
It is a judgement call for the OP and their lawyers.


Can’t you upload new docs at any point to your application between submission and pre-approval? If so I’d imagine submitting with whatever you have, then uploading final docs as you are able is best.

This is speculation of course.

1 Like

One can. The “unknown” is whether this uploading changes the application date for SEF. Or not.

Does anyone have further info on this? We are thinking of submitting the background check without an apostille and then updating with apostille as soon as we get it. Don’t want to get “pushed back” in line if we do so