Trying to get a SEF appointment for 2 years.

Hello. So I’ve been in Portugal for almost 2 years now, and I’m still waiting for my SEF appointment, I have the letter of interest saying that I’m waiting for an appointment to be given to me and thats about the only thing that makes me legal here I think. I have been told we came over the wrong way, so I’m at the bottom of their list, but I’m hoping someone can give me some advise on how I could possibly speed this up a little. So we came over on a tourist Visa, I bought property here and we opened a business. Applied for our interview with SEF and I’m still waiting. Any advice? I really don’t think our lawyers are doing anything, they said we just have to wait, but I can’t leave Portugal to visit family or anything.

Sounds like you need better lawyers, but also sounds like you did some visa fraud or whatever you call it by entering on a tourist visa and overstaying + starting a business. That all sounds very illegal

I honestly have no idea, we have had lawyers helping us since we first came over to look for a house to buy, then they have been helping us through the whole process, so I’m hoping they haven’t put us through some illegal things. But i think you are right, I need to find better lawyers, do you have any referrals?

I really like Catarina Garrett at AGPC investments, very responsive and friendly.

1 Like

Wonderful. Thank you so much. I will get in touch for sure!!


If you have the pre-approval letter you should be fine to leave and re-enter PT. Have your law firm write a letter explaining the situation and contact the airline to ensure they are onboard. PT immigration is respecting the pre-approval letter. Source: my attorney

1 Like

I will chat to my lawyers and see what they can do, thank you for your info, I will be trying to find a new lawyer though.


Have you had immigration lawyers helping you? Or do you mean real estate lawyers to help with the property purchase?

1 Like

Thats very interesting…I have had to postpone my D7 stage 2 appointiment due to covid…it should have been in early October with my visa expiring 2 weeks later…however SEF have re-sceduled me for June 23 but have given me an email to say that I can remain in Portugal legally until then ! its just crazy.

@ideagirl as far as I know they are just normal everyday lawyers that have been helping us.

@mgs55 Well you’re very lucky to have another appointment set and have a letter to say that you are legal here. How do you get in touch with someone from SEF if i may ask, I’ve been trying to call them but the line is always busy, they never reply to my emails, I really just don’t know what else to do.

Hi .just the normal SEF number…but I tried for days and days…I finally got through early morning around 08.10 . Try different times…Also I had someone with me to translate…but as I said…they were not impressed but they are duty bound to give you a new date if you postpone through COVID…Ime not sure if the new date is a blessing or a curse…it’s a long way off.

@mgs55 I haven’t been lucky enough to get through to them, but having a translator around would probably be a good idea too. I think its a blessing, yes it may be a long way off, but at least you have one, I’ve been sitting around for almost 2 years and still nothing, no idea when I will even be given one.

Ok, speaking as a lawyer myself, there is no such thing as “normal everyday lawyers.” All lawyers have specialties: immigration, real estate, business (i.e. forming and operating businesses, and drafting contracts for business deals), family law (i.e. divorce, prenups, adoption etc.), intellectual property, wills and trusts, criminal defense, business litigation, etc. etc.

Some lawyers specialize in two adjacent areas (say, business and intellectual property, or business and real estate, or immigration law and family law for immigrants). But no competent lawyer would offer to handle multiple unrelated things. “I can help you with all the paperwork needed to buy this piece of land, AND I can also help you immigrate” is not a thing.

It’s kind of like doctors. If you have a heart problem, you go see a cardiologist, not a gastroenterologist. If you need surgery, you see a surgeon, not a family practitioner.

You need an immigration lawyer.

1 Like