My residency permit expired in July, and I have been trying ever since to renew it with no avail.
Trying to update it online, I would get the error that “my residence permit does not allow you to use the automatic renewal feature.” Some on this forum advised me to wait, but after three months of waiting, I decided to start doing something at least.
My lawyer and I tried calling SEF number (+351217115000) asking for an appointment, but they refused, and then they told me to try online again or on the ARI website even though both ways already ended in failure. And they told my lawyer that they don’t process ARI visas and to contact AIMA.
Calling AIMA (+351218106191), they said that they have no access to neither SEF nor ARI systems, and I should just make a complaint.
Now, for the time being, I am out of options, and I hope someone here can help me.
I have read the law and it is only for people with confirmed appointments to renew.
Nope. Extension is for everybody till June 30, 2024 and for those with confirmed appointments beyond that date.
But something is wrong with yr setup, because majority of us with expirations in 2023 were able to renew. SEF/AIMA will not give an appointment because you have the right to autorenew.
Before SEF was replaced by AIMA, usual recomendation was to write to SEF with request to solve the problem. The contacts were in the topic above.
Now, with AIMA, who knows?
Did yr lawyer tried to contact them in 3rd quarter?
Which suggests that you can save some money by only renewing online in June 2024? No need to renew earlier since your card is still valid.
If your card has expired, best renew it online as soon as the portal lets you. Waiting until June 2024, even if it saves one renewal fee, is not a great idea for several reasons:
- Even if it is street legal within Portugal, it’s a tiresome job waving regulations to get people to look past the expiry date.
- An expired card (though valid in Portugal) is highly unlikely to work for entering the Schengen zone via a non-Portuguese airport. This has been endlessly debated during Covid.
- Last and most important, there is no guarantee that online renewal will be continued till June 2024. The online renewal procedure is automatic, with no documentary requirements like proof of stay, criminal check, biometrics refresh etc. etc. and should be grabbed with both hands while it is still available.
AIMA is not cooperative. Only way is to proceed a lawsuit. If you live in Portugal, i believe chance to win is very high. Instead of waiting for months and years, taking actions and bring this to the court is the quickest way. It costs money, but at least you get the response and thing moves forward.
And just one more reason for renew as soon as possible if your investment was via real estate or capital transfer: new law requires conversion to D2 and nobody knows how it will work.
and one more point, I believe, is having two residency cards with issue and expiry that are more than 6 months apart can cause some headache during naturalization (for calculating the 5 years and what not)
unfortunately I don’t live in Portugal and I feel that my lawyer is not experienced enough for a lawsuit
Nope. If the law does not change, the holes between permits do not matter. First, the law requires 5 yr during last 10 years. And, second, during the extention under this “covid” law, the periods betwen permits contunues to be counted into the legal residence amount.
I do not think it is a case for the court. It looks like a technical error. In the past persistent writing to sef finally makes then to solve the problem.
Could you give me which email to use? I wrote several times to different SEF branches and they just told me it’s not in our jurisdiction
You shall be unable to get any reponse from AIMA by just using an email or phone calls as the responsible customer service professionals aren’t qualified enough to answer your issue as the migration from SEF to AIMA has been nothing but a disaster. However, you can start with an official complaint using Livro Amarelo (You need to be as specific as possible with all the screenshots and a clear summary) and that shall be forwarded to the right authority and they have to respond to your request officially. Good news is you can raise the grievance online in English and I am leaving an URL for your case below:
Thanks @TommyReine - have bookmarked that site for possible (likely?) future use!
Thank you for your reply, Tommy!
I have used one of those “public forums” before (Portal da Queixa) to file a complaint against IMT (the Portuguese automotive authority) for the delay of my driving license, and to my surprise, they actually replied and solved my issue, so naturally I tried to do the same with SEF. I even wrote to them in Portuguese with the help of a Portuguese friend of mine, but as expected, they didn’t reply. (SEF - Título de residência renovação automática)
But anyway, I will try to lodge a complaint with www.livroamarelo.gov.pt also.
Portal da Queixa - A third party public forum portal, nothing to do with any official complaint book. IMT has been getting bashed left and right in everyway these days, so it’s good to learn about they are actually checking and responding to an unofficial Portal.
Livro de Reclamações - State mandated complaints book for all the commercial establishments within Portugal
Livro Amarelo - Only place where you can lodge an offical complaint, compliment or a suggestions for the agencies, offices or public servants inside those offices.
Good luck with your case, they do have a deadline of 15 working days to officially respond to your Greivance, if you haven’t received any response after that deadline then there are specific set of instructions mentioned in the website to take for a proper resolution on a case by case basis.
OK I will keep you updated, Thanks!
nothing till now.
And I’m 90% sure they had 15 working days in a whole month
my parents’ GV card has similar issues, their card expired in Dec 2021, but they have not been given appointment invitation or allowed to auto renewal before expiry or since then, the lawyer has phoned up SEF regularly and now phoning AIMA to no avial. Emails SEF or AIMA does not get responded, so i dont think being renewed is very common, many of us still being trapped by this renewing or appointment system