Visas for non USA/UK/Brazilian citizens

I am a 30 yo Singaporean who is eligible for D7, D3 and digital nomad visa but my application seem to be getting nowhere? I have my NIF, Portuguese bank account was asked to contribute 30k eur to the bank account (not sure why, I’ve seen so many American couples getting away with just 8k eur).

Lots of forums and experiences seem to be contributed by Americans/Brits and they all seem to have rather smooth and easy applications despite not meeting the requirements and I’m wondering if I should give up since I’m getting stuck for no apparent reasons?

I am using aamtlegal, they helped with setting up my bank account with BCP (you have to pay 5+eur/month, not sure why they didn’t go with activo banco that is free), submitted my documents for D7 application and does my tax representation. They were pretty responsive in the beginning, then they dropped the ball when the missed the email from VFS asking for a 1 year lease instead of the 6 months that I’ve provided (I applied when the requirement was 6 months lease), and my application for D7 was rejected by the time they replied to VFS. They claimed that they appealed for it (since mid oct 2022) and have been pretty unresponsive since then.

It was 2000 eur for the services and I have been paying rent of 800 eur/month since mid nov. There seem to be no light at the end of the tunnel and I’m wondering if I should cut my losses? (maybe I’m just not the targeted group/race that Portugal wants for residency?)

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You are right that you are not the race that Portugal wants. It’s exactly what I (as a non UK/US) was treated by Portugal. It is tough. Can you apply D7 by your own ? I bet that by now you already know what documents you need. If you can do it yourself, why not extending the rental contract to 1 year, topping up 30k to BCP account, then let’s see how the Embassy is going to react. Actually a lot of portuguese law firms are very unethical. Once they get your money, their responsiveness suddenly drops. It is a lesson to learn. I think you have done the major part now, only few modification can improve the result. It is best to do it yourself. Give it another shot before giving up.

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I’m sorry to hear this.

Your law firm sounds crap and I would change them straight away if you’re left feeling like this. There are plenty of excellent firms here.

Good luck!!

I got another 6 months lease and they claimed that they have submitted and appealed the rejection based on the old framework but I’ve heard nothing since. They explained that its the whole SEF issue but when asked what is the strategy to get a SEF date (I’ve heard some law firms came up with an automated a script to fetch and apply for dates), again I got nothing.

The requirements have never been especially hard and fast, are subject to the whim of the agent reviewing your application as well as specific circumstances including age and source of funds, and have been tightening in any event. So it is a moving target.

If you are looking at FB posts, you cannot take them as gospel, and you cannot consider the experiences of applicants from even a year ago. It is now a given that, especially if you are going based on savings, you have to put in a LOT more than the stated minimums, and there is a lot more emphasis on showing actual income. For a 30yo, for D7, you will almost certainly need to show durable income - cash in bank is unlikely to cut it.

I doubt nationality is at issue here, especially for somewhere like Singapore.

ActivoBank will not open an account for non-residents.

In general, for D7, an applicant is given an appointment date at the time of approval of the application, or that was the case as of a little while ago. It is possible that the overload situation is now affecting D7, I have not paid attention that closely. That said, there is no strategy, just persistence.

There were, for a while, automated systems that pounded at the ARI portal to unethically snag appointments, but things have changed since.

Not all legal firms are of the same caliber. It is possible that your representation is sub-par. Regrettable but reality.


Thanks for responding, I’m a full time employee with a foreign income of 53k eur annually and have proved to have other investments so I doubt that’s the case?

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It’s hard to say without a really detailed look at the entire thing. It is definitely a situation where you really need to have all your ducks in a row the first time.

Once the process trips up, you are going to have problems no matter what. There is an appeals process but at this point it’s probably fairly bunged up like all other processes.

I suggest you take over this process yourself. Email the embassy and ask them the status of your application. If it is too late to appeal, apply for the digital nomad visa— which may be a better fit for your circumstances. Good luck!

Hi my wife is singaporean and no problem getting her GV other than sef delays with biometrics etc.Its not a racial thing .Im a foreign lawyer and
Strongly suggest you change lawyers .We changed from big expensive firm in lisbon to small firm in lisbon.Big difference.

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I also took a local Lisbon lawyer and she was excellent. However, even she can’t seem to get SEF appointments right now. If your info is uploaded into digital system go to your embassy yourself. My process was vastly sped up by having the DC embassy review my original documents in person. It is worth a shot and you would be far more likely to get in country appointment from the embassy itself.

I have emailed the embassies and they basically said there’s nothing they can do about it