What original documents are required?

What original documentation is required to be mailed as part of the GV process? Will we need to send original birth certificates or passports?

Here is a good overview: https://nomadgate.com/portugal-golden-visa-guide/

For us, we had to send our original passports to the local Portuguese consulate along with a photocopy of the passport. The consulate will ‘certify’ the photocopy so that you can then submit the copy to the SEF with your application. Both the passport and the certified copy will be returned to you by the Consulate. Only the certified copy is provided to the SEF during the application process.

As others here frequently suggest, you might want to consider engaging a local PT lawyer familiar with the GV process. The lawyer will guide you through all the requirements.

edit: we did not have to send birth certificates, although that might be a requirement for those with children - will defer to others to comment on that


Thank you so much! We are definitely planning to work with an attorney. Do you know approx how long the turnaround was for the certification of the passports? We may have to postpone some travel plans if we are without passports for an extended period of time.

No sure where you are… but we are in the US and used the consulate in San Francisco. Turnaround for the passports was about a week if you send and return by overnight mail. That was one of the few ‘fast’ things in the whole process. Be aware the FBI Background check apostille process can take some time. If you go to a USPS office that has one of the automated finger print readers, then the FBI letter itself is almost instantaneous by email. It’s the apostille of that FBI document that can take awhile since it can only be done at the US Dept of State in Washington DC.

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It seems like each lawyer handles required documents differently. I’d suggest you talk to your lawyer first. Our lawyers did the translation and certification on their end. All we had to do was sending them scanned copies of everything (including scanned copies of the apostilles). We emailed them scanned copies of all required documents.
I second @rj2002cc that we didn’t have to send them our birth certificates. And it may only be required for children.

kag, another helpful thread in case you missed it…

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I’d be interested in hearing when you submitted your apostille request to the State Dept (for the FBI background check) and how long it took to get back. I sent one in Nov 3 and it has yet to return. I fear it will mean the FBI background check with be older than 3 months by the time it is translated and arrives at SEF.

My request was received at the State Department first week of October and I received it back first week of December.

You should check out the other thread that @rj2002cc mentioned above. It was discussed by many people about the time it took them to get the apostilles back. I used monumentvisa.com. I submitted the request to them on Nov. 20 and got the apostilles back 4 weeks later.