Where are Lawyers needed for GV?

It seems now there’s a lot of things you can do without Lawyer.

  1. Get a NIF (Bordr.io)
  2. Open a Bank Account (e.g. apparently ActivoBank is easy via app once got NIF)
  3. Getting money to Bank (InteractiveBrokers/[Tranfser]wise for affordable conversion)
  4. For Venture Capital funds (e.g. Stag Fund Management) you could presumably just transfer the funds and handle this yourself (do your own due-dilligence)

If you’re lucky to have an Embassy/Consulate (but can’t speak Portugese) in your city (as I do) could you do most of this yourself without even leaving your city?

Do Lawyers save you any on-the-group trips?

I just want to understand if I could get the NIF, Bank, even the SEF Account/Apply and have them “assist”/review here and there for a much smaller fee.

Activo still requires in-person I believe. In theory you can go to Investors Bank in Newark and use that to open a Millenium account but neither Activo nor Millenium will do custodial if you want to use fund route.

You can use all of this as negotiating points with a lawyer to reduce costs, yes, along with document translations and some other stuff that you can get nickel and dimed for - that’s in addition to negotiating the base fee to begin with. It’s already been done. As has been posted, you end up doing a fair bit of legwork anyway. You’re going to have to do the cash transfer anyway. If you aren’t doing your own due diligence on your fund investments, then you have a whole other class of problems, and a lawyer really isn’t necessarily in any place to say anything about your investments anyway other than “does this qualify”.

The consulate is of no help here one way or the other.

The lawyer still appears to be required for the actual SEF interview, while in theory it might be possible to do yourself we have no reports of anyone actually doing it DIY.

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Most likely I will be doing my SEF appointment DIY, when I reach that stage in the process. I spoke with the lawyers regarding why their presence may be needed but could not get a clear answer. Besides I don’t think they will be travelling with me to all the remote outposts of SEF where the appointments may come up, and I need more than one anyway.

I assume you know this, but for the others in the audience, note that your chances of success in the SEF interview are exactly nil unless you can communicate effortlessly with the SEF official in fluent European Portuguese.

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Thanks for sharing your experience.
So besides checking the original documents and collecting fingerprints, did they (SEF) actually conduct some kind of interview? How long roughly does it take?

I wasn’t allowed to be in the room for the meeting because of COVID. We had a choice of my lawyer or me, and I don’t speak Portuguese so my lawyer seemed like the better choice. :slight_smile: They allowed me in afterward for the biometrics collection, which took 2 minutes. I got the impression from my lawyer that there were a few questions but perhaps less than usual. Apparently it made a good impression that I provided a fresh criminal background check with all the bells and whistles.

I have yet to meet any Portuguese administrative official who is willing to speak a word of English. This is 100% consistent behavior in person, on the phone, and through email.

People in tourist-facing jobs, like police, security, transit people, and medics, are a mixed bag but generally are willing to meet me half way and try to help with a pantomime dance, even if they don’t speak English at all.

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Ok I understand now, thanks very much for sharing!

It seems like I have had some better luck with the officials so far, as literally everyone I spoke with here were happy to accommodate and did their best communicating with me in English.
That’s including the Tax office, the Social Security office, the electricity company, and even the local administration (Câmara Municipal) - all in a very small and very remote municipality of Portugal :wink:
The most shocking (in a positively surprising way) were the Câmara folks, where even an old lady at the entrance whose job was to check my temperature with some fancy device :smiley: spoke English.
I honestly did not expect that to happen…

I don’t understand how D7 applicants are able to attend to SEF appointments by themselves then? Are these different SEF officials that see Golden visa applicants ?

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If the interviews are done in the embassies and the biometrics only are done in country, then it may simply be different people involved - the tech driving the scanners versus the agents doing all the paperwork. Nevada, who did your biometrics, the same agent?

The D7 applicants I know are going to consulates in the US, using the embassy’s partner firm VFS Global.

As I think about it more, the process for D7 is probably similar to the following:

  1. applicant submits application to VFS office in home country
  2. applicant meets with VFS and get decision.
  3. if approved, applicant gets D7 visa in their passport
  4. applicant travels to PT and can stay based on D7 visa duration
  5. applicant goes to SEF for biometrics
  6. residence card is mailed to applicant in PT

If this is the scenario, i can see that anyone could do that on their own without a lawyer,. on the other hand, I have had people in Portugal tell me that everyone at the SEF offices speaks English just fine.

I’m sharing my observations. I’ve never met or spoken with a Portuguese government administrator in-country who was willing to speak one word of English, spanning a multitude of interactions with different agencies, via face-to-face, telephone, or email. My experience at the SEF office was that they did not speak a word of English. Others have had no such difficulties, which is encouraging. OTOH, security guards and janitors have been consistently helpful to me, in English, or doing their best to meet in the middle when they lack English fluency.

My strategy was to let my lawyer do the talking. I am willing to waste money and effort in order to keep things moving. I’m focused on succeeding ASAP, taking every possible precaution to minimize risks and delays.

If you want to strike out on your own, more power to you; let us know how it turns out. I’ll be delighted to hear that SEF’s ARI interviewers really do speak fluent English–they were just pranking me–and that a lawyer is a needless extravagance. Good luck!