The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) has 19,000 pending requests for renewals of “golden visas”, representing more than 60 percent of the total, according to a report by Público.

Renewal of the golden visa is mandatory every two years, and SEF clarifies that “the admissibility of documents and visas related to the permanence of foreign citizens in national territory has been extended until December 31, 2022”. But expired documents are not being accepted at international airports and some holders are prevented from entering or leaving the country.

This year, SEF has already opened about 7,000 vacancies for the renewal of these residence permits, but about 2,000 vacancies were left unoccupied, with a new opening expected by the end of 2022. SEF explains that, most holders “golden visas” do not reside in Portugal and they are not always able to present themselves on the scheduled day. They also recognise that appointments are not always made in advance.