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.
This is an extremely important development in terms of the government, acknowledging this terrible backlog, and instructing all agencies to consider visas as valid until the end of the year. I’ve had a Golden Visa for four years, and I moved here more than a year ago. My renewal came up last April; I sent everything in and I do not have a valid visa/identity card. The address on my card is also invalid because I moved. in the last year, I have attempted to get a Portugues drivers license, but I’ve been rejected because of the invalidity of my residency card; I also can’t get a parking permit for the neighborhood I live in, I can’t change the residence address at my bank, and Had difficulty picking up a package at the local postal office because of the invalid residency card. It affects my life in ways, big and small, but not to have a drivers license is a really big one. I think all governmental agencies need a formal notification to not reject applicants based on a card that looks expired, but also to prioritize residents with Golden Visas who are living here to get their appointments at SEF and other agencies, because we can’t function in this country without a valid residency card .
By Patrick Ohearn from Lisbon on 14 Oct 2022, 13:08
Like it. !!!!@
By J from Lisbon on 14 Oct 2022, 16:33
SEF and the minister in charge of SEF need to wake up to their responsibilities. We are on expired GVs but thankfully have drivers licences, addresses etc resolved.
The huge issue is we cannot travel out of Portugal by air and have a 96 year old parent back in SA. This is not what we bought into and invested in.
By Ronald from Other on 15 Oct 2022, 12:21
I couldn't agree more. while normally one would process the backlog based on chronological order, it makes the most sense to address those living and spending money in Portugal in this case as the article even acknowledges the fact that they only represent a minority of GV card holders while their lives are being impacted by being restricted to stay in Portugal until such time their renewal happens.
By FR from Lisbon on 16 Oct 2022, 15:00
To all those who rightly feel coned it’s time we stopped listening to those who are inextricably involved the GV charade as we’ll never get proper representation or justice served while they suppress negative publicity for fear they’ll be contributing to the (inevitable) demise of the GV program. The GV scam brings in far more than the billions directly attributable to the actual investment revenue. It significantly underestimates this figure as it doesn’t account for the entire parasitic industry that’s built up around it. None of those riding the GV gravy train want the truth publicised else their meal tickets will expire much like GV’s waiting for renewal. Why are there still seminars conducted by real estate agents, financial advisors, immigration lawyers etc propagating the lies? This is fraud whether it’s propagated by these associated parasites or coming directly from governmental level they’re hiding the truth and presenting misleading information as if it’s fact. It fraud whichever way you look at it. Don’t waste time fighting the system from the inside we need to take this to the European Courts where there’s a realistic chance of a fair hearing. For anyone finding themselves trapped inside Portugal by no fault of their own you’re basic human rights have been removed and you’re being ignored. I’d like to find enough motivated people to bring a collective action to the European courts as it’s apparent justice will never be served at a domestic level. Personally I didn’t sign up to become a victim but I’m aware we’re stronger together.
By Jay from Algarve on 17 Oct 2022, 04:55
Jay- have been thinking the same-that this needs to involve a collective group who have been adversely affected with real costs and injuries due to the inequitable policy being administered by the government. This could be done as a class action suit filed in Portugal as there exists an expedited judicial review process for complaints against the government that are causing Significant adverse impact on a resident or citizen that we could pursue, or as you said, pursuing a complaint through the European Union Court. My fear is how long that will take. But I would very much like to get a group together. I’m an American; if we had European Union citizens who should be prioritized over all others, including especially the British, included in this class action suit or complaint to either to the Portuguese judicial system or the EU system I think we could definitely make some progress. Legal residents do have rights per the Portuguese constitution and our rights are infringed on in this debacle.Reach me on Twitter:@OhearnPh
By Patrick Oh! from Lisbon on 21 Oct 2022, 15:07
The only way that this notification from the government that expired GV residential visas are to be considered valid and current until the end of the year is at all helpful is if the government enforces this policy, /such that every government entity and private business accepts the ID card as valid. So far, it has been rejected at the post office, my bank, I can’t get a drivers license, and I can’t get a parking permit for the neighborhood I live in. All because I don’t have a renewed residency card with my current address. So unless the government can help to ensure that these organizations will treat it as valid and accept an updated address, it is of no use to me
By Patrick Oh! from USA on 21 Oct 2022, 15:16
@Patrick. As a fellow American who is now waiting for his final renewal of the GV with no end in sight the only thing I can suggest is that the program is currently a mess. That said if you are in the early stages of your program however painful it may sound speak with your attorneys and see if you can convert to a D7 Visa as it does not have nearly the headaches of GV however you are required to be in Portugal 183 days. That said you will have more liquidity and potentially less headaches with SEF. Just some food for thought
By FR from Other on 28 Oct 2022, 08:00
This is an outrageous situation. Simply unacceptable as we've invested our life savings to relocate to Portugal. I propose that those of us affected get together and file a class action against SEF. If you'd like to get on board, please send me a message via the Facebook group I've just set up (Portugal Golden Visa Holders). The SEF is in breach of contract, so the court will almost certainly rule in our favour...
By Gautam Sharma from Lisbon on 07 Jan 2023, 11:51