Portugal’s immigration and borders service has become somewhat of a hot topic for Golden visa applicants this year, today we’ll talk about the Portugal golden visa processing time in 2023 and what is happening with SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras).
We know many applicants are a bit frustrated waiting for an appointment spot to open up so they can finally get their family’s residence permits approved.
We think it’s time to update you with some changes .
This time, for good.
In the last couple of years, there have been large-scale delays in getting an appointment with SEF.
This backlog became a problem for golden visa applicants awaiting their mandatory biometrics.
In response to the backlog, SEF has also increased its capacity by boosting its staff numbers – the 116 workers approved in a public tender started working on September 12th.
The main function of the technicians is to assist in specific areas of SEF, namely in the documentary scope of the permanence of foreign citizens and golden visas.
Besides the current volume of work, SEF will have an increased number of services when the newly created visas are regulated.
As an applicant of the golden visa you’ll have 180 days to sign a contract that will entitle you with an appointment at the SEF to obtain a residence permit.
So far, they have alleviated some pressure by allowing applicants the possibility of booking appointments at any of their branches.
Before this, applicants had to book appointments at the branch in the same region in which they had acquired their investment property.
What does it mean for your application?
If you’re worried about the Portugal golden visa 2022 changes, the current processing time will not affect your eligibility as long as you submit your application before the deadline.
After you’ve received pre-approval, you are already ok to move to Portugal while you wait to complete your biometrics and receive your residency card.
Although, the time spent in Portugal before this will not count towards the time needed to acquire permanent residency or citizenship.
In short: The delays don’t affect your ability to complete the visa application, but rather, they do have the potential to increase the overall time it takes to gain permanent residency.
The Portugal golden visa program has been successful among other EU golden visas, and it’s in the best government interest to keep the foreign investment coming.
In the meantime, listen to your local partners’ advice to keep updated about your application.
If you have any questions, contact us to schedule a free consultation call or email us to learn more about the Portugal residency program.