I have a question regarding the SEF appointment. If the appointment is for the purpose of confirming financial record documents, health insurance documents, proof of income documents, NIF registration, and residency location documents, what is the need for legal representation? It has been suggested that I have legal representation because SEF personnel don't speak English and my Portuguese is not up to par as yet. If the purpose of the appointment is to confirm documents and records, what does legal representation have to with it?


Hi Michael, Welcome.

SEF employees deal with English speakers on a daily basis. They can all speak at least basic English. This interview is nothing more than submitting documents. You have more information about that here:

What to expect at your first portuguese D7 residency Visa appointment in the SEF office
(Post #23)

You don't need a legal representative, maybe someone to go with you who speaks English and Portuguese. But I don't think it's needed.

Best Regards
I agree with JohnnyPT whoever told you that info are wrong also why pay for a legal rep to just sit there & do nothing.
Dear Michael
I would recommend that you use a lawyer, I was represented by Lexidy Law Boutique based in Lisbon, it cost me €73 I just sat there and just relaxed. It's just not worth all the stress for such a small amount.
Best of luck
PS even had time for a quick cafe coffee.
I did not use a lawyer, and here I am two years later sitting in my apartment in Portimão.

Speaking of which, I am trying to make an appointment with SEF here in Portimão,  to renew my initial Residency Card and when I log on to the SEF website I am told there are no appointments available.

My card officially expires November 11, but what happens if I don't get an appointment before then?

Thanks for any help/advice.
I had my SEF appointment a few weeks ago and very little was said other than asking for required documents. It only took around 15 minutes each for me and my wife. I cannot see the reason to have legal representation
I agree with all that said that there is no need for any legal representation.
The SEF staff were all very nice and patient, explained clearly what we need to present, what forms to fill, etc., no stress at all.
Waste of money to hire legal representation.
I'm sure the people recommending legal representation are lawyers trying to drum up business. SEF deal with English speakers all the time.
I agree the SEF offices are set up to handle English. I just left my final interview which was nothing more than confirming income, insurance, local residency, and what was already submitted for Visa.  In and out in 30 minutes. Nice folks.

You don't need a legal representative, maybe someone to go with you who speaks English and Portuguese. But I don't think it's needed.
Best Regards

Well, it seems that some nationalities always and for everything need a legal representative.

@seasunhere good morning,

We have our SEF appointment in the middle of October. We have letters to show proof of medical coverage (retired military TriCare). Were your documents in english or were they translated to Portuguese?

Thank you,


Hi my husband & I went for our SEF interviews this week I was done & dusted inside 20 minutes & my husband the next day done & dusted in less that 10 mins.

staff very nice & very helpful & also spoke English.

we made our appointments on the SEF portal very easy.

I was anxious about getting an appointment because of all the scary blogs on here thank god they never came true for us.

all I can say is if we can do the appointments online & handle the interview on our own then anyone can also only cost us 15€ each


@seasunhere hello what documentation did you take to confirm residence please?

We took our fiscal papers, our original residency papers, passport & a variety of other papers that we have in a folder including private health insurance but they only wanted to see our passports & Brexit paper.

I would say take whatever papers you have as you cannot be wrong where as if you only take certain papers you could probably find that the 1 paper you don't take is the 1 that they will ask for.


Just completed out D7 visa SEF appointments for our 2 year visa

In July our D7 visa approval came though within 4 weeks.  We moved here in July 2022 and purchased an apartment in Porto in August 2022.

My wife's D7 appointment and mine were the same day and time in two different SEF offices in Lisbon.  We live in Porto.  Road trip.

We brought financial statements for our accounts, proof of income, deeds, passports, etc., etc.  More than anyone could hope for.

They were only interested in:

  • The deed for the apartment we purchased in August, 2022,
  • The Millennium contract for our joint checking account,
  • Our health insurance contract and cards

Basically, do you have a place to live, income, and healthcare?  So you aren't a drain on society.

Next stop, receive our cards, and renew online within two years.  Although, we don't know how to renew online yet.

Does anyone have idea how to book an appointment for my registration as EU citizen?

You don't do that through SEF as an EU citizen. You simply register your presence and EU status at your local Câmara. I am about to do that myself.

Good luck


    Does anyone have idea how to book an appointment for my registration as EU citizen?
    -@abayo41 … ID=22#div1

@abayo41 just request your CRUE at your local city council.

@roz66      Thank you for your contribution on the information I'm looking for. However, you may probably didn't get my message right base on your information. In regards to the Portugal immigration website. All EU citizens who intend to live in Portugal for more than 3 months most register there presence in Portugal and to do that you need to visit SEF who will issue you a Registration certificate. Please check this site for more information. … spx?nID=22


Did you read my link (post #18) ? Where is the doubt? ....


Thank you so much for your contribution. I got the message right now. More so, as for the EU family member Is there anyway to book appointment with SEF beside calling them because they do not answer calls?

Is the family member an EU citizen?

IF NOT, you have to go through family reunification. SEF is being abolished and will be replaced by a new agency in October. We hope it will be more efficient and user-friendly for people. In the meantime, you'll have to try to get an appointment by phone. It's difficult to get through because the phone service isn't prepared to receive more than 6,000 calls a day... which is not enough...


How fast after your SEF appointment you receive your residence permit on the mail?


just be aware that some freguesias have specific requirements- mine - which is Porto Massarelos -— required the presence of two

local residents at the appontment who can attest to you living there! As we were new and no neighbors had moved in yet, i was panicked. But I have a great lawyer who went with me straight to Porto City Hall and obtained the 5-year CRUE 1 no local witnesses. Be sure your passport is valid for some time as this was an issue for me


No appointments for family reunification available anywhere right now for the foreseeable future - months! we have to go back to the embassy in our last country of residence to apply for one

How fast after your SEF appointment you receive your residence permit on the mail?

It's unpredictable.  Mine took 93 days.

Thanks for the quick reply.

Did the permit card duration (1 or 2 years) begun from the date of your SEF appointment? Or from a later date?

It totally depends on the backlog at which office you had your interview. If you go to a smaller regional office it will be very quick. Mine took 14 days.

The date is the appointment date.

The initial validity is 2 years.

Renewal is 3 years.


usually around 2-3 weeks, but need to keep chexking tour mailbox..  normally they will put a notice in your mailbox and you will need to go to CTT to pick the actual card…CTT will only hold it for maximum 10 days… after that they send it back and you have to go back to SEF ( which ever one you had an appt with) to get it…thats what happened with me… the apt. i was living in did not have a proper mailbox, so i never got the notice, so they sent it back and luckily, my lawyer was great a picked it up for me… but these days you never know….

We got our resident cards 2 weeks after appointment via notice from CTT & after we paid online for them (15€ each) we didn't need anyone with us & we did ours in Faro, our cards run from October 2022 to October 2027



The starting date of the validity of your card is the date you had your SEF appointment? Or a different date?


Hi Bettina

When you say you had issues with the validity of your passport. How much should the passport validity need to be. Mine will expire on April 2024.

The date we had our SEF appointment

My passport expires in 2024 they had no issue with mine, we also got married the month before took our marriage cert with us all they did was put married on the residency card