Can we travel to Portugal whilst waiting for DN visa to arrive? – – Visas, Residency & Citizenship – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Can we travel to Portugal whilst waiting for DN visa to arrive?

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(@maxine)
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Hi guys, 

Quick question - Does anyone know if I can travel to Portugal as a tourist whilst waiting for my digitial nomad visa?

I applied in London on November 2 so hopefully, it will arrive this month, but I would love to get on the ferry I have booked for Jan 13 as it's been months since I have seen my partner and I just feel ready to go. My friend in the UK can forward the visa to me when it arrives. 

Hopefully this question will help some others too. 

Many thanks,

Maxine

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(@blaze451)
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If its like the D7 its not a separate document but a stamp in your passport. So you would either have to return to hand over the passport to be stamped, or possibly post your passport back (but that means you are technically illegally in Portugal as you are meant to have a passport with you at all times). You would then still have to leave and return to Portugal in order to enter the country under the visa stamped passport.

 

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(@maxine)
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I went to give my passport over to VFS at my appointment but they said they don't do that anymore so it is unclear, but I understand what you're saying. Hmmm

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(@blaze451)
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@maxine unfortunately its a new option and your one of the first to apply for it so getting proper advice on it is going to be difficult. You could perhaps ask Ei who may have more knowledge on it.

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(@maxine)
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@blaze451 yes I'll do that, thank you

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(@jonesdn2020)
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@maxine We have heard that same policy from VFS in the US. I imagine that the 3-to-4-month approval process when they had people's passports became an issue with everyone wanting their passports back.

I would expect to see a formal policy this year with VFS not taking passports any longer and waiting for approval before sending them in to the consulate. 

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 Donn
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(@donn)
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@jonesdn2020 The way they explained it to me at the SF VFS office:  the passport stamp is applied in Portugal!  Not in the SF consulate.  So there's a lengthy round trip and they don't want to encourage people to hang around SF waiting on it.

Now, I'm not saying this is reality, but it would explain it.  Who would want a crowd coming in to the office three times a day to ask if their passports are back?  Not exactly a well designed system, though.

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(@jonesdn2020)
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@donn That cannot be true. We flew back to the states and sent in our passports from Vegas to SF consulate on March 9th. They received it on the 10th and overnighted back to us the same day. We had them with our visa on the 11th.

 

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(@jonesdn2020)
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I just noticed you referenced a passport stamp and not the visa. The stamp is obtained in PT if you go through a manned point of entry. The visa is already in your passport at that point.

The SF consulate will not allow you to pickup your visa in person. That is why you have to prepay for fedex delivery at VFS. We asked if the visa could be picked up in person from the consulate and they told us no. 

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 Donn
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(@donn)
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@jonesdn2020 I am such a country boy I guess that I have no idea what to expect there.  The tourist "visas" we've been entering under are apparently implicit in this respect.  I can see example images, but no idea how they're attached to the passport.

In any case, the story I got was precisely in this context:  why I can't do this in SF after approval.  Because they send the passport to Portugal.  I don't doubt you - that story didn't seem really plausible - but it's what she told me.  Not the No. 1 guy who seems to do most of the interviews, it was someone else filling in.

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(@jonesdn2020)
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We came over with our passports as tourists while we awaited our approval. Once approved we had 90 days to obtain the visa and we waited 40 days. We did return to the US to have the visa added to our passports. 

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(@maxine)
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(@truman1012)
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@jonesdn2020 Hi there! We are in a similar situation -- we applied in San Francisco, kept our passports and are waiting in Portugal for approval. We plan to fly back to the US to mail the passports in for the visa. Were the instructions clear in terms of where and how to send them? Do you send another prepaid label for the embassy to send the passports back, or do they use the one you buy during the original interview? Did your quick turnaround seem like business as usual or a special case? We would like to book our hotels and return flights, but it's difficult to gauge the times. Thanks so much for any help you can offer!

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@truman1012 The email we both received is below. What wasn't clear is to mail them to the address on Washington Street which is in the image of the signature. We flew back to where the prepaid FedEx we purchased at VFS was for, so they used it.

We had a couple who we were on similar timelines with, and they did this first. It took a week for their passports to be returned and so we counted on that and booked a two week stay out of caution. Ours being retuned the same day as it was received has happened to others. They did stamp our effective date to coincide with the return flight we submitted. 

We were staying with relatives and happy to see family after a few months. We had contemplated just flying to the East coast and sending in a prepaid return to wherever we decided to vacation but that could have gotten expensive compared to staying with family.

We thought of changing our flights and leaving early but it was good to stay and visit since we have not returned since and it will be 19 months before we finally make it back later this year. 

"Your applications for National visas cleared today.

At your soonest convenience, send in your actual passports so the visas can be issued, then affixed inside. You need not appear personally, but do need to be present anywhere in the USA where it can be received back the passports should you have gone abroad in the meanwhile.

These authorizations are valid until May 8th and the return mailers on hand are for Las Vegas. If the return address has changed, with the passports include a newly prepaid domestically addressed mailer as well as a note a travel date into Portugal between now and May 8th.

Allow a few days to turn out the passports once received and for transportation time."

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(@truman1012)
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@jonesdn2020 Thank you sooooo much. That is incredibly helpful!

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(@adventurefilmmaker)
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@jonesdn2020 We are in Las Vegas now awaiting the return of our visas. Can't wait to get back to Portugal permanently! Las Vegas was the cheapest hotel/airfare combo we could find this week. Was hoping to establish a little residency for financial purposes, but alas won't be here the requisite 30 days to get state id's.

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(@jonesdn2020)
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@adventurefilmmaker Welcome to Las Vegas! Looking forward to our visit later this year. Please update us on the turnaround time on the visa. We arrived back in Vegas on a Tuesday evening. Went to FedEx on Wednesday morning and overnighted our passports. They were returned to us on Friday with our visa. 

If you are trying to truly reflect your residence, I have been reading that moving abroad can be the same trigger as moving to another state prior to moving abroad. You still have to pass the litmus test of truly changing residence but having an address here in Portugal, filing Federal taxes with the Portugal address, having a residence permit in Portugal, add in a Portugal license exchange from your home state, update voting records, etc. 

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(@adventurefilmmaker)
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@jonesdn2020 I hope our turnaround time is as fortunate. We sent our passports to San Francisco on Thursday, so hoping we get them back in plenty of time for our planned departure this Friday. 😊 

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(@jonesdn2020)
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@adventurefilmmaker I made the mistake of not setting alerts on the tracking number to get notified.

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(@adventurefilmmaker)
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@jonesdn2020 We got our visas back today, and both are effective today. My SEF appt is in Cascais on Jul 6, but my brother's appt was scheduled before the effective date, on Mar 17 in Coimbra, while we were waiting for the visas to be sent to us. We fly back to Portugal tomorrow and will have to figure out how to fix this. We have been planning to hire Ei! to help us with our SEF appointments anyway; hoping they might have some insight to fix this mess.

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(@konni)
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@adventurefilmmaker  Good news about your Visas. So weird that your brother's SEF appointment was before the effective date. This is now the second time I've heard about this situation in the past week. I hope Ei! can get it resolved and get your brother another appointment.

 

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(@jonesdn2020)
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@adventurefilmmaker Congratulations! Sorry to hear about your brother's appointment but that is a minor hurdle now that you have your visas. Ei! will be able to assist in clearing the appointment hurdle.

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 DXJ
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(@dxj)
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For US persons moving abroad, legally avoiding state/local taxation in a place where they previously owed taxes can be more tricky, depending on how and where they leave and live. People from states with no income tax (with no reporting/filing requirements) will generally have an easier time moving abroad, but it's otherwise good to seek professional help and planning to avoid taxation and legal liability, especially if relocating from a state that's tax-hungry and litigious.

Not endorsing anything in particular, but here's the first reasonable thing I could turn up with a cursory web search--it just scratches the surface enough maybe to help people ask the right questions about their own personal situations:

https://www.ustaxhelp.com/determining-residency-for-tax-purposes-expat/

 

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(@jonesdn2020)
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@dxj Great article. Thanks for sharing.

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(@jeanne)
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It is all very state-dependent. Be sure to take a look at the website of the Dept of Revenue for your relevant state and/or the state's statutes.  That may bring up issues that had not occurred to you. 

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VIP Member
(@jonesdn2020)
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@jeanne I follow some tax experts discussing residents in certain states that had to get a ruling to get out of state taxes they were being subjected to by proving they were residents of another country.

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(@jeanne)
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@jonesdn2020  Yes, some states are *very* sticky.  That's why if you do NOT want to be considered a resident of a given state it's a good idea to consider breaking or modifying as many potential ties as possible. 

My tax guy directed my attention to this [MN] statute, with particular emphasis on subp 3.  https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/8001.0300/

He advised me that the more of the criteria I could eliminate, the better. 

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 DXJ
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(@dxj)
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@jonesdn2020 It would be nice if states made it easy just to check a box on your final tax return to declare or prove that you live abroad (or even in another state with no income tax). Some states may do this, but not all.

The trouble is that a sticky state may simply see that you stopped paying any state income tax, and then assume you owe taxes to that sticky state on all the income since you left. In tax disputes like that, the taxpayer is still presumed guilty until proven innocent. Setting the record straight is possible but can be costly.

It can be ultimately cheaper (not easier, unfortunately) to break ties properly, often by establishing formal ties with a less sticky, less taxing state. A strategy preferred by some people leaving the stickiest of states is just to move to a state with lower taxes that's less sticky, pay taxes there, then jump off to a tax-free state and/or move abroad.

It's all still fairly individualized, depending on each person's potential tax liabilities and jurisdictions to move from/to.

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