Short version. Denied boarding flight from outside of EU back to Portugal. Five weeks after SEF Appointment we have no confirmation of Residence. D7 has expired. So our strong advice is:
DO NOT LEAVE PORTUGAL UNLESS YOU HAVE RESIDENCE IN HAND.
Even if you are from a visa-waiver country this can cause complications. There is apparently no way for us or our agent / lawyer to track the progress (or otherwise), of our application. This is no issue for those already completely moved into Portugal, and in no need of imminent travel, and in fact in our case we already have house, car, motorcycle in country, however we need to dispose of same from our home country.
SEF Appointment 10th May 2022. All good and biometrics done. Officer tells my wife he'll see us again in two years time. Cool - positive inference that we have been successful. We tell agent / lawyer that we need to travel asap back to our home countries to sell / box / ship our possessions. We are advised that'll be OK with the docs we have (which are only receipts from SEF). Obviously very poor advice, though we did think there was a definite possibility that our Residence Cards would be issued by now, couriered to us, and we'd be fine. Hey-ho!
We are in fortunate position of having a home in Singapore for next two months, but of course running two places isn't ideal, nor should it be necessary if all was in order. And, will we get that Residence confirmed before end August............??
Cheers, Martin & Jojo