Do not leave Portugal before you have Residence in hand – Visas, Residency & Citizenship – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Do not leave Portugal before you have Residence in hand

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Posts: 39
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Topic starter
(@martinhardy)
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Joined: 2 years ago

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

Β 

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Posts: 539
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(@misticjeff)
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Joined: 3 years ago

Ouch!! wish you the best of luck and keep us all updated.

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Posts: 39
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Topic starter
(@martinhardy)
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Joined: 2 years ago

Thanks for the good wishes! Luxury problem, but a problem non-the-less. Just hope we can prevent others from encountering the same problem.

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Posts: 1988
VIP Member
(@jonesdn2020)
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Joined: 2 years ago

Great advice. We had planned to travel shortly after our SEF appointment, but we determined we are better off staying in Portugal until we have our residence cards in hand. Do let us know how long it takes to get your residence cards.Β 

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Premium Plus member
(@martinhardy)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 39

@jonesdn2020 Good decision! Will let you know how long it takes - if we don't first die of shock, or old age ....... πŸ™‚

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Posts: 2358
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(@old-bloke)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posted by: @martinhardy

Denied boarding flight from outside of EU back to Portugal.

Due to covid PT was previously only open to returning residents and citizens but it has been open to all for some time on production of a valid covid vaccination certificate or negative test.

The airline could refuse boarding for not having one of those as they would be liable for a heavy fine if they brought you to PT, but your immigration status in PT is none of their concern and I don't see any legal basis for them to refuse you boarding on the grounds you couldn't prove your PT residence status.

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2 Replies
Premium Plus member
(@martinhardy)
Joined: 2 years ago

Member
Posts: 39

@old-bloke Unfortunately the airlines do have the right to refuse boarding, in fact they must ensure that passengers have the right to reside, or hold a valid visa for any country which is either the transit or final destination. For visa-waiver countries one may only have to show a return flight.

None of that is new to us, and we have no issue with the airline who were absolutely correct - my issue is with the poor advice we received, and of course the impossibility of the SEF system. But most importantly I hope to share our situation as Lesson Learned so others may not be similarly inconvenienced.

Those of us who hold a "friendly" passport which allows visa-waiver / visa on arrival etc to many countries around the world may not be aware of the fortunate position we are in compared to others who require a visa for every transit and landing.

All part of life's rich tapestry, and a fabulous contrast to the "black and white" efficiencies of Singapore πŸ™‚

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Community Member
(@dbandlauretta)
Joined: 7 months ago

Member
Posts: 10

@martinhardy Well I will say this, you have a marvelous attitude about it all…Good for you.

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