I understand about the lease. A bit crazy really.
We checked with Cristina at Ei! Migrante this week about this new change with people needing a lease agreement in advance and the feedback we got was:
It has also come to our attention that the consulates are now requesting for people to have a NIF, Bank account and rental agreement (6 months) in Portugal.
As I always mention to all our clients, this is not mandatory by law, and the law has still not been updated, so for now it is just “mandatory” because the consulates have so determined.
To avoid any delays in the process we have begun to advise all our clients to do the NIF, Bank Account and secure some sort of a rental agreement in Portugal, all things we can assist with.
Not ideal but hope this helps.