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SEF Appointment Timing

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Luned
6/21/2019 19:57 EST

I just received my type D visa (expires 10/20/19). I understand I cannot make an appointment at SEF until I am actually in Portugal, which should be the last week of July. But once I am there, can I make an appointment at SEF for any date up until the day my visa expires?

What I really want to know is can I give myself a couple of weeks to find a permanent place and get settled in before I make the appointment, or should I be in a hurry?

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Hastings60
6/22/2019 17:20 EST

You can make your appointment on line without being in Portugal.

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Luned
6/22/2019 18:33 EST

Thank you Hastings60. I'll look into that.

What I really want to know is whether it's okay to make the appointment close to the expiry date of my visa?

The timing didn't work out so well for me in terms of all the things I have had to do here (including tending to my mother's passing), so I won't be going as early as I had planned. If I make the appointment with only three or four weeks left on my visa, is that OK?

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Hastings60
6/22/2019 20:56 EST

My understanding, and I'm no expert, but the majority of times the 4 month Visa has expired before you will be able to get into a SEF office. Just make your appointment on line at sef. pt. And print out the email confirmation and that will suffice if you go longer than your short term visa.

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Luned
6/23/2019 01:28 EST

Thanks. Yes. I think I'll wait to make the appointment since I am running behind schedule. I am guessing I have no worries about that, then.

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Wallvestor
6/23/2019 13:26 EST

We booked our SEF appt. online once we arrived in January. Our 4 month Visa would expire April 5. After making the online appt. for myself, for April 19 as that was the only available time, I didn't feel comfortable with what I had done. So, I called SEF, (back in January they would pick up the phone). A man corrected whatever he thought I had done wrong and I interjected with needing an appt. for my wife too. So, he took her number from the Visa over the phone and made her appointment one hour after mine on the same day. We checked the website and sure enough, he had booked our appointments. Then my brother died and we had to rush back to the States. While we are in the US I decide to check the SEF website. To my dismay, our appointments had been changed to the day before our Visa expired. We made air rez and bolted back to PT. We appear on the date indicated on the SEF website. However, they say we are appearing on the wrong date! What!!!? They also try to tell me we changed the dates ourselves, which was impossible. We go home check the website again - still it shows we were supposed to be there that day. Then one hour later it changes to our original day April 19.
Bottom line: check, check double check.
They are a wee bit dizzy at SEF.

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realspear
6/23/2019 13:42 EST

One thing to consider is that many sources, including SEF, say that online scheduling is only for renewal. It's not clear if first time residence appointments made online are actually honored, if they can be made. (Some people report they can't.)

The SEF source is here - https://www.sef.pt/en/Pages/pre-marcacao-online.aspx

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Hastings60
6/23/2019 18:15 EST

I know you have to put in your Visa number and I have scheduled and even changed my initial appointment. I think I will email Dina Silva tomorrow and see if I can get a straight answer on these questions. I'll keep you posted when I get a response.

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dancebert
6/24/2019 05:00 EST

>The SEF source is here - https://www.sef.pt/en/Pages/pre-marcacao-online.aspx

That source also says:
"Pre-booking by telephone is mandatory for scheduling meetings in SEF’s bureaus."
and the contradictory:
"Online Scheduling
This feature in SEF’s website is available for..."

I worked for a systems development firm whose contracts included developing and maintaining Los Angeles country Justice and Police systems. The veteran employees told stores about how those clients were at first surprised, then hostile when our firm insisted including the text of the systems in our pre-release testing. If the text didn't match the functionality, the client had to submit new text. Apparently everyone on the client side KNEW it was someone else's job.

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Luned
7/1/2019 16:31 EST

Wow, Wallvestor. Thanks for the heads up, and condolences regarding your brother.

My issue is that by the time I get to Portugal, I will only have 2 1/2 months left on my visa. I will need to find a place to live. If that takes me a month and a half, is it still okay for me to schedule my SEF appointment that late, knowing that they may not have an appointment date until well after my visa expires? I'm just concerned because I have lost so much time on my visa.

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CatherineOKC
7/1/2019 16:45 EST

Condolences for your loss. As I understand you came to Portugal, returned to US and are returning or have returned. You have used up your 2 entries. You have a SEF appointment so if your visa expires(which mine had) that’s fine. I entered Portugal in Dec and was in England in Feb so that was my 2nd entry. I could not leave Portugal again until I had my SEF appointment where I received a temporary form till my permanent card arrives. I would keep your appt and see if you can find your rental and all necessary things for the appointment. You can always cancel and rebook. They are busy enough they won’t miss you! ??

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Wallvestor
7/2/2019 07:31 EST

Luned, why not try and book your appt. online here:

https://www.sef.pt/en/Pages/registo.aspx

and/or, then email or call the SEF location you are intending to use for your appointment and confirm things. Most likely your visa will expire prior to your appt. Use your email confirmation of your appt. till then.

Or, just do it once you get here as some on this board say you can not call them if you are not in PT. And, maybe you have to have entered the country before they can even book your appt. I don't know with certainty, but others here may.

If you book it as soon as you get here, even though you'll have 2.5 months before your visa expires you should be able to find a place to rent and open a bank acct. etc....while you wait for your appt. Which will probably be months after your visa expires.....

Thanks for your condolences.

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Wallvestor
8/6/2019 12:56 EST

Well, we received one of two residence cards today.... After over 100 days I emailed SEF Tavira and they responded with a screen shot of CTTs website showing the progress of the letter. However, it eventually showed "delivered", to someone called Luis There is no Luis here. So based on what craigandmicki had said earlier, sometimes they're at the Tavira post office. Nope not there. I call SEF's main number in Lisbon. They tell me it's in the SEF office in Tavira. I go there, get it and find out the problem was that they ran out of space to enter our unit number in the address field.

Then I inquire about my wife's card. The clerk looks in a shoe box of 50+ cards searching.....nothing. Goes to a computer and tells me it shows she was at her SEF appointment on July 9th and that all is good, it may take 90 days. July 9th??? We definitely were not here on July 9th! Her receipt shows April 10th. Oh wellllllll.......she's fine all is OK. it will be 90 days from then.... she says.

BTW, the date on my card is July 10th...from an SEF meeting we had on April 10. It was dated 3 weeks prior to it being received by SEF Tavira.

This is also, the second time SEF has said things happened on a certain date and they actually did not. But, what can you do? Just roll with it I guess......amazing

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