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Looking for a Portuguese Lawyer

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buddhafish
7/19/2019 14:52 EST

Hello!

I’m new to this group, but have found it very useful so far. My wife and I are working on our visa application as we hope to move to Portugal (either Porto or Lisbon) in October/November and live there for a year or so.

Can anyone recommend an affordable Portuguese lawyer that they have used?

We’re hoping they can act as a guarantor for us, as well as help us obtain our NIF, Portuguese bank account and help us with SEF once we arrive.

Any recommendations or help anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated!

Best,
Bart

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craigandmicki
7/20/2019 05:52 EST

to 'buddhafish': An attorney will cost you much more than you need to pay. 1) NIF: An attorney will charge you a monthly fee, perhaps 200 euros a month, to serve as your fiscal representative for your NIF. Yes, you need a fiscal rep, but you can get this done by Bruno Afonso or Sonia Christina Ribeiro (FB) for a hundred or so euros in total. They are highly recommended in the Lisbon to Coimbra area. 2) Bank account: you just walk into a bank with the required docs or give Sonia/Bruno a power of attorney and documents and the bank account is open. Attorney, a few hundred euros. 3) SEF: Easy, truly easy, if you follow the guidelines here. 4) Visa: Can't tell you how many people using Timely Solutions or Eimgrantes for 'visa assistance' and getting messed up by this. Most attorneys don't really understand the process (yes, this sounds peculiar, but it's true) and actually add unnecessary docs or slow it down. Do it yourself, or, if you have a particularly complicated case, connect with Gail Aguiar (gailatlarge.com) who is in the Porto area but with all three resources recommended here can help you anywhere.

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buddhafish
7/20/2019 10:33 EST

Hi craigandmicki, thanks for your response!

1. When you say fiscal rep, do you mean financial guarantor? Is that the same thing? We will need a guarantor for the apartment we are looking to sign a lease for. Can you share a link or contact info to either of them (Bruno or Sonia)?

2. We are trying to avoid an additional trip, so we will likely have to go the power of attorney route. So after they’ve set up a bank account for us, at some point do we just change access to it? I’m a little wary of others having some access to my bank account?

3. It was my understanding that some of the paperwork with SEF is in Portuguese? I will reference the guidelines on here again.

4. We’re doing ok (with the help of this forum) on the initial visa requirements, our biggest hurdle has been proof of accommodation. We’re now just planning to sign a lease now while we’re in the U.S. to fulfill our visa requirements and hope for the best.

Thanks again for the advice and help!

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craigandmicki
7/21/2019 06:51 EST

to 'buddhafish': No, a financial guarantor for your rental contract is not EXACTLY the same thing as a fiscal representative but how they differ is a minor point. For the rental contract, it is someone who will be liable for the rent and state of the accommodations should you default. For NIF, it is a person responsible for any fines, fees, unpaid taxes if you leave the country. Both need to be an EU citizen tho (use the financial guarantor definition in the Demystifying article). A person who would open a bank account for you would never have access to it; you would have sole access. Go on facebook and search for Bruno Afonso and/or Sonia Christina Ribeiro to connect with them. The only paperwork with SEF that's in Portuguese is the application form.
Most people do sign a lease from the US, many 'sight unseen', but ensure that it includes cancelation with notice after 30 or 60 days and the photos are REAL. Someone might check the place out for you; I only know contacts in the greater Lisbon and Porto areas.

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kap1012
8/14/2019 08:42 EST

I wanted to add that I have been working with Gail Aguiar (gailatlarge.com) and she has been fabulous! Highly recommend!

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Bmore2Port19
9/1/2019 07:55 EST

kap1012,

You mention that you have been working with Gail. Can you elaborate on what services she has assisted you and what is next, Also had met her in person or have done everything remotely?,

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kap1012
9/1/2019 20:04 EST

Hi Bmore2Port19,
I just returned from a month long stay in Portugal. Met Gail and her assistant Nilse in person. Both warm, friendly, fluent in Portuguese and incredibly professional and responsive. They worked with me on getting Portuguese residency (I am a dual citizen US/UK) that I was trying to get before the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal. Gail also served as my fiscal representative so I could get a NIF (which you need to do anything in Portugal, but cannot get without someone who lives in Portugal to stand in with you), and then she shepherded me around to get a SIM card and various other helpful things. I cannot recommend her highly enough. She is incredibly reasonable in her prices and is very responsive to any and all questions. I now have Portuguese residency and can really say it would have been a vastly more difficult experience without Gail. Gailatlarge.com - Contact her - you won't be sorry. Feel free to tell her I recommended her! Best, Katy

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Explorer88
9/2/2019 01:23 EST

Well, now I have learned something else: to get a lease you need a guarantor? How about offering a larger deposit? Also, by what others have written, the fiscal rep for the NIF cannot act as a guarantor for the lease - or can they? I guess I will talk directly to one of the FB contacts to sort this out.

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Sabai
9/8/2019 10:52 EST

What are the contact details for Bruno Afonso or Sonia Ribeiro. Thank you

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craigandmicki
9/8/2019 11:19 EST

To Sabai: Bruno and Sonia are not attorneys yet are well regarded for stepping in and getting the basics done. Both are on Facebook, so you can find them there. I don't want to share their emails on this public forum. Can you please let me know if you reach them via FB so I know you're in good hands?

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Aranthama
9/8/2019 11:26 EST

On Facebook go to "Expat Solutions by Sonia." She is well informed and responsive.

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Sabai
9/8/2019 14:10 EST

Thank you. I have lived in Europe and Asia previously, but in both instances the employer handled the visa and other formalities. I feel totally lost and will probably be asking some ridiculous questions in the future

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Sabai
9/8/2019 15:04 EST

Thank you. I found Sonia. Would appreciate it if someone could PM to me your he Facebook site for Bruno

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mrosephoto
9/9/2019 04:19 EST

You do not need an attorney as they tend to be of various skill and affordability. What you do need is an expeditor who will cost less and can be highly knowledgable about the ever changing rules for Visas. Timely Solutions or Gail Aguiar are both excellent at this.

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