US

Jun 15 2018

Appointment and Processing Delays

Portugal

The situation

Appointment booking and application processing are delayed for all application types.

A closer look

  • Consular processing delays. Visa applications face a one-month processing delay due to an internal consular process change. Visas are taking longer to process than the typical three weeks, with processing times exceeding 30 days.
    • Impact. Since all transfer types involve a consular visa application, foreign nationals face a delay in their overall visa application processing.

 

  • In-country appointment delays. Applicants seeking an in-country appointment for a temporary residence permit or visa renewal face an eight-month waiting time to book an appointment, up from six to seven months. Applicants who are willing to travel may be able to file an initial application outside their area of residence to avoid the in-country appointment delay. This decision would be at the regional offices’ discretion.
    • Impact on travel. After expiry of the initial visa, foreign nationals cannot travel in the Schengen area but must stay in Portugal or travel to their home country via a direct flight. Customs officials in individual Schengen countries may accept proof of the appointment booking as sufficient proof of Schengen travel rights, but this is rare. Foreign nationals now face an additional one to two month Schengen travel restriction.
    • Impact on dependents. Dependent family applications can only be filed once the principal applicant has obtained his or her temporary residence permit card. Foreign nationals now face an additional one to two month delay on dependent applications.

 

  • Appointment waiting times. Appointment waiting times are now up to five hours in some cases.
    • Impact. Applicants are advised to block the entire appointment day to allow for completion of immigration formalities at this stage.

 

  • Renewal appointment restrictions. Some locations only allow renewal appointments to be booked 30 days before expiry. Due to the appointment delay, appointments are then scheduled four to five months after expiry.
    • Impact. After expiry of the initial permit while a renewal application is pending, foreign nationals cannot travel in the Schengen area but must stay in Portugal or travel to their home country via a direct flight. Customs officials in individual Schengen countries may accept proof of the appointment booking as sufficient proof of Schengen travel rights, but this is rare.

 

Looking ahead

Fragomen’s local advisor will work with consular and regional authorities to seek suitable solutions to alleviate the delays.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.