Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Europe > Portugal
Reload this Page >

Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Old May 18th 2022, 10:44 am
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 13
sjjhow is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Hi, I haven't been able to travel to Portugal for 2 years due to the pandemic and personal reasons. Because of that I wasn't able to apply for a residence permit prior to Brexit and so I have left it rather late.
I was recently contacted by the solicitor who did my house purchase back in 2013 saying he could obtain the residence permit for me, and it would be approved in 5 months, but that his fees for doing so would be 1230 euros.
He said I wouldn't need to go for a face to face interview and would only need to submit a scan of my passport, proof of payment of bills and council tax, etc, and he would do the rest.
I appreciate that some people will do the application for residency themselves, but I'm not in the country, cannot travel to Portugal until September, and I don't understand Portuguese very well.

Has anyone else used their solicitor to do this and does the fee sound about right?

Thank you for any ideas or advice.
sjjhow is offline  
Old May 18th 2022, 12:42 pm
  #2  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 725
Rambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

First thing to know is whether you are a UK citizen or EU citizen. The procedure since Brexit is now entirely different between the two statuses. UK citizens now have to apply for a visa via the PT Consulate while in their current country of residency, so that they can then apply for residency in person in Portugal. Personally I do not believe a PT solicitor can do anytihng for you whether you are UK or EU and certainly you will have to be present personally for at least some aspects of obtaining your residency. It may seem to be stating the obvious, but for the residency you need to be resident, as in already in PT and established as a person with right of stay in PT, hence the need for a visa if UK citizen, or EU passport if EU citizen. Most of the applications either for visa or residency can be started online and in English. You may find this useful to start with
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-portugal
Rambling archer is offline  
Old May 18th 2022, 1:48 pm
  #3  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2021
Posts: 97
andywally has a reputation beyond reputeandywally has a reputation beyond reputeandywally has a reputation beyond reputeandywally has a reputation beyond reputeandywally has a reputation beyond reputeandywally has a reputation beyond reputeandywally has a reputation beyond reputeandywally has a reputation beyond reputeandywally has a reputation beyond reputeandywally has a reputation beyond reputeandywally has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

as 'rambling archer' has said, the application process has to be started in the UK (I would suggest Manchester personally)............ having had a conversation here in PT very early on when we arrived with a very prominent industry respected english solicitor (who could have taken our money) said.......... 'I cannot help you, I cannot even get my own passport replaced and updated and I have lived here 23 years' (ergo 'i cannot pull any strings here') ..... and I have heard first hand conversations with ppl who have paid a solicitor to accompany them to the interview to make sure everything is in order, and SEF did not ask the solicitor a single question and they had zero input............. residency granted regardless and 2500euro fees (for 2) ........save your money, do it yourself when you can get here, but you have to start the process in the UK...........and good luck
andywally is offline  
Old May 18th 2022, 1:56 pm
  #4  
riv
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 705
riv has a reputation beyond reputeriv has a reputation beyond reputeriv has a reputation beyond reputeriv has a reputation beyond reputeriv has a reputation beyond reputeriv has a reputation beyond reputeriv has a reputation beyond reputeriv has a reputation beyond reputeriv has a reputation beyond reputeriv has a reputation beyond reputeriv has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Personally I think the Solicitor's fees are very reasonable if he manages to obtain the desired Visa.

Even if you have to attend on the officials in their office at some point he is still saving you a lot of the faffing around.

If it were me I would say ' I accept the fee as reasonable but can you accept payment on delivery of the Visa ? Or 50% payment now and the balance on delivery of the Visa ' ?

If he is willing to delay payment of Fees ( or half thereof ) till delivery of the Visa then I would go with it.

riv is offline  
Old May 18th 2022, 5:21 pm
  #5  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 72
NSG666 is a jewel in the roughNSG666 is a jewel in the roughNSG666 is a jewel in the roughNSG666 is a jewel in the roughNSG666 is a jewel in the rough
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

If you use Facebook then take a look at British Expats in Portugal - you need to ask to join it but once in you can access files with all sorts of useful info on just about every aspect of moving to Portugal you can think of. Pay particular attention to the Operation Payback file. You can ask the group what you need to do given your situation and if you get really stuck then for 50e the guy that runs it will hold your hand through the process. You don't have to use him and if you don't then it costs nothing to access the files.

I wish that I'd found it earlier as it would have saved me weeks of trawling.
NSG666 is offline  
Old May 18th 2022, 6:17 pm
  #6  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Sep 2021
Location: Peniche
Posts: 540
Alan PT has a reputation beyond reputeAlan PT has a reputation beyond reputeAlan PT has a reputation beyond reputeAlan PT has a reputation beyond reputeAlan PT has a reputation beyond reputeAlan PT has a reputation beyond reputeAlan PT has a reputation beyond reputeAlan PT has a reputation beyond reputeAlan PT has a reputation beyond reputeAlan PT has a reputation beyond reputeAlan PT has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Sounds like the solicitor may be trying to gain a residence permit on the basis that you were resident pre-brexit but didn't apply on time (the bills will be used as evidence of your residence)

No doubt if SEF challenged this fraudulent assertion the solicitor would claim that they were only acting on the information from the client and disappear out of the picture, leaving you in trouble
Alan PT is offline  
Old May 19th 2022, 8:18 am
  #7  
Happiest in the sun
 
Score76's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2017
Location: Porches, Algarve
Posts: 286
Score76 has a reputation beyond reputeScore76 has a reputation beyond reputeScore76 has a reputation beyond reputeScore76 has a reputation beyond reputeScore76 has a reputation beyond reputeScore76 has a reputation beyond reputeScore76 has a reputation beyond reputeScore76 has a reputation beyond reputeScore76 has a reputation beyond reputeScore76 has a reputation beyond reputeScore76 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Originally Posted by sjjhow View Post
Hi, I haven't been able to travel to Portugal for 2 years due to the pandemic and personal reasons. Because of that I wasn't able to apply for a residence permit prior to Brexit and so I have left it rather late.
Prior to this did you spend more time in Portugal or out of Portugal in any given year?
Score76 is offline  
Old May 19th 2022, 10:54 am
  #8  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 13
sjjhow is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Hi, yes I spent long holidays in Portugal virtually every year from the date we bought the house (2013) with the exception of 2017 when we weren't able to visit. In 2015, we were living in Portugal for 4 months.
sjjhow is offline  
Old May 19th 2022, 10:55 am
  #9  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Apr 2022
Posts: 13
sjjhow is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Thank you for all the helpful responses
sjjhow is offline  
Old May 19th 2022, 11:08 am
  #10  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 725
Rambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond reputeRambling archer has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Originally Posted by sjjhow View Post
Hi, yes I spent long holidays in Portugal virtually every year from the date we bought the house (2013) with the exception of 2017 when we weren't able to visit. In 2015, we were living in Portugal for 4 months.
One thing that is not made clear in your OP is whether the Solicitor is UK based, PT based or an international consultant - all of whom would have different capacities, or not! Holiday stays of up to 4 months in a year (less than 6 months plus) would probably not count for being considered "resident" without having actually claimed residency in PT before Brexit, so will not help you in applying now (it will mean that you may still be able to get Non-Habitual Resident status, ie not having been resident in PT during the 5 years preceding your current application so may be tax advantageous for you when you finally become tax resident in PT). So we return to the problem of you applying for a visa first BEFORE you move over and you can declare your own property as the place you would stay in while in PT applying for Residency via the SEF having got your visa ... I really do not see how any solicitor can help you with that - see other threads on the forum relating to Visa applications.
Rambling archer is offline  
Old May 19th 2022, 12:03 pm
  #11  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 636
Shanorme has a reputation beyond reputeShanorme has a reputation beyond reputeShanorme has a reputation beyond reputeShanorme has a reputation beyond reputeShanorme has a reputation beyond reputeShanorme has a reputation beyond reputeShanorme has a reputation beyond reputeShanorme has a reputation beyond reputeShanorme has a reputation beyond reputeShanorme has a reputation beyond reputeShanorme has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

@sjjhow I would have thought a D7 visa would be your best option.
Shanorme is offline  
Old May 19th 2022, 3:41 pm
  #12  
Resident Cynic
 
macliam's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Suffolk,UK; Alentejo, Portugal
Posts: 10,445
macliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond reputemacliam has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Originally Posted by riv View Post
Personally I think the Solicitor's fees are very reasonable if he manages to obtain the desired Visa.

Even if you have to attend on the officials in their office at some point he is still saving you a lot of the faffing around.

If it were me I would say ' I accept the fee as reasonable but can you accept payment on delivery of the Visa ? Or 50% payment now and the balance on delivery of the Visa ' ?

If he is willing to delay payment of Fees ( or half thereof ) till delivery of the Visa then I would go with it.
Without even looking at the detail - and knowing the "system" in Portugal, I can think of a plethora of reasons why the Solicitor would fail to achieve his promised outcome.... but, in truth,they don't really matter. You would be buying a promise, not a product.

If it is a money-up-front deal, I would run, far and fast. If it's a pay-as-you-go scheme, I'd also be sceptical (there are many things that could lead to mounting payments with no real results). If it's a pay-on-results deal, then by all means try it...... but I doubt, very much, that any failure will be cost-free.

If you actually hand over any money, but don't get what you've benn promised, in principle you could sue for repayment. In reality, such a course of action will take a lot of time and probably not net you any great amount, even if you win.

It sounds like a clever ploy to part you from your money.
macliam is offline  
Old May 19th 2022, 4:02 pm
  #13  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 461
Listen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond reputeListen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond reputeListen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond reputeListen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond reputeListen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond reputeListen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond reputeListen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond reputeListen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond reputeListen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond reputeListen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond reputeListen Very Carefully has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

How could someone get a residency permit when they are clearly not resident ? or am I missing something?
Listen Very Carefully is offline  
Old May 19th 2022, 4:08 pm
  #14  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 8,949
SanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond reputeSanDiegogirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Originally Posted by Listen Very Carefully View Post
How could someone get a residency permit when they are clearly not resident ? or am I missing something?
My thoughts too... the OP spent holidays in Portugal (albeit he has purchased a home there), but by all accounts he never lived there i.e for most of the year.
SanDiegogirl is online now  
Old May 19th 2022, 11:47 pm
  #15  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2021
Location: Abergele, Alges and Faro (boat)
Posts: 152
GrahamF has a reputation beyond reputeGrahamF has a reputation beyond reputeGrahamF has a reputation beyond reputeGrahamF has a reputation beyond reputeGrahamF has a reputation beyond reputeGrahamF has a reputation beyond reputeGrahamF has a reputation beyond reputeGrahamF has a reputation beyond reputeGrahamF has a reputation beyond reputeGrahamF has a reputation beyond reputeGrahamF has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Using a solicitor to obtain residency permit

Originally Posted by Listen Very Carefully View Post
How could someone get a residency permit when they are clearly not resident ? or am I missing something?
Before 31/12/20 lots of people did just that, they arrived in a marina, declared that as an address and were given 5 years temporary residence. They will of course have problems when that residence expires and can't prove settled status, most having just used it to avoid 90/180. These days it's not so simple but depending on personal contacts the solicitor may have within SEF (or whatever they're called these days) could still be doable. As is often the case in Portugal, success often depends on who one knows.
GrahamF is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.