We were engaged in a tremendous amount of planning leading up to our relocation to Portugal. Being an engineer by trade, I had actually prepared a GANTT chart with all the projects that were needed prior to our leaving the U.S., a process that involved a lot of reading and research to make sure that everything was checked and double-checked. We made sure to have legal assistance every step of the way.
Of course, there was an unexpected glitch: my name.
However practical we find this country’s public transportation, the day may come when we wish to rent a car and that requires a Portuguese driver’s license. Also, if we ever intend to drive outside out the country, we’ll need an international driver’s license and that also requires a DL from Portugal. This blog discusses the process to obtain both of these important documents.
A few weeks back we presented ourselves at the local SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) immigration office, our lawyer in tow, and handed over the documentation required to permit us to remain in the country until January 2019. Here’s how that process worked.
Let’s start with the yak shaving, since one wouldn’t expect to hear about that long-haired mammal in a blog post about Portugal. Sometimes large projects are so complex, have so many interconnected steps, that you feel like one of those stages must entail hiking to the Himalayas and shaving a yak just to make a bit of progress. With all the various requirements and paperwork, obtaining a residence visa is just such a journey.
One of the requirements for obtaining our Portuguese residency visa, which allows us to stay longer than ninety days, is to submit to a FBI background check. Actually, the official name for this is an “Identity History Summary Check,” but everyone just refers to it as your run-of-the-mill background check. One of the requirements to apply for the background check is to submit a sample of your fingerprints.
There are several steps for a foreigner to obtain residency in any foreign country, with some countries having stricter requirements than others. In general a host country is seeking to ensure that you meet the usual requirements for residency, which include:
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.