Experiences with Portuguese Bureaucracy

I just had a mini panic attack reading this, and we haven’t even gotten our residency visas yet!! :grimacing:


:slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face: Hoje, eu recebi um email de Conservatória dos Registos Centrais em Lisboa, que diz que meu aplicação para cidadania português está, finalmente, a processar! Tenho muito esperança!


Progresso! Boas notícias :clap:

SEF is a difficult nut to crack. My advice is to be persistent.Also an advogado helped get my wife her NIF. All government agencies run on Portuguese time. Everything takes awhile.

Do you guys have any idea whether I could exchange a Swiss driving license for a Portuguese one more easily than exchanging a US one, once we have our residency permit? I have a US driver’s license, as we’re currently in Florida, but I also still have my Swiss license from 2006 (with no expiry date) from when we lived in Zurich.

@howardtheller Since Switzerland isn’t part of the EU or the European Economic Area (in which case, the driving license would also be valid here), it shouldn’t make any difference. Btw, here’s an official overview of the process: Exchange a foreign driving license for a Portuguese driving license

Thanks Joseph! That’s very helpful!

My friend finally got hers after the use of a lawyer. They were insisting on a document for each of her exs even though she had not seen them in 40 years. This is not a legal requirement and they dropped this when the lawyer got involved. This type of pedantic harassment is very common. How else could they justify all of their jobs? You will have to pass the Portuguese test. My friend did but the examiner gave the testees all the answers as the airplanes going over in Faro made hearing difficult. Pray you do not have to take the driving test…the head lady in Faro told me to go to the States and get a license as I was American. She avowed it was too difficult to pass the first time and I would end up taking the driving classes in Portuguese. She was very nice. They had refused my Qatari license as they insisted Qatar was not a country. No matter that I could show I had lived and worked in Qatar for 12 years and had the visas in my passport. I went to the States and had to commit a felony to get one as i did not reside in the USA despite being a US citizen. I never drove on the license but got rid of it right away to the intense satisfaction of the low official at the driving license place. Very smug. Good luck. Just smile a lot. I am 77 and it hardly helps.

Oh wow, @kateevans00. It’s as if everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. It was nice that your friend was able to push back, get a lawyer involved and sort things out. It shouldn’t have to come to that, though.