Hellloooo everyone! For those of you who are still with us...huh, that sounds kinda morbid. Anyways, I think you might be getting fun Tiff again!! Yay!!! I know the drama is mucho interesting...crap, is that how they say it in Portuguese? But I think a little levity is in order. Although I am still coming to grips with a whole new life direction, I'm going to be honest I feel so much better relying on myself than others. I learned a long time ago if you want something done right, do it yourself!
There is a great Facebook group called Americans & FriendsPT where this woman Susan made a comprehensive description of exactly how to fill out the Visa. I am not permitted to share it, but join this group if you are moving to Portugal and want help. As I said above the Portugal checklist makes way more sense. Now I won't say that it's not without hiccups, such as not updating their websites accordingly. This means we have had to learn changes through people as they go through their appointment, but that was a problem with Spain too, so whatever.
If you read our past book, our Heroine was locked in a never-ending battle with the Apostille of the Hague. Every time she thought she had defeated it, like the hydra it grew two more heads...Needless to say (a funny saying because you then always say something). I was not looking forward to going back there, and guess what, I don't have to Yaaaaaayyyyyy!!!! Before I get into that, I'll share the current checklist. So most consulates use a company called VFS Global https://www.vfsglobal.com/en/individuals/index.html where you set up your appointment and who you meet with to approve your papers, to go to the consulate for processing, and ultimate yes. It seems pretty cool. You create a login and can track your application, schedule appointments, etc.....way more user-friendly.
Yay, No Apostille: D7 Checklist
There are 7 Portuguese Consulates in the U.S. Go here to find your nearest consulate and contact information: https://www.visahq.com/portugal/embassy/united-states/ The majority are on the east coast, with San Francisco covering the west coast. Yay, no more dealing with Los Angeles!!! I think there are one or two consulates that don't use VFS Global, but that probably won't be for long.
1) Application for a National Visa (if submitting by mail, signature notarized). https://vistos.mne.gov.pt/images/formulario_visto_nacional_en.pdf
2) Passport valid for at least 6 months after the expiration of your 120-day visa and two recent passport-size color photos; copy of main passport page (page notarized).
3) If not a U.S. citizen, proof of legal status
4) Personal statement declaring the reasons why you are seeking residency in Portugal
5) Proof of financial means/proof of sufficient funds
6) Proof of a funded bank account in Portugal & NIF
7) FBI criminal record certificate (or, if you’ve lived outside the US in the last year, a police record report from that country) (report apostilled or left in the original, unopened envelope)
8) Release/request for a Portuguese criminal record check by the Foreigners and Borders Service https://vistos.mne.gov.pt/images/schengen/formularios/aut_consulta_rc.pdf
9) Proof of private health insurance coverage or travel insurance with medical benefits and COVID coverage
10) Proof of accommodation in Portugal (property title deed, rental agreement, letter of invitation/terms of responsibility form, or property loan agreement. If you are renting, the lease has to be for 1 year.
11) Optional: Copy of marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates when children are also applying or if your spouse uses you as their source of income etc.
At first, some of these seemed intimidating, like getting the lease and the bank account (but I mean, I already sold my house because the Spanish consulate required it, so it can't be scarier than that). But it's not that bad. Did you see how like nothing is apostilled!!! It's so much more logical, than all of us apparently forging birth and marriage certificates and needing to prove it's real every 3 months because you wouldn't have been born anymore? Unlike Spain, they will only accept the FBI background check and again no apostille as long as you request the hard copy, and when it comes in the mail, DO NOT OPEN IT.
I'm Fine I Swear
I highly recommend joining the above Facebook group and utilizing their files section. Everyone in the group is so helpful, and all of the documents are a lifesaver. I printed some of them out and read them religiously. Some consulates are still doing Mail-ins, but most are by appointment. I just realized who disjointed that sentence was to the other one, but it's still important so I will leave it. Note to self and others, don't start writing and wait to edit, until the mimosa has kicked in because now I don't care to edit this properly...and I literally had 2 glasses of champagne with orange juice so no worries I'm not getting crazy...mama lightweight.
In my next posts, I will go over each of these steps in more detail and how it's been going for us so far, so don't fear! Tiffany is here! This process has been so much smoother so far. I'm kind of freaked out...it's like, is this easier because of the hellish nightmare that was our Spanish NLV debacle, or am I way too optimistic, which surprisingly has not been demolished out of me yet.
This is our second time back at this hotel, so we are super cool with staff, and they have been great about keeping an eye out for all the mail coming for us here. I know it's been a relatively boring post, but I had to do one like this for the last saga, so don't worry, it will get way more Caliente!. SOOO happy that Caliente is a word used in Portuguese, too, so I didn't have to be totally screwed with the tile of my site! Also, we ended up getting a hotel room with a kitchen and a separate room, so I don't have to go to my car to work anymore!!!!
I Got This S***
In our next chapter, titled: I've either learned or am delusional, I will go over where we are and all the stuff we have gotten done in a short period of time. It won't be until this weekend, so there will likely be more mimosas involved, making it way more fun. Not to encourage alcoholism as I encourage alcoholism, but I highly recommend you having a drink while you read these, and it will be like we are hanging out! Quarantine style!!
Oh yeah, new readers. I really hate when people promote themselves, but apparently, I'm supposed to guilt-trip people into following me so I can become super popular. So here is my obligatory subscribe and share! Once I get my shit together, there will also be cool member stuff, so join the party! Oh yeah, I have Forum that no one uses. I don't know if it's because it's lame or doesn't work, so any suggestions would be super helpful cause I think it would be fun...oh, and I have a music page where I try to add my current motivation...it's on sound cloud, and I suck at tech so if there's a better way let me know!
Thank you for all the laughs and support. I love your faces ( for real, not in that annoying way)!!
And cause why not? Another song!!... It's kind of a breakup song, but I feel with a side glance it could be applicable in most areas of my life right now (one of these days, maybe I'll share the personal crap that's been happening). In the meantime, I recommend blasting this and singing at the top of your lungs! Cheers! Salud! Felicidades!