So I am ambitiously going to try and do two posts today. I will go over the rest of the paperwork and, in the next post, go through our Visa appointment; woohoo!! As this is being written on a Sunday morning and I, unfortunately, do not have mimosas, it may not be quite as fun as usual...but I guess my liver needs a break every once in a while, haha.
This post has somehow morphed into one about my love for Mexican food and Schitt's creek, so I will go with it because it makes me happy. I will need to find a way to take both of these with me to Portugal, or the results will be disastrous.
Since I do not feel my wittiest, I decided to inject some humor from one of my all-time favorite shows, Schitt's Creek. I'm not sure if this is just a US thing or if the humor translates overseas, but if it does, you need to watch it!
I'll do a quick rundown of the FBI background check, aka the Identity History Summary Checks, which you can access here https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks. It's pretty straightforward if you follow the steps. It must be the FBI check, not the one done by your state.
How to Submit a Request
The FBI offers three options for requesting your Identity History Summary or proof that one does not exist.
Option 1: Electronically Submit Your Request Directly to the FBI
Step 1: Go to https://www.edo.cjis.gov.
Step 2: Follow the steps under the “Obtaining Your Identity History Summary” section. If you submit a request electronically directly to the FBI, you may visit a participating U.S. Post Office location to submit your fingerprints electronically as part of your request. You may go to any of the participating U.S. Post Office locations nationwide upon completion of your request. Additional fees may apply.
If you choose to use a U.S. Post Office location, you must complete your application and payment electronically before visiting a U.S. Post Office location to submit your fingerprints electronically as part of your request.
If you choose not to use a U.S. Post Office location to submit your fingerprints electronically, then you may still mail your completed fingerprint card, along with your confirmation email received when you started your electronic request, to the address listed on your confirmation email. The request will continue to be processed as an electronic submission once the completed fingerprint card is received.
Click on the link on Step 1, and it will take you to a page to set up your account with the following steps.
How To Submit A Request
An e-mail address must be provided to initiate the application process. A secure link, along with a personal identification number, will be sent to the specified address and will be used to complete the online application. The same secure link and personal identification number will be used to check the status of your application and to access your results. You may optionally elect to have your results sent to you by First-Class Mail via the U.S. Postal Service. Please select each step below to view additional information. Enter your e-mail address below to start the Identity History Summary Check process.
Step 1: Complete the Applicant Information Form Step 2: Select Your Preferences Step 3: Submit Your Fingerprints Step 4: Submit Payment Step 5: Review and Confirm Your Request Step 6: Check Request Status Step 7: Receive Your Results
You will need to find one of the listed post offices to take your fingerprints. They will then be electronically submitted, usually right away, and you will receive an emailed report. ***Important when you are paying for your request on the website above, make sure to click the box where it asks for a hard copy. A hard copy will be mailed to you typically within the week in a large manilla envelope. DO NOT OPEN THE ENVELOPE!!!! If you bring it to your Visa appointment with the envelope sealed, you will not need to have it Apostilled. It will be opened by VFS at your appointment and stamped that they received it unopened.
Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn... 1-year Rental
The rental is a tricky topic. It seems that depending on the person you get and which consulate you have, they accept different accommodations. First and foremost, it is now a 1-year lease. "But is it a 6month Lease?" No, it's a 1-year lease. "But the website says it's a 6-month lease." No, it's a 1-year lease. This is where things get complicated. There's a lot of contradictory info out there. Some consulates accept rentals from Air BnB, Flatio, etc., and some don't. I have found that it's more about whether the lease will be residential and that it's a filed contract with the Portugal Franchise board.
Basically, the letter you get from Air BnB and places like Flatio is no longer accepted by the consulate. Too many people easily cancel these and use the D7 to enter the EU, instead of actually staying in Portugal. What we did is we found a rental on Air BnB and had the landlord draw up a legal contract outside of Air BnB by their lawyer that we signed. The landlord will file it with the Franchise Board once we move in.
If you have not yet joined the Americans and FriendsPT, do so. There is a detailed explanation of what is needed on the contract in the Files section under LONG-TERM PROPERTY RENTAL QUICK GUIDE.pdf. I'm not sure if I am allowed to copy and paste things from there, so go check it out. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
This is pretty easy peasy. You need traveler's insurance for 120 days starting the date you arrive in the country. This covers you for the 4 months of the D7 while you are getting your Residence Permit. We used Trawick https://www.trawickinternational.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1_DPkdWY9AIVhD2tBh2Dawl9EAAYASAAEgLvOvD_BwE.
Here is a list of the criteria you need:
a) Valid for 120 days, which is the validity of your stay under this visa;
b) No deductible;
c) Minimum €30.000 per person coverage/expenses it will pay for;
d) Include COVID coverage
e) Portugal in the list of countries covered.
After receiving the residency permit, you can apply to be in the public healthcare system if you bring in an income. If you are there as a retired person, you will need to apply for private insurance. Some people choose to buy private insurance regardless. I totally was going to add something else here, but I forgot what it is, as my child is having a crazy meltdown, and it's melting my brain.
I'm Fantastic. Let Me Come to Portugal, aka Personal Statement.
The personal statement is a short paragraph where you include a few items about who you are and why you want to go to Portugal.
List of things needed
1) description of yourself
2) your reason for settling in Portugal
3) your ties to Portugal
4) where you intend to reside initially (address or at least the town name)
5) what type of accommodations (rental, home purchase) you'll have
6) how you intend to get money for daily living expenses into Portugal
Here is what mine looks like
Personal Statement of Tiffany Libby
“My name is Tiffany Libby. I was born in California, am 34 years old, and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have been working at Thrive Well Trauma Center since March, 2019. I also started a private practice/LLC in February, 2021. I will be coming to Portugal with my husband Johnathan Abujen and my son Jackson Abujen. I wish to live in Portugal because I believe it will be a wonderful place to raise our son. I am so excited to experience the fresh food and beauty as well as connect with the amazing people who live in Portugal.
My ties to Portugal are some wonderful people I have met through this process (******* and family) as well as a whole online network of expats, who live in or are moving to Portugal. I will live in rented accommodations, with my family,******Algarve, Portugal. This rental contract is included in my application, lasts for 1 year, and we paid $1364 for first month's rent and service fees. I will transfer money for our daily living expenses and any future home purchase from our US bank account to a Portuguese bank account with Millennium BCP, through our account with the exchange company Wise.”
Ughhgh, this post is so boring, but I want to make sure that it's covered, so here we are. I feel like making a second post may not be happening today, as I am taking way too long to write this post.
So although you will have a funded Portuguese bank account, you should also show the other ways you will support yourself. I will be working as a remote worker as a 1099 employee, and I also have a private practice. We included these items
6 months bank statement to show proof of income
savings account printout
Proof of employment
Letter from my employer stating how long I have worked for her, average monthly income, and permission to continue to work for the employer remotely.
Business license and therapy license
I also printed out W2s and 1099 tax documents. The VFS office didn't see the need to include it, as the above would be sufficient proof. You need to demonstrate some form of passive income, which remote work qualifies for. I have heard of a few people being denied for only supplying savings even with a lot.
Here are a few items that may be optional, but I didn't want to leave any room for error due to the hellish experience of trying to get the Spanish NLV. We added
One-way plane tickets
Letter of reference
For the letter of reference, we used our landlord and typed up a letter with our reference's name, address, phone number, and citizenship and included a copy of her national ID. We made sure to get plane tickets with no change fees if we didn't get the visa in time.
Thank goodness this post is over!! Don't worry. You will enjoy the next post as I will go into the details of our Visa appointment and all the craziness that comes with it!! I'll also be going over the certified passport page. I hope this helps and if you have any questions, let me know. Share, subscribe, and all that good stuff! As a last note, please make sure to do your research as the rules are constantly changing, and the specifics may be different for your consulate. Best wishes and warmest regards!