Your definitive guide to the interview with the Portuguese Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF)

Navigating the intricacies of the interview process with the Portuguese SEF can be a daunting task, but fear not! This comprehensive article is here to equip you with all the essential information and expert insights you need to succeed. Whether you’re applying for a visa, or residency permit, or seeking clarification on immigration matters, our guide will shed light on the SEF interview procedure, preparation tips and valuable advice to help you make a favorable impression.


Why Portugal? Advantages of residency and citizenship in this country

Portugal has become an attractive destination for many investors due to its favorable tax regime, high quality of life, and the access it offers to the Schengen area. Obtaining residency or citizenship in Portugal can open doors to many opportunities.

What is the SEF? Understanding the role of the SEF in Portugal

The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) is a government entity responsible for managing people’s entry and exit into and out of the national territory. This agency is responsible for immigration and border control policies.

Why is the interview with the SEF critical in your immigration process?

The interview with the SEF is a fundamental step for any immigration procedure on your way to residence or Portuguese citizenship. Through it, the SEF will evaluate your situation and determine if you meet the necessary requirements for your application.

How to prepare for the interview with the SEF

Preparation is the key to successfully passing the interview with the SEF. Here are some helpful tips:

Documentation required

Make sure you have all the necessary documents. Depending on the procedure you are carrying out, the required documents may vary, but in general, you may need:

  • Passport and copies
  • Proof of residence
  • Means Test
  • Documentation of employment or education, if applicable

Knowledge about Portugal

You may be asked questions about Portugal, its culture, its history, its main cities and its political system. We suggest you research and have a basic knowledge of these topics.

Interview Process

The interview with the SEF is quite formal and takes place in a professional environment. Make sure you arrive on time and dress appropriately. Next, we explain step by step how the interview process is:

  • Arrival and Registration: Upon arrival at the SEF office, you will register at the reception. They will ask for your identification and confirmation of the appointment.
  • Waiting for the interview: After registering, you will wait to be called for the interview. It is important that you take advantage of this time to review your answers and relax.
  • Interview: During the interview, a SEF officer will ask you a series of questions. Remember to answer honestly and confidently. If you don’t understand a question, don’t hesitate to ask them to repeat it back to you.
  • Verification of Documents presented: After the interview, the SEF officer will review your documentation. It is crucial that all your documents are in order and legible.
  • Completion and explanation of the next steps: At the end of the interview, the SEF officer will inform you about the next steps in the process. Make sure you fully understand before you leave the office.

Conclusion: Your success in the interview with the SEF of Portugal

The interview with the SEF is a crucial step in your migration process, on your journey towards residence or citizenship in Portugal. Make sure you are well-prepared, have all your documents in order, and know Portugal well. Remember, with the proper preparation and the right approach, you are on your way to successfully pass this interview. 


Frequently asked questions about the interview with SEF Portugal

Below, we will answer some of the most common questions about the interview with SEF Portugal.

What questions do they ask at the SEF interview?

The questions at the SEF interview may vary from case to case, but they generally focus on your reasons for wanting to reside in Portugal, your knowledge about the country, and your personal and economic situation. It is essential to answer all questions honestly.

How long does the interview with the SEF last?

The length of the SEF interview can vary, but generally you can expect it to last between 30 minutes and an hour. We recommend arriving in plenty of time to avoid any possible mishaps.

What documents do I need to bring to the SEF interview?

The documents required may vary depending on the reason for your application. However, in general, you should bring your passport, proof of residence, proof of financial means and, if applicable, documentation related to your employment or education.

What is the atmosphere like during the SEF interview?

The SEF interview is conducted in a professional and formal environment. It is important to present yourself appropriately and with a severe and respectful attitude.

How long should I wait for a response after the SEF interview?

The response time may vary depending on each case. In general, it can take from a few weeks to several months. We recommend being patient and waiting for official communication from the SEF.

Can I bring someone to the SEF interview?

Normally, the SEF interview is an individual process. However, in special circumstances, an accompanying person may be allowed to attend. We suggest you consult directly with the SEF to obtain precise information according to your case.

If you have any further questions about the interview with SEF Portugal, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you on your way to residency and citizenship by investment in Portugal.