If you are in the United States and are planning to be married, it’s important to learn about the family visa process so that you can apply accordingly. The general requirements for these visas are outlined below. However, it’s always recommended to work with an immigration lawyer when applying to ensure your application is submitted properly and that there aren’t any issues once your spouse arrives. This guide will give you everything you need to know about applying for a family or Portuguese spouse visa.
Who Can Apply?
The applicant must be related to someone in Portugal to apply for a family visa. One can qualify in four ways:
- By being the spouse of an EU citizen.
- Being the child of an EU citizen who is unmarried and under 21 years old
- By being the parent of an EU citizen
- By qualifying as a family member through marriage.
The person applying for the visa has to show that they are married, not separated or divorced from their partner (or if separated, it has to have been two consecutive years since the separation). They also need to prove that they have sufficient funds (about 700 Euros per person) to support themselves while they wait for their application process to finish.
One needs proof of these qualifications before applying with the Foreigner’s Police at Lisbon Airport or Porto Airport.
What Documents do I Need?
To apply for a family visa, you need the following documents:
- Proof of legal status in Portugal
- Proof of marriage
- Evidence that the spouse will not become an unreasonable burden on the public purse.
The process usually takes between six months and two years. There is no fee for applying. If your application is rejected, there are ways to make your case stronger such as providing additional documents, more letters of support, taking courses related to Portugal culture and customs, learning the language, getting medical exams done in Portugal at private clinics instead of using public health services.
How to Apply?
You must first secure your passport to apply for a Portugal family visa. Then, you will need to provide an invitation letter from your sponsor in Portugal and fill out the necessary visa application form. The Embassy may require additional documents depending on the circumstances of each case. You must also provide translations of any documentation not written in English. Finally, you will need to pay the processing fee before submitting your application at the Consulate General of Portugal in Chicago.
How Long Does the Entire Process Take?
Applying for a family visa or Portuguese Spouse Visa can take six months to two years. The partner must prove they are in a long-term, committed relationship with the applicant and have enough money and resources to support the applicant. Furthermore, this process requires submitting several documents, including birth certificates and bank statements.
What are the Requirements?
The family member’s spouse, who has been granted residence in Portugal, is eligible for a family visa. The Portugal spouse visa requirements are straightforward and require the following:
- A valid Passport
- Proof that they have a clean criminal record
- Proof that they have not violated any previous work permits
- Proof that they can financially support themselves while living in Portugal
- Proof that they are not married to more than one person simultaneously.
What if my Application is Denied?
If your application is denied, there are two possible reasons:
- Your application does not meet the requirements of the program that you applied for
- You submitted incorrect information on your application.
If this is the case, you must correct any errors and resubmit them. If it meets all of the requirements, then there may be an issue with your documents, which will need to be resubmitted. There is also another way that your application could be denied.
If someone previously convicted of a violent crime in the United States applies for a family visa from Portugal, their petition would most likely be denied because Portugal has strict rules against issuing visas to people with criminal records in other countries (except when there is an exception).
Many factors come into play in applying for a family visa, such as the source country, whether you have been married before, and your age. The Portuguese spouse visa requirements are significantly different from the family reunification requirements. It is best to get legal advice from an immigration lawyer first to ensure that the application process will go smoothly.