I am ecstatic! I’ve been dancing in the kitchen. Punching the air. I have a beaming smile from ear to ear.
I am privileged to have been granted the first stage of my D7 Visa from the Portugal Consulate in London. Thank you. I am incredibly grateful. And I won’t let you down.
It has felt like I’ve been waiting for months. The reality is that it has been less than eight weeks since I walked into the VFS Global office in London. But throughout those 53 days (35 work days) it has been in the back of my mind the whole time.
I received notification from VFS Global that my passport and visa had been dispatched to me. I waited for notification from the delivery company or simply for the doorbell to ring. I didn’t receive either until the early evening when I received an email and text advising that the delivery would be the next day.
That wasn’t going to work for me as I was not going to be home and, to accept the delivery, I had to show identification. The next two days were also impossible for me to be at home. Therefore, my response to the email was to rearrange the delivery until the following Monday. Five days later.
I know. Five more days of not knowing whether my application had been successful. What was I thinking? Five more days anxiously waiting. And I was incredibly anxious and apprehensive.
Rewind a couple of weeks
I knew that my application had arrived at the top of the pile as I had received an email asking for me to verify a couple of documents I submitted. They also requested more information on the proof of my passive income.
I took my time to respond to the email. I read it a few times and carefully constructed a reply to respond clearly and concisely to the questions they were asking. The information they were seeking clarity on and the information on my passive income had been submitted with my application so I provided the information in a slightly different format.
While I knew I exceeded the criteria for my D7 Visa, that does not necessarily mean it will be granted. When they asked more questions, it raised doubt that I would receive my D7 Visa. In fact, so much doubt that I started working out how long I could stay in Portugal before I needed to return to the UK and the schedule to re-apply.
It was the first time I realised how much my new adventure was at the decision and discretion of someone else. It felt uncomfortable. Every spare minute, the thought of not being granted my visa returned. Mentally, I was preparing myself for the worst.
“Out for delivery”
Monday morning, I received a text advising my parcel would be delivered between 7:45 and 9:35. I was sat waiting. At 8:55 the delivery van pulled up. I opened the door, ID in hand. After the obligatory photo to prove delivery, recording the details of my ID and signing for the parcel, I gently closed the door.
The house was quiet. Oh so quiet. I sat down. Took a huge breath. And cut open the envelope. A sheet of paper and my passport.
I unfolded the piece of paper. It was headed “Automatic appointment check”. I have an appointment in Castelo Branco in October. This can mean only one thing. I opened my passport and there it was. All the proof I needed was stuck firmly in my passport.
While I’ve got this far, the next stage to get my D7 Visa is the SEF appointment in October. Until then, I need to stay in Portugal and ensure that I prepare all the information required for the SEF appointment.
I am still on a (legal) high. I am so chuffed. I am incredibly grateful. I am so excited about what is to come next. I will also give myself a pat on the back.
Via Verde update
Also on Monday, I needed to go for an emergency dental appointment. I know, boring stuff that I wasn’t going to let dampen my excitement. On returning from the dentist a few hours later, there was another package on the doormat.
It was from Via Verde and it was my transponder to pay for the tolls through Spain and Portugal. How excited can you get over a small device? Oh, the mood I’m in, very excited!
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I signed up for Via Verde and received notification that the transponder had been posted the following day. It still took twelve days to reach me. But who cares? I’ve got it and just need to put it in the windscreen in readiness to head to Portugal.
Now I’ve had my passport returned with the Visa firmly stuck in it, I can now apply for my baggage certificate from the Consulate of Portugal in London.
For me, I hope this is relatively straightforward and I believe it is normally completed and returned within a couple of weeks.
As I am driving to Portugal with the items I can put in the car, it is not an extensive list of items I am taking. In fact, it’s a pretty short list and the realisation that everything I own will be able to fit in a car.
After all the paperwork is compiled I needed to get a Postal Order from the Post Office. I didn’t even know they still existed! But, they do! That’s posted and now for another (shorter) wait.
Over the last couple of weeks, there has been an increase in people reaching out to share their stories and progress in moving to Portugal. Thank you and I am genuinely humbled by the number of people who take the time to read my blog.
Feature photo by kind permission from Myriam Zilles
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Thank you. Muitio obrigado, Marc