Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

Registered
Joined
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have an interview date at the local SEF office to apply for my residency card and I've been sent a list of documents to bring. I've been told that I need to bring an ID card for the national health service and that I should apply at the local health centre. The local health health centre sent me to the Office for Social Security to obtain a Social Security number. The Office for Sicial Security was surprised that I would ask for a social security number with having obtained a Residency Card 馃槼 And so it goes around....

But we're working on resolving that one. The problem that I'm hoping someone can assist with is that we are self funded retirees from Australia. Australia doesn't have an ID card, because we're self funded we don't have any social security documentation from Australia and so when the office of Social Security here in Portugal has required proof that we are retired were at a loss.

Are there any Australians who've had the same issue or anyone that can suggest any solutions?
 

Registered
Joined
2,995 Posts
Could you not simply show some kind of document that shows you're in receipt of a pension from Oz?

The thing to remember about bureaucrats in Portugal is they simply love to be able to slap their stamp on something and anything is often better than nothing in that regard. ;)

That said, Portuguese NHS is dependent on residency only so how can they expect you to get a PT NHS registration card before they grant you residency?

Oh & for what it's worth, as I understand it, rules changed a year or two ago and now you do not need to get a SS number to get PT NHS registration & the SS number is only required if you plan to work here........ but hopefully someone else can chime in on that one.
 

Registered
Joined
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Could you not simply show some kind of document that shows you're in receipt of a pension from Oz?
Thanks for your response! Unfortunately we're not currently drawing a pension from our Australian pension fund but living off savings for a long as is viable.
 

Registered
Joined
2,995 Posts
Thanks for your response! Unfortunately we're not currently drawing a pension from our Australian pension fund but living off savings for a long as is viable.
OK sorry for my misunderstanding.

Bit that still begs the question of how can you get a PT NHS card until they give you residency when PT NHS is based on residency alone?

Perhaps it might be worth asking SEF for clarification.
 

Registered
Joined
174 Posts
We had a very similar problem. The solution was to apply for child benefit which got us all SS numbers!.... As a non EU citizen I understand that you can show private health cover as an alternative to an SS number and NHS registration.
 

Registered
Joined
188 Posts
TM it's very difficult to get SEF to clarify anything! Just finding someone to talk to is a major undertaking.

SEF's list of documents is a "one size fits all" situation. Don"t worry too much about documents you don't have and can't get, because you are not eligible. They will understand your situation and won't expect you to do the impossible.
As far as health care is concerned, they will probably just want to see that you have adequate Private insurance.
For proof of income, all you can do is provide a recent bank statement, showing the current balance of your account. You may also need to provide a recent statement from your pension fund as well.
Also, don't worry about having documents translated. SEF in Setubal were quite happy to accept English language documents.
 

Registered
Joined
188 Posts
We had a very similar problem. The solution was to apply for child benefit which got us all SS numbers!.... As a non EU citizen I understand that you can show private health cover as an alternative to an SS number and NHS registration.
Every resident can get an SS number by applying for a European Health Card!
 

Registered
Joined
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
TM it's very difficult to get SEF to clarify anything! Just finding someone to talk to is a major undertaking.

SEF's list of documents is a "one size fits all" situation. Don"t worry too much about documents you don't have and can't get, because you are not eligible. They will understand your situation and won't expect you to do the impossible.
As far as health care is concerned, they will probably just want to see that you have adequate Private insurance.
For proof of income, all you can do is provide a recent bank statement, showing the current balance of your account. You may also need to provide a recent statement from your pension fund as well.
Also, don't worry about having documents translated. SEF in Setubal were quite happy to accept English language documents.
Thank you. I hope that you're right. Because right now we're a little concerned at how we obtain all the docs on the list.
SEF. Have actually been quite responsive to requests for clarification but they certainly haven't backed away from al the docs being required including having our marriage certificate translated and notarised......

A friend actually recommended obtaining a solicitor to handle the process. Can anyone offer any suggestion on what this might cost?
 

Registered
Joined
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bit that still begs the question of how can you get a PT NHS card until they give you residency when PT NHS is based on residency alone?
.
Yes that's what I would have thought. However, at the Health centre, the lack of residency card didn't seem to be issue, only the lack of social security number
 

Registered
Joined
2,995 Posts
TM it's very difficult to get SEF to clarify anything! Just finding someone to talk to is a major undertaking.

SEF's list of documents is a "one size fits all" situation. Don"t worry too much about documents you don't have and can't get, because you are not eligible. They will understand your situation and won't expect you to do the impossible.
As far as health care is concerned, they will probably just want to see that you have adequate Private insurance.
For proof of income, all you can do is provide a recent bank statement, showing the current balance of your account. You may also need to provide a recent statement from your pension fund as well.
Also, don't worry about having documents translated. SEF in Setubal were quite happy to accept English language documents.
I guess it's yet another example of Portuguese variable bureaucracy in action......... We used Leiria SEF for our 10 year extension & they couldn't have been more helpful but we do have UK passports which might have made a difference.

Maybe they don't like you colonials? lol! ;)

Sorry about that........ I just couldn't resist! :)
 

Registered
Joined
174 Posts
Have you not just hit on the eternal Portuguese conundrum. No residence without SS number, no SS number or EHIC without residence......?
 

Registered
Joined
54 Posts
Yes. You just have to be legally resident in Portugal. Its EU law.
I have been refused the EHIC card even though I have temporary residency and access to the SNS. According to the officials Canada, except the province of Quebec, doesn't have a reciprocal SS agreement with Portugal. Therefore, I cannot get it without being covered by Portuguese SS. As I'm retired, that is no longer an option. Perhaps a permanent residency is required?
 

Registered
Joined
188 Posts
I have been refused the EHIC card even though I have temporary residency and access to the SNS. According to the officials Canada, except the province of Quebec, doesn't have a reciprocal SS agreement with Portugal. Therefore, I cannot get it without being covered by Portuguese SS. As I'm retired, that is no longer an option. Perhaps a permanent residency is required?
I realised after posting that the situation is more complex than I implied.

I applied for an Australian pension under the reciprocal SS agreement between Australia and Portugal at the same time I registered with SS, so I'm not sure how much one affected the other. However, my wife, who is Filipino, had no trouble registering with SS at all, once she had her residency card.

I believe that both SS and the SNS regularly misinform foreigners, in verbal communication, in the hope that they will just go away. It is my understanding that anyone who has been resident in Portugal for a year can register with SS. Most reciprocal SS agreements reduce that waiting time to zero.
 

Registered
Joined
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I applied for an Australian pension under the reciprocal SS agreement between Australia and Portugal at the same time I registered with SS, so I'm not sure how much one affected the other. However, my wife, who is Filipino, had no trouble registering with SS at all, once she had her residency card.
.
Hi Naaling,

Neither of us have reached pension age and, even if we were, we're self funded so I don't think that route is an option.
I hope that I'm not being to personal by asking did your wife have to supply evidence of income or employment status?

All our documents ( & after previous advice from this thread I gave them a LOT!!) have been sent off to "head office" for consideration. The look on the lady's face who served us (& she was really nice!) was not optimistic.
 

Registered
Joined
188 Posts
Hi Naaling,

Neither of us have reached pension age and, even if we were, we're self funded so I don't think that route is an option.
I hope that I'm not being to personal by asking did your wife have to supply evidence of income or employment status?

All our documents ( & after previous advice from this thread I gave them a LOT!!) have been sent off to "head office" for consideration. The look on the lady's face who served us (& she was really nice!) was not optimistic.
You should have no trouble getting registered with SS, its covered in the reciprocal agreement between Australia and Portugal. See "Article 5" of the document below.


https://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-de...rity-agreement-between-australia-and-portugal
 

Registered
Joined
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Registered
Joined
188 Posts
Thank you Naaling! Do you know if Article 5 applies to the Temporary Residency that (hopefully!?!) will receive for the first five years?
I might be a bit confused. Were you talking about applying for residency or social security in post #17?
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top