I’m a legal alien…

I’m a Californian in the Algarve….

I’m legal until May 2026! I’ve been a resident for just under 2 years and I arrived 2 years, 3 months and 22 days ago, as of this published date. My first card had a 2 year validity and was set to expire at the end of June. I read that I could start applying for residency renewal through the SEF site up to 60 days prior to the current card’s expiration. So, beginning of May I went online to renew the card. It was the easiest thing I’ve done as a resident of Portugal. If you meet certain criteria, you are allowed to submit the application and, voila! A little over two weeks later, I got a notice to pick up the card! No appointment to show up for and no additional documents to submit.

The new card is valid for 3 years and will expire in May 2026! After the end of that period, I will be able to apply for a Portuguese passport or permanent residency. I believe one of the differences is that I must pass a Portuguese language test if I want the passport. That is my goal and at the moment my Portuguese is about an A2 level. I have 3 more years to study and practice, so I don’t think it will be a problem when the time arrives.

I’ve started to see some YouTube videos from some disillusioned transplants that have moved on or returned to the U.S. after saying the hype about Portugal did not meet their expectations. This is not the case for me. I did a lot of research before arriving here and I have traveled extensively throughout Western Europe since my college days and didn’t have rose colored glasses in my decision to move to Europe and, specifically, to Portugal. I got what I expected in terms of bureaucracy but I got so much more in terms of a feeling of welcoming. So far, so great!

My title is a bit of a riff on the sentiment in the Sting song, “Englishman in New York”. But, seriously, I am thrilled to have my stay extended here in Portugal. I wrote about how I felt the time had passed so quickly last year on my one and a half year anniversary. (see link below)


View from my balcony.


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