My experience may be an anomaly... I had to go pick up my Portuguese ID card which I had applied for in another country. As it was a simple pick up, the process was fairly quick (45 minutes).
My Portuguese is not great and they did not wish to speak to me in English. I suppose this is fair enough as I really should have better Portuguese.
I did see many other people losing their temper though. The staff, towards these people, were quite rude and unable to help.
Getting in touch with the Consulate is difficult and this is an area that should be improved.
Going to The Portuguese Consulate in London is a bit like a trip to hell. The staff are rude, impolite, lack a sense of humour, have no sense of time and efficiency and lack courtesy.
I think that the only way to improve this place is to sack the Numero Uno man who works there and get someone who has a better head on his shoulder. That should probably make all the other staff buckle their belts and be emphatic towards their clients.
After all, we are paying a rather high fee for the services rendered, so so why should we be treated like beggars with a begging bowl?
Starting from the chap at the entrance ,they can be rude in such a way that they can bring the wild side of anyone and face the abuse. I wonder if the consul or the ambassador bothers to read these reviews. The staff should be replaced by young and professional people from Portugal.
Name: Rui Giao
Ridiculous and unbelievable! All numbers are busy all the time, there's an absolute lack of information from the portuguese consulate. When searching on th internet for the Portugese Embassy it redirects to the Consulate. If yo get through good luck, I've been on hold longer than 1h!!!!
Name: Upset portuguese in Londo
Try to call them twice and in both occassions nobody picked up the phone. In one occasion I have been waiting for more than an hour. I would suggest to employ more people and to have a clearer website. As a Portuguese citizen, I am really ashamed of such a poor service!Very unhelpful website.
Follow up to the 9/10 post below - We visited the London consulate on 7th Feb 2012 and received the new passport via DHL on the 10th Feb 2012. Amazing!!! They need to be praised otherwise they might have a relapse THANK YOU
Some maybe surprised at the high rating and I will explain. I am English with a Portuguese wife and we have been using the Portuguese Consulate in London for around 30 years. In the past it was simple terrible. One would have to arrive at around 6am to queue outside until they opened. If you were far back in the queue you wouldn't stand a chance of getting in. With this in mind I was worried that the same would apply this time when having to renew my wife's passport. I first wrote (in Portuguese) and got no reply. I then found the consulate's email address and emailed them and got a reply within 24 hours. I replied to their questions and was asked to suggest a convenient date and time for an appointment which I did and was duly given a convenient appointment. We turned up 10 minutes before the time and on entering the premises at 3 Portland Place were met by the obligatory Portuguese official sitting at a desk. He was polite but refused to allow me to accompany my wife - I waited by the desk. 45 minutes later wife appears - all done. Amazing!
During my wait I observed many people turning up to see the "man at the desk" and have these observations to make.
* If you are Portuguese you must speak Portuguese otherwise the reception is very cold to say the least. I cannot over emphasise this point. It is clear that they view this as a very serious issue.
* You MUST make an appointment NO APPOINTMENT NO CHANCE - if you write you must include a stamped self address envelope (I didn't and got no reply). Its best to email. If you are Portuguese you must write in your mother tongue otherwise NADA.
* If renewing a passport, there is no need for you to bring passport photos or birth certificate as they have a digital camera and access to the birth database in Portugal.
* Be polite - greet the "man at the desk" in Portuguese - make him feel comfortable. He has a tough job and he tries his best.
That's it - good luck
Most embrassing but it is true, the Portuguese Consulate is THE worst Consulate you can ever contact. The entire staff needs to be sacked & trained professionals need to be appointed. If you are a Citizen & need a new passport or Cartão de Cidadão, then your best bet is to find a cheap ticket to Lisbon & get it done there. A new paasport in Lisbon can be issued the same day.
I have given it 1* just because there is no 0* to select !!
I have made special effort to join this site to warn the public of the lazy, unprofessional and unhelpful attitude of the Portuguese Visa Section/Embassy. It is unbelievable they are allowed to operate this way. All I requested for was a Visa application form and instructions (over 2 weeks ago)to apply and all I was given was told was to email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. After over 2 weeks not one of them had the decency to reply or acknowledge my e-mail and I have a flight to catch by the end of Spetember. It appears that only a lady by the name of Estella is the only voice of this so called government dept. Although she tried her best to help, it was of no use to me as all she could suggest was to send e-mails here there and everywhere. Apparently it is not possible to speak to anyone else (maybe because they know that there are many angry people out there) other than her and all she is good for is to ask people to send e-mails. I have been advised by her to send any complaints (again by e-mail), this time to Jose Macedo Leao, which I will do, for what its worth. I hope that at least he will be able to get out of bed and reply to me as clearly the rest of the department are either lazy (susegado) or are still in bed.
If I ever kow of anyone wanting to visit Portugal for a holiday and they need a Visa, I will warn them off my experience as I wouldnt wish this on my friends.
I will off course be taking this up further with the Portuguese Authorities in Portugal but God help me if they have the same attitude as the staff in London. I have been playing by THEIR rules but it seems they don't know their own rules themselves!!
Is it surprising why Portugal is in so much debt, when they miss opportunities of embracing Tourism in this way? Come on Portugal ... WAKE UP !!!!
I feel sad and ashamed to be Portuguese as I read all this!
I must admit it all being true though....I spent 4 months calling and emailing the Portuguese Embassy in London just to try to get an appointment! Then they send me an email asking me what I need, and another one just to ask me on which days I cannot come(this could have been done all in one email!)
Not to mention they made me wait half an hour each time I tried calling them, and don't even have voicemail so they can deliberately ignore us and not call us back!
On my last email I was given a code and a date to show up. Having arrived half an hour early I was amazed how and why I had to wait 4hours!!!???
I just wanted to apply for a passport, this process took 5minutes only by the way! My appointment was at 11 am, I waited patiently for 2 hours, then, ironically my number was almost due to appear on screen when the security asks us all to leave cause it's lunch time! I think they should pay us all lunch just for that!!!
I had to wait somewhere outside in the cold for 1 hour then returned and waited another half an hour.
After having done all the necessary procedures for the application I then had to wait another half an hour just to pay(one would think that at least for money the greedy Portuguese would have more staff at the font office!)
66 pounds of my hard earned money went to the Embassy for a document that God knows how long will take to be ready(I was told 10days but we all know how the Portuguese sistem works!)Try sorting a document in Portugal, it;s the same honestly!Plus, if you notice on the board once you walk in, it says that it is closed during portuguese AND english bank holidays!!!!
I would love to work there! By the way this is extremely slow because there isn't enough staff-unbelievable! with so many people unemployed!
If the other embassies have enough staff and good, fast service why can't us?
You better travel to Portugal if you need sth done like I read on one revi
To all those who have listed the Portuguese Consulate as a 10/10 rating, I am highly suspicious. I have a strong belief you all work there and form part of the incompetent work-force who so greatly enforce a bad opinion of Portugal. What morons! They are rude, don't help people, insist on sending emails in Portuguese even if you expressly ask for replies to be made in English (as you do not speak the language), and then they sell you documents you don't need - so they not only keep you waiting for hours to be seen (and DAYS - you make two or three appointments and lose days of work), but they have no idea of Portuguese laws and legislation!!! What kind of Consulate is this...? I am Portuguese and a British Citizen so my British passport is enough to identify me and sign documents there. But I was expressly and fraudulently sold an ID card that I DON'T NEED AT ALL but was categorically corrected and made to pay for when I was at the Consulate. In Portugal..they didn't even ask for it and quoted the law to me saying it wasn't necessary. What? ! IDIOTS...who cost me £40...! and time ...I am horrified that these are the people representing the Portuguese nation. Did we hire all the dreggs of our nation to work there? I think the boss should be sacked...because quite truly staff from Macdonalds could work there better. At least they would know what they were selling you!
Name: L Guerreiro
Portuguese embassy is the worst embassy I have encountered, every time I try to get some information from the embassy, I have to call 090652666000 or 09065266608, which costs more than £1.50 per mintue. If you call the nomal number which is 0207 291 3770, they wouldn't give any information. If you can, do not use this awful embassy at all.
I've few complaint at all about bad service concerning Portuguese Embassy. I've been there 3 times and just once had to wait a little longer coz system went down. You have to be a bit persistent e-mailing then, about same subject 2/3 times. Forget calling then, you'll just waste your time
I received confirmation from Portugal stating that my I.D. card was ready to be collected in July 2010. I've been trying to phone the Consulate in London since then and had to hang up every time, as I was waiting in the "queue" for 30 minutes each time. I emailed them, only to receive yet another application for an I.D. card. When I went there the first time to sort out my documents, I had to wait 5 minutes for the two men at reception to finish gossiping like old women, before being served. While they were chatting away and ignoring my prescence, the phones were ringing non-stop. I work full-time during the week, so it's impossible for me to go there without an appointment. Where does this leave me? Will my I.D. card be sent back to Portugal if I don't pick it up soon? When I was there last year, I remember seeing one of the staff looking through a huge stack of I.D. cards, which were yet to be collected. What a surprise! To heck with this - I'm getting on to the Portuguese Embassador in London. Let's just hope he's not having a permanent siesta like the consulate staff!
If you phone the Embassy in London, and follow the prompts for passports, the information for directions to the consulate, the email address and the postal codes are noted incorrectly, the email address comes across as email@example.com (note the incorrect '.tt' in place '.pt'.
The postal code comes across as 'HR' instead of 'PR'.
The staff come across as 'hostile'
Name: Carlos dos Santos
I was living in Paris France and there they have good services in Portuguese Consulate, within 30 minutes do your work and go home, but not in U.K London its worst I ever seen in any consulate also staff they don't want to explain anything proper and who's going to listen our voice and change the system in U.K. Consulate.I hope something should be done by the Portuguese Government. All staff in U.K. Consulate are helpless even you phone, send email or send letter by post.I think all staff should be changed.
Name: Anthony Fernandes
I agree with most of you.
Went to the consulate to pick up my id card which was ready as I had applied for it in Portugal,I had to stand in que for 3hrs when it was my turn I was told very rudely that I had to come back as they were closing for lunch!!!
It takes less time to fly to Portugal to pick it up than to the one in London.I have also emailed them no response, I tried to phone no answer grrr!!!! it's terrible it seems the only way I will be able to pick it up is by flying to Portugal.
So folks take my advice go to Portugal and sort out your documents it might cost you more but its less aggravating.
Name: Issy Sant
I can't rate the consulate above the number 0 out of 10, because I've received absolutely zero interest, zero response, and zero service in the last 12 months of trying everything to get an urgent appointment. A completey useless lot, they are.
Name: Filipe de Melo
Sent many Emails, Faxed and Posted letters to these people. no reply.
Sent email to the Primeiro Ministro complaining about the consulate. Got an emmediate response.
Also got an emmediate response from The Head Man at the consulate asking what reason i had that i should go direct to the Primeiro Ministro.
Got an appointment emmediately for 1 week later.
1 week later i got another appointment from a previous appointment request. Appointments came in one after the other. Bearing in mind i had already been and done my appointment.
Appointments still coming in weeks after i already had been there.
I thought i would phone them and cancel these as they were no longer needed, but hey it would take me days to let them know they had made extra bookings.
That place is a Joke. I've had experiences with other consulates in other parts of the world and their service is excellent. for example in South africa you can apply for your passport in the morning and collect it in the afternoon the same day. All this without an appointment.
I dont recommend any of my british friends to travel to portugal as i am embarrased if they need to do something at the consulate for whatever reason.
The worst part of this is that "its not like this in portugal" which leads my to believe the portuguese government does not value their citizens in UK.
Name: Desperate to get this rig
The Portuguese Consulate is only staffed by 10 people hence the worst than thirld world conditions. I was irate when I had to spend 4 1/2 hours waiting to collect my identity document.
Until people email the bureaucrat in the Portuguese Government firstname.lastname@example.org
nothing will happen.
Lets tell him that if Paris has 80 people staffing the consulate why can't London?
Also , can the staff at the Portuguese Consulate develop a sense of humour and not be so rude?
Hi.im portuguese and live in cardiff for the last 8 years.even if i try to be positive about portuguese embassy,its really difficult.i've been try to ring them for the last 3weeks and nobody answer the phone.now one of my mates told me if i need new i.d. or passport(in my case i need both cause i losted!!!)i need to go to portuguese consulate in....Manchester.i live in cardiff,wales.going to london is already time consuming,but now going all the way to manchester??!!please,we are in 2010 and its time for portuguese politics or whoever is in charge(embassador i assume)to be efficient.its not rocket science.you got a data base linked to the one in portugal and in couple of days for sure you can have the documents done.i still don't know what to do and i got an appoitment with them in january 2011!!!!!until then i can't go anywhere.no holidays no nothing.only form of i.d. i got is my driving license.i've been in passport office in u.k before(in newport)and was quite good.but you don't even need to go there.just go to post office,get a form,fill it,send it and in a week you got your passport by the post.if you unlucky it'll take 2weeks.in portugal it will take 2 months.really embarassing and a shame really.we can do better,we should do better.stop burucratic sistem and use common sense please.thanks and lucky you who don't need to deal with this incompetent people.sorry but its true.even people who work there can't uch about it.hope it will improve
The Portuguese people are all lovely and friendly, apart from those who work in the consulate.I'm from an ex-Portuguese colony, I can't speak Portuguese though I have the citizenship. Renewing my ID in London and Hong Kong have been a nightmare experience. I would like to suggest the Portuguese Consulate to improve the following:-
1. Set up an informative offical website regarding visa/ID card and passport; application/renewal in both English and Portuguese language (you would expect any civilised government to have these facilities decades ago);
2. All consulate staff to attend English course and customer service training. They are representing a nation, their image is either enhance or destroy people's impression about Portugal;
3. Clearly shows the complaint procedure at the consulate office and website;
4. Improve staff knowledge on legislations in particular on Human Right aspect, consulate staff have no authority to prevent, deny or delay the right of citizenship application of the people who are entitled to the Portuguese Nationality. Each individual is entitled to a nationality, this is one of the basic human right. Any non-direct action that result in preventing, denying or delaying of such right, i.e. expect all applicants to speak/write/read in Portuguese during the ID card/passport application process, are contradicting to the principle of European Convention of Human Right and the UN Agreement on Human Right ;
5. Eridicate discriminative and oppressive attitude from the Consulate office, staff who treat Portuguese speaking applicants more favourable than non Portuguese speakers, should subject to staff discipline and lay off.
Having read the reviews on this site beforehand, I was terrified about going to the Portuguese Consulate to renew my I.D. card. To my surprise, the staff were very friendly and helpful, and were happy to communicate with me in English, as my portuguese isn't as good as it used to be. Although my appointment ran smoothly and very quickly, the only negative comment I have is that I had to wait 40 minutes for someone to answer the phone, and waited 3 months to get an appointment. Otherwise, I was very pleased with the service.
The staff are disrespectful, rude and seem to sit back in there caged office doing nothing. When phoning the office you are placed on hold for a very long time. They send emails in Portuguese and do not translate despite writing in English and are generic. The staff advise you to speak in Portuguese when you arrive as 'its better'? for whom not sure.
Their ID systems go down all the time and you turn up to collect ID cards only to be advised they the system is down and will not be back up and running till the following day, wasting people's time and money. I have never dealt with such an unprofessional office and incompetence. It is a disgrace to say the least.
are you kidding me? to the person who has given them 10/10. that must be someone who works at the consulate. i dont know anybody who has been treated well at the consulate.the staff are rude and dont even know what they're doing.you call and wait on the phone for over an hour for someone to answer the phone and when they do they cant wait to get rid of you.they know nothing about portuguese law,not even in the slightest and very much need to be educated on it. i have always had a very below 0 service every single time that i have been to the consulate.they mix up their information and mis inform people everytime.
I waited on the line for 35 minutes before they finally picked up. I had only talked to the person for less than 2 minutes, I didn't have my "one" question answered before being pushed to end the call. Still waiting for the email with the information that I was promised. I don't speak portuguese very well and the only one who speaks english is the record on the phone asking you to wait... Horrible service, if I could I would give them a ZERO.
I don't understand these negative comments on here about the Portuguese Consulate. I have been there 5 times and have been extremely pleased with the service I received.
Here are the good points:
Nice building, very modern, well decorated, big flat screen TV in the waiting area.
All the latest computer equipment; you don't even need to take passport photos with you as they have a special machine there that takes a photo of you and transfers it to a their computer. The staff all seem friendly and knowledgeable. Even the security staff at the door were extremely friendly. It took only 2 weeks for me to get an I.D card and about 3 weeks to get a passport. I didn't have to pay much either for these documents
I have called them many, many times before and the most I have waited for the call to be answered is about 4-5 minutes if that. The service on the phone is excellent.
My boyfriend who is Canadian went to the Portuguese Consulate with me on 2 occasions and he was very impressed. In fact he said they seem to provide a better service than the Canadian high commission in London! Not only that he told me that he can't even speak to anyone at the high commission over the phone as it's all automated. He can't email them either. It has to be all by fax or post. With the Portuguese consulate, you can speak to someone, email them, fax or write to them
I have emailed the Portuguese Consulate many times before and got an immediate reply.
I’m annoyed with the reviews on here as all I saw was an excellent service, better than some richer countries, yet people on here are giving Portugal a bad name unnecessarily.
I agree with all the other reviews.
They obviously are seriously understaffed or have no budget to provide anything resembling normal service levels. That is how I chose to interpret kindly my experiences with them.
If you need anything official done, paperwork, etc:
1) book a budget airline flight to Porto or to Lisbon
2) find the local registrar or Loja do Cidadao online
3) ring them up / check online for the requisite information you'll need to bring
4) fly there & sort out the issue
I tried the consulate in London, and it is like other dimension or a Kafka novel - save yourself some time and bother and avoid it at all costs! However if you cannot do that, allow yourself at least 6 months, several visits, and the patience of a saint, becuase you will need it.
I sincerely hope that someone in charge will notice & do something about this because it does give a very poor impression of Portugal.
I am very desapointed with our country as a portuguese cityzen there never been any embassy in england, waiting 30 minuts by their door no service at all, their said call for an appointment, waiting another 5 minuts their ever pick up the call, its very poor service and people who work there have no responsibilities at all, what a mess embassy. my rate is 1 because i cant insert zero, is there anyone who can do somehing about this.
Wondering why they would have kept the phone ringing for 20 minutes before they finally picked up. I had only talked to the person for 2 minutes, I didn't even have my only question fully answered before being pushed to end the call. I had an awful experience with them when I lost my passport ten years ago, I thought they had improved their services over the years, at least telephone service! Being a Portuguese citizen I would like to hear positive things about the country, however, its overseas consulating services seem so disappointing.
I only rate them one because I can't pick zero.
I haven't even seen them yet but I was shocked with how rude they are on the phone.
I was on hold for what seems to be forever and then when he finally picked up, I politely asked him how to make an appointment to renew my passport in English and then he says, it's not polite for me to speak english to you when this you're suppose to speak Portuguese? He was not even helpful and I was appalled with his attitude. They do give Portuguese a bad name and it's shameful.
I am portuguse and find the service very poor, they dont pick up the phone or open on time, and find it discrasefull that it takes over 3 months to get a new ID card.
It seems to me that they do what they can and whant and not what they should. Being a portuguese citizen I find their service to the community wich they are paid to serve very poor.
they never answer the phone.
always have to go their just to book an appointment, and sometimes they don't even bother to replay to you at all.
it's a pity because back in portugal they are very helpful and here they give portuguese a bad name
Please note: The views and opinions expressed in user comments are not necessarily those of All In London. If any of the views expressed here are offensive and you would like them removed please click here to tell us about it.
|9/10||Excellent / Highly Recommended|
|8/10||Will go again|
|7/10||Would go again|
|6/10||Better than average|