SEF creates centers to serve immigrants

The Foreigners and Borders Service – SEF – will create face-to-face service centers to assist immigrants and regularize pending processes for residence permits.

 

The Foreigners and Borders Service – SEF – announced that it is preparing face-to-face service centers so that it can assist all immigrants with pending issues related to the ongoing processes of residence permits in Portugal.

Among other measures and with the aim of speeding up the services, which far exceeded the established deadlines, even leading some foreigners to court (Foreign investors sue Portugal for delays in scheduling to obtain Golden Visas), the SEF revealed that appointments will no longer be made by telephone and will now be carried out digitally, which means, exclusively online.

The idea is to call these citizens of foreign nationality with pending cases for face-to-face assistance after scheduling but with a greater capacity for response. In a statement, the SEF clarified that, “it is not a matter of regularization, but of putting into practice, in the coming months, a pending recovery procedure, concentrated in time and covering requests for the years 2021 and 2022”.

At the beginning of 2023, the Foreigners and Borders Service had more than 290,000 pending cases, of which it is not known exactly whether they still have effect or not (because these foreign citizens no longer reside in Portugal). Estimates point to around 150,000 processes to be regularized, the vast majority of which are Brazilian citizens.

The Portuguese Government wants to resolve this issue by the end of March this year, so it is considering using the anti-covid vaccination pavilions for this purpose and eventually the spaces for serving British citizens during Brexit.

As announced by the Government, it is expected that the Foreigners and Borders Service in its current form will be extinguished on March 31, 2023, giving way to the Portuguese Agency for Migration and Asylum -APMA.

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