Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum succeeds SEF

Decree-Law nº 41/2023 of 2 June creates the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA), which succeeds the Foreigners and Borders Service, SEF, and the High Commission for Migrations (ACM), that are extinct.

 

The creation of the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA) was approved by the Council of Ministers on April 6, 2023, and legislated through Decree-Law No. 41/2023 of June 2, which created it.

In practical terms, this Decree-Law legislates the powers of the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA), insofar as this body succeeds the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) and the High Commission for Migration (ACM), which are both extinguished.

In April, the Portuguese Government revealed in a statement that the extinction of the Foreigners and Borders Service would contribute to “the area of freedom, security and justice in the Schengen area”, while separating “the police functions from those of integration and reception” (Government approves extinction of the Foreigners and Borders Service).

The Government maintains that “the creation of a large agency, with a transversal profile to different target audiences, thus represents a new level of integration and inclusion, which places rights, freedoms and guarantees at the center of its action, ensuring the continuity of policies humanists who have deserved international recognition.”

The extinction of the Foreigners and Borders Service was postponed several times, first due to the pandemic. This year, March 31 was advanced as the deadline for the SEF, however, its extinction was only approved in April and June 2 legislated. In this restructuring, two diplomas were enacted: Decree-Law No. 40/2023 and Decree-Law No. 41/2023, both of June 2nd, which aim at the transfer of competences of the services, as well as the mobility and integration of employees falling into different professional categories.

The transitory process for the services and employees of the Foreigners and Borders Service is underway, so it should be extinguished in October, according to the statements of the Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro: “When we reach October of this year, the SEF is extinguished as its employees are integrated into other forces, that is, in October of this year the SEF extinction process takes place”,

Within the scope of the extinction of the Foreigners and Borders Service, the delegation of administrative competences will be transferred to the Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum and to the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN), while police competences will be distributed by the Public Security Police (PSP), Republican National Guard (GNR) and Judiciary Police (PJ).

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