The Resolution of the Council of Ministers No 43/2021 of 14th April determined the extinction of the Foreign and Borders Service (SEF) in Portugal, and the creation in its place of the Foreigners and Asylum Service (SEA).
This Resolution indicates how the restructuring of the immigration police in Portugal will be carried out, namely what powers of the SEF will now be the responsibility of the Republican National Guard (GNR), the Public Security Police (PSP), the Judicial Police (PJ) and the Institute of Registers and Notary (IRN).
With this restructuring, the IRN is responsible for:
- The issuance of the Portuguese passport and renewal of residence permits of foreign citizens residing in Portugal.
GNR will be responsible for:
- Monitor and control maritime and land borders;
- To act in proceedings of coercive removal and judicial expulsion of foreign citizens in the areas of their jurisdiction
- Ensure the carrying out of mobile controls and joint operations with Spanish national and similar security forces and services.
The PSP will be in charge of:
- Monitor and control airport borders and cruise terminals;
- Act in the context of coercive removal and judicial expulsion of foreign citizens in the areas of their jurisdiction.
The PJ will be responsible for:
- Investigation of crimes of aid to illegal immigration, association of aid to illegal immigration, human trafficking, and others with these related.
The management of the databases, currently the responsibility of SEF, will transition to the SEA, in conjunction with the National Network of Internal Security, “being guaranteed access to all entities legally qualified for this”.
According to the Government, this restructuring will shape “the way public services deal with the phenomenon of immigration, adopting a more humanistic and less bureaucratic approach”.