To mitigate the consequences of the health emergency resulting from Covid-19 in the procedures for granting and renewing residence permits, the Government, through Order No. 5793-A/2020, is now adopting some exceptional and temporary measures that allow a recovery of pending issues at the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) and a gain in efficiency in the document management of foreign citizens. To this end, it has determined the following:
- The implementation of a simplified procedure for examining applications for residence permits with dispensation from the visa requirement under Articles 88(2) and 89(2) of Law No. 23/2007 of 4 July;
- That the pending applications for the granting of a residence permit for a reason other than that referred to in the previous paragraph, except those provided for in article 90-A of the same Law (ARI/Golden Visa), must be accompanied by the document that proves the purpose of the residence;
- The adoption of simplified procedures for the decision of applications pending renewal of residence permits, in which the Applicant will not need to go to a reception desk, by simply making the application at the SEF Portal;
- The provision of a means of electronic identification for foreign citizens residing in Portugal to access digital public services, namely through the possibility of joining the Digital Mobile Key at the SEF’s service points; and
- The exemption from the payment of fees for the issue of residence permits following decisions on applications that fall within the objective scope of this Order and which concern minors.
Within the changes that will come into force with this Order, there is the possibility that the documents presented together with the application for visa waiver (Expression of interest) prove the facts in the same certificates, regardless of their validity period, provided that they were valid on the date of that presentation, something that may constitute a substantial gain in the times of attendance at the SEF’s counter.
Please note that this Order does not affect the maintenance of the rights granted by Order no. 3863 -B/2020, of March 27, during the entire period of appreciation and processing of the respective processes.