Residence Permit for CPLP Citizens

The Residence Permit for citizens of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) is a mechanism established by Portugal to facilitate the legal stay of citizens from these countries in Portuguese territory. This procedure is part of the effort to strengthen cultural, economic, and social ties among Portuguese-speaking nations.

The CPLP residence permit in Portugal is regulated by the Agreement on Mobility between the Member States of the CPLP, approved by Resolution of the Assembly of the Republic No. 195/2021 and ratified by the Presidential Decree No. 66/2021.

 

Who Can Apply?

Citizens of the following countries can apply for the CPLP Residence Permit:

  1. Angola
  2. Brazil
  3. Cape Verde
  4. Guinea-Bissau
  5. Equatorial Guinea
  6. Mozambique
  7. São Tomé and Príncipe
  8. Timor-Leste

 

How to Apply for the CPLP Residence Permit?

CPLP citizens who have submitted expressions of interest before June 4, 2024, and citizens holding CPLP visas can apply for the CPLP Residence Permit through the digital platform https://cplp.sef.pt/. The residence permit through the online application should be issued within 72 hours and has a fee of €15.00.

Although it is expected that CPLP citizens who have entered the national territory regularly can apply for the CPLP residence permit entirely online, this possibility is currently blocked.

For these citizens, as well as for the application of the CPLP residence permit for minors, the request must be made through an in-person appointment at AIMA (Agency for Integration, Migrations, and Asylum). Appointments can be made by phone or through the contact form on the AIMA website https://aima.gov.pt/pt

The CPLP residence permit application should be summarily approved, except if the applicant is identified in the Schengen Information System as a subject of an indication for return or for refusal of entry and stay.

 

CPLP Mobility

Advantages of the CPLP Residence Permit – CPLP Mobility

  • Simplified Process: The procedure is less bureaucratic, making the process of obtaining residency faster and more accessible.
  • Facilitated Integration: This permit promotes the integration of CPLP citizens into Portuguese society, allowing them to work, study, and access healthcare services and other social rights.
  • Mobility within the Schengen Area: While the CPLP residence permit does not automatically grant the right to free movement within the Schengen Area, it facilitates the obtaining of visas for other European countries.

 

Disadvantages of the CPLP Residence Permit – CPLP Mobility

Mobility Limitations: The CPLP residence permit does not automatically grant the right to free movement within the Schengen Area, potentially limiting mobility to other European countries.

 

Requirements to Obtain the CPLP Residence Permit in the National Territory:

To apply for the CPLP Residence Permit, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

 

  1. Valid Identification Document: Passport or equivalent document.
  2. Proof of Legal Entry into Portugal: Entry stamp, visa, or any other document proving legal entry into the territory.
  3. Proof of Means of Subsistence: Demonstration that the applicant has sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their stay in Portugal.
  4. Health Insurance: Proof of valid health coverage in Portugal.
  5. Criminal Record: Criminal record certificate from the country of origin and from other countries where the applicant has resided for more than one year.
  6. Proof of Accommodation: Document proving the applicant’s residence in Portugal, such as a rental contract, a letter of accommodation, or a residence certificate from the parish council.

 

Rights of the CPLP Residence Permit Holder

The holder of the CPLP Residence Permit has the following rights in Portugal:

  • Education, teaching, and professional training, including subsidies and scholarships in accordance with applicable legislation;
  • Engagement in subordinate employment;
  • Engagement in independent professional activities;
  • Professional guidance, training, improvement, and retraining;
  • Access to healthcare;
  • Access to legal rights and courts.

 

The holder also has equal treatment in matters of:

  • Social security;
  • Tax benefits;
  • Union membership;
  • Recognition of diplomas, certificates, and other professional titles or access to goods and services available to the public, as well as the application of provisions granting special rights.

 

Validity of the CPLP Residence Permit

The CPLP Residence Permit is valid for one year. In theory, it is expected to be renewable twice for periods of two years, upon verification of the following requirements:

  • Proof of Continued Means of Subsistence;
  • Valid Health Insurance or Registration with the National Health Service;
  • Updated Criminal Record.

However, the Government has not yet created a mechanism for immigrants to renew the permit.

 

 

The CPLP Residence Permit represents a significant opportunity for citizens from Portuguese-speaking countries to establish themselves in Portugal with greater ease. In addition to promoting mobility and integration, this permit strengthens the ties between Portugal and other CPLP countries, benefiting the involved communities.

However, the CPLP residence is not without its challenges, which extend beyond the issue of limited mobility.

It is important to highlight that the first CPLP Residence Permits began to expire in March 2024, and their holders still do not have a way to renew them. Unlike the legally provided solutions for other residence permits, the Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA) has not established a method for CPLP citizens holding CPLP residence permits to renew their permits.

AIMA’s president, Luís Goes Pinheiro, assured that a method for renewal was under study and that immigrants would know how to proceed by March. However, this did not happen. Instead, the Government approved a decree-law, Decree-Law No. 109/2023, dated November 24, which implements the forty-fifth amendment to Decree-Law No. 10-A/2020, dated March 13, extending the validity of documents and visas for staying in Portugal, determining that documents and visas for staying in the national territory will be accepted until June 30, 2024.

However, the decree-law only applies within national territory, which prevents, for example, its holders from returning to Portugal after traveling abroad.

Various reports indicate that immigrants are unable to renew work contracts or enroll in studies due to expired documents. The future of CPLP residence permits is uncertain.

However, in a final note of hope, on June 3, 2024, the Migration Action Plan was approved by the Council of Ministers.

During the presentation ceremony, the Government emphasized that “the Mobility Agreement concluded with these States represents a commitment that Portugal must not only maintain but also commit to implementing necessary improvements,” also highlighting the government’s intention to promote access to the Schengen Area for CPLP residence permit holders, in accordance with Schengen agreements, and to advance new legislation to address issues of permit expiration.

As a result, on June 25, 2024, the Government approved the decree-law extending the validity of documents and visas related to residence in national territory by one year, until June 30, 2025, including CPLP Residence Permits.

If you want to know more about this subject, need legal support in the Immigration field, or want to handle a specific CPLP Residence Permit, you can rely on the support of our team of lawyers. You can contact LACA here.

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Lamares, Capela & Associados is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy and we will only use your personal information to manage your account and provide the products and services you have requested. Occasionally, we would like to contact you about our products and services and also about other matters that may be of interest to you.

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