About 220,000 immigrants with provisional legal status

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 05-06-2021 14:00:00 · 4 Comments

About 220,000 foreigners with processes pending at the SEF have temporarily had their situation regularised in Portugal due to the covid-19 pandemic, but the Associação Solidariedade Imigrante warns that many of them feel “imprisoned” in the country.

In a response sent to Lusa, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) states that 223,000 immigrants are covered by the order published on 30 April, which determines that all immigrants with processes pending at SEF, whose requests were made within the defined time frame, are "temporarily in good standing" in the country until "the final administrative decision of the respective process".

SEF emphasises that these immigrants who temporarily have their situation regularised, can obtain access to the National Health Service or other rights to health care, access to social support benefits and the signing of lease and work contracts, as well as being able to open bank accounts and contract essential public services.

However, the president of Associação Solidariedade Imigrante said that immigrants covered by this measure are “imprisoned” in Portugal, since they “cannot leave the country to visit their family or look for another job, because they do not have documents”.

“This is a violation of human rights, they cannot do anything in their lives, despite having the user number. What are they going to do with the user number”, he asked. Timóteo Macedo also underlined that the immigrants covered by this order are “tied to the shackles of the bosses”, because they know that “they do not have documents and that their stay in national territory is provisionally regularised”.

The Associação Solidariedade Imigrante defends that all immigrants who have processes pending at SEF and covered by these orders should be automatically legalised . "Instead of going from office to office and in view of this exceptional situation, these people with pending cases must be given a residence permit immediately, regardless of their employment status," he claimed. According to Timóteo Macedo, this measure would “relieve SEF” and “resolve the problem of thousands of citizens who are imprisoned in this country”.

"With a residence permit, these immigrants can get better work and overcome the great precariousness of the housing issue", he concluded.

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I have Apllied for registeration in Centre de Saude. 14/04/2021 my son is Two year old,He Need routine checkup and vacine as infant but nobody responding .Physically they are not accepting any request .

By Ravinder kumar from Lisbon on 07-06-2021 12:30

Good, rational conclusion of the President of Associação Solidariedade Imigrante. Indeed these hapless immigrants are honey-trapped in Portugal, unable to be reunited with their families and get suitable jobs due to requirements of residence permits for most of the white-collar jobs. The SEF with this humongous number of applicants must be in thick soup as well.

A respite could be to fast-track applicants who already have white-collar jobs, and then process the rest. This will alleviate the burden of SEF and quicken the entire process. This is the least SEF can do, instead of ploughing through those applications and backlogs. Whatever it is, SEF should act!

By Rajib Ahmed from Lisbon on 06-06-2021 09:47

Absolutely agreed. Sef should immediately give us residency card unconditionally without any further ado. We have suffered enough. Just give us the card and be done with it please.

By Mizanur Rahim from Lisbon on 06-06-2021 01:19

It is a shame that SEF is in such a mess. Now the priority seems to be to reorganize the whole immigration/borders/asylum system while people legitimately in the country are left waiting for cancelled appointments to be rescheduled - or even securing an appointment to extend their permits.

By Annie from Algarve on 05-06-2021 05:50
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