The new guidelines date from the beginning of August and eliminate a practice established shortly after the transition to China from the former territory administered by Portugal, despite the form made available by the Migration Services still contemplating the possibility of apply for residency for carrying out specialised technical functions.

“For now, based on the information we have, any new applications for residence made by Portuguese citizens via the Migration Services, through the Police Corps, are only accepted based on the grounds of 'family grouping' and 'previous connection to the Macao SAR' of Public Security (CPSP), lawyer Pedro Meireles told Lusa.

Between April 2003 and November 2021, residence applications from Portuguese nationals were expressly mentioned in the law and equated to residence applications from Chinese citizens, but this changed with the new legislation.

“Residence requests from (…) Portuguese are no longer expressly mentioned (either in law no. 16/2021 or in administrative regulation no. 38/2021)”, in other words, “this 'special' mention has disappeared”, noted Meireles.

However, in practice, until August, applications for residence continued to be accepted on the basis of carrying out specialised technical functions.