Portugal plans to streamline immigration service

in News · 01-11-2019 01:00:00 · 32 Comments

The government has announced plans to overhaul Portugal’s Foreigners and Borders Office (SEF) in a bid to reduce bureaucracy and improve conditions for immigrants to the country.

One of the plans of the government is to make changes to establish a “very clear” separation between its policing and administrative functions in the documentation of immigrants.

“Without prejudice to a determined action in combating human trafficking networks or in the prevention of terrorism, we must reconfigure the way in which public services deal with the phenomenon, adopting a more humanistic and less bureaucratic approach, in line with the with the aim of regular and orderly attraction of labour for the performance of functions in different sectors of activity,” the programme states. “To this end, the Government will establish a very clear organic separation between the police functions and the administrative functions relating to the authorisation and documentation of immigrants.”

Acknowledging that Portugal needs the “contribution of immigration” for its economic and demographic development, the programme of this, Portugal’s 22nd government since the establishment of democracy following the 1974 Revolution, includes several measures to attract foreigners to the country and simplify procedures. It aims to create “channels of migration” from countries of origin and ensure that immigrants “do not become undocumented or on the margins of the system”.

To that end, it wants to expedite and simplify entry procedures, eliminate the existing quota regime, bring forward a short-term temporary residence permit that allows the legal entry into Portugal of immigrants with the aim of looking for jobs, promote and modernise social security conventions, and simplify and streamline the mechanisms for regularising residential status, as well as implementing programmes for the regularisation of foreign nationals, in particular by working closely with the school community and deepening the existing SEF ‘em Movimento’ (in Movement) programme.

The government also announced that it wants to review the scheme for fast-tracking residence permits for big investors, commonly known as ‘golden visas’, which “is to be directed preferentially to low-density regions, to investment in job creation and to urban renewal and cultural heritage.”

Over the next four years, the government also aims to study “the implementation of a foreign citizen’s card similar to the citizen’s card [used by Portuguese nationals], dispensing with duplication in the presentation of documents issued by public entities.”

According to the government’s programme, a mobile service is to be created offering information and the regularisation of immigrants in the Lisbon metropolitan area and in parts of the country with high numbers of foreign workers, while procedures for renewing residence permits is to be “simplified and shortened”.

In terms of immigration, the government also wants to create an area of free movement and settlement among countries in the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries (CPLP) and launch programmes to promote the hiring of qualified staff and entrepreneurs in the fields of technology and high added value, as well as to foster programmes to support foreign students and researchers at Portuguese higher education institutions, particularly in the country’s interior.

The programme, approved last Saturday in cabinet, is similar in many ways to the governing Socialist Party’s programme, but does not follow the traditional thematic organisation by ministries that characterised programmes issued by previous governments.


When Portugal will end it's immigration program?

By Kamil Zaman from Other on 01-03-2020 06:20

Portugal is one of the 20 countries facing population collapse. Check the link below


By Toni from Beiras on 23-11-2019 02:04

It would be great if English was the national and first language in Portugal.

By Indian N Moroccan Bortukal from Porto on 18-11-2019 11:00

I really enjoy reading the news. About the only English paper available in lisbon

By Ramsey Kapadia from Lisbon on 12-11-2019 06:46

I have visited Portugal 5 times in the last 3 years. It's my dream home. Please simplify the process for people to become residents. Obrigada.

By Luann Miniatis from USA on 07-11-2019 08:05

Porrtugal is paradise on earth>Please stop bitching. Great people,great food and beautiful weather. Agree they need to keep Portuguese in Portugal. Foreign investments will create jobs .USA was and is built by immigrants . They only have 9 million people .Lets make make it 10 million in 10 years

By FIRDOS n alibhai from USA on 07-11-2019 03:56

Is this a joke?!
Everybody knows that there ain't no future in Portugal, not even for the Portuguese people. So imagine how the case would be for foreigners living in the "Portuguese s*** hole"

By George from UK on 05-11-2019 04:10

Portugal is a nightmare for non EU immigrants. Portuguese government should simplify it's citizenship procedures perhaps by reducing the residency duration to 4 years of legal residency to apply for citizenship. Another thing which the Portuguese government should do is to increase the number of employees in it's immigration offices to ensure fast processing of citizenship applications.

By Chicago Bulls from USA on 05-11-2019 06:47

Firstly, portugal is a very bad country for all immigrants. Secondly, portugal is not a good place for students, very corrupted education system. Thirdly, portugal is the worst country as a destination for researchers. Finally, portugal does not have any opportunities for skilled people.
Portugal is a country for homeless people and for rich old people. This is what portugal are.. End of the story.

By Baharati Gojarati from Other on 04-11-2019 06:53

Marcelo Araujo and Alex the Portuguese national living in London have hit the nail square on the head.
Their comments mirror much of what is also happening in the U.S.
It is good to be proud of your nation and to have your nation for the people first.
Nationalism is a good thing. Portugal for the Portuguese and any other nation for their own first and foremost.

By Marc Moniz from USA on 03-11-2019 04:41

I am disgusted with the way Portugal has become I was there in the summer and found out how Lisbon is had a hard time finding Portuguese owned stores they were run by foreigners. I'm am a Portuguese person living away from Portugal.it is very sad to see how Portugal has become.portuguses flags were not seen on most of their castles and palaces .bringing all these people in will cause major problems down the road look at Germany or england

By Joe ferreira from UK on 02-11-2019 05:43

The more they are open, the more they expand to a better future connected with global minds that produce more energy to the country in terms of everything.

By Jean EL KHOURY from Other on 02-11-2019 04:12

Portugal did so well and maintained its country intact with its beauty every where, keeping its great reputation, the government needs to give their country people a change to get jobs and development, not migrants, there is so many Portuguese families that would love to find a job a home and start a new life in Portugal, the government needs to support their own before taking in other countries unless other wise professionals can give back positive economic growth for Portugal with great skills.
There is sufficient nationals all over the world Portuguese.

By Maria Mira from UK on 02-11-2019 02:53

Good news, but as a high skilled immigrant living in Portugal and as a person who pay higher taxes compared to local people, I cannot wait any these improvements anymore.

The SEF system is so broken now, specially for who is not from the EU, that I gave up to live here. I believe that most Portuguese people don't understand how bad this system is for immigrants, this is a complete nightmare!

I wish the best for Portugal, I came here to help to build a better country, but I see no way to follow instead the same way followed the many local high skilled workers...

By Sam from Lisbon on 02-11-2019 11:47

My last visit to odemira was like visiting india ,I feel sorry for the locals you have ruined it

By Stephen aldous from UK on 02-11-2019 11:23

Hello. I am one of those retirees who have come to live in this wonderful and extraordinary country, with its friendly, welcoming citizens. I think I understand some of the anger expressed in these comments. The low wages and lack of employment here saddens me, and I hope that our living and purchasing does a little to help the local economy.

By David Carter from Other on 02-11-2019 10:19

Dear Portuguese,
I come to your kingdom to make it a better place.
Love you all.


By Richard Lionheart from Other on 02-11-2019 09:37

Reading the comments here, it is clear that the xenophobia has spread all around in Portugal. There is a urgent need of programs like this if Portugal wants skilled people to stay and be productive. Nowadays it is a disaster to be an immigrant in Portugal, all you do is pay high taxes while not being able access any public service. Immigrants are always victim of the veiled prejudice of public attendants and omission of SEF that have waiting lines longer than 1 YEAR ! It's a joke and a dehumanizing experience to depend on this broken system. It's one of the main reasons that people do not want to stay anymore, and are fleeing to other EU countries that are much more prepared to receive a skilled workforce. Portugal is playing a dangerous game of isolating itself from the world instead of taking leverage of the immigration interest, that certainly won't last longer, as immigrants are exposing the cold reality of the terrible experiences they are suffering.

By Maine Blake from Lisbon on 02-11-2019 07:46

Hi, Good morning
Well iam residing in the Gulf, Bahrain for quite sometime,I aud like to invest in property or put a small business will the Government support us by way of loans partially so that we can pay in installments....iam a Portuguese national. Also I need a consultant or concern person whome I can talk to ..from here. Pls direct the mobile & name.

By Aluizio fernandes from Other on 02-11-2019 04:51

Omg... brace for impact of increased crime and extreme right wing parties! If we did not have an Indian descendent prime minister, maybe we would not have an immigration open doors policy. As a native, I’m seriously worried!

By Anna from Madeira on 02-11-2019 12:35

I agree with the comments from Alex from Lisbon. Throughout Portuguese history it's country born citizens have always looked for economic opportunities in other countries. If politicians would ever place the future of Portugal in the hands of it's own people they would realize the great wealth it ignores. Politicians should encourage it's citizens to return to Portugal by entitling them education, jobs, health benefits, tax credits and other social economic systems first before giving Portugal's wealth away to foreign nationals. By doing so you preserve it's people, history, culture and economic wealth. Was this not the reason why Alfonso Henriques fought his own mother to establish a new nation and not give it up to foreign rule. Funny how history repeats itself and how we forget our roots.

By Daniel A HENRIQUES from USA on 01-11-2019 11:18

What?! Who the hell wants to come to Portugal and pay a monthly rent of about 600€ and same as in wage?!

By Paulo from Lisbon on 01-11-2019 10:44

We r did business here Swaziland and south know we r interested open the business Portugal also

By Falak sher from Lisbon on 01-11-2019 06:06

Being from Portuguese heritage, it pains me to see the way Portugal is and has been selling out its culture and citizens to the foreign rich. I agree with those who say that if Portugal supported its own young and talented population, they might not leave for another country for a job. Support foreign investment but don't sell out totally to them for the sake of a fast profit. Portugal is one of the few countries left with old country charm but it is being killed by all the foreigners who get special golden visas and benefits when they could not care less about Portuguese culture and country pride. They make no attempt to assimilate by learning the beautiful language and cultural history. I have been coming to Portugal since 1984 and each year I find it harder to find the Portugal I love. I would like to see Portugal value people of heritage who wish to live there. And those who wish to assimulate without the high cost of the golden visa. I continually work on my language skills and am proud of them, and that I am Portuguese by blood, and in my heart, but each time I arrive I am asked to show my return ticket as if I am a unwanted bure under the saddle.

By David James from USA on 01-11-2019 05:40

Portugal is one of the biggest countries in the world if you include Brazil. Even greater if you have a fully integrated C.P.L.P. Plus, you have the European Union where there are many Portuguese, and the E.U. is growing. Portugal also has a special relationship with many other nations, notably the Spanish speaking and English speaking ones. Move positively, and take the initiative. Make businesses and connections. Expand. Portugal is a global nation. You know who you are.

By Alan Silva from USA on 01-11-2019 04:49

Again, the lack of interest and funding in the infrastructure of Portugal and investing in its youth and native families. Money spent on foreigners coming to Pt is not the answer to maintain Portugal’s traditions

By Robert B from Lisbon on 01-11-2019 02:13

They should also add the medical field entrepenuers who also can contribute to the Portuguese Socialist Party!!!

By Fernando Dasilveira from USA on 01-11-2019 02:04

A scandal to read this type of news when it is clear that the nacional and natural residents are being overwhelmed by tourism and new migrations in a massive scale (see the statistics of how many more Brazilians we have trying to reside in Portugal).
There is already a crisis in housing, which is leading to gentrification and loss of identity for the Portuguese young people.
Portugal would not "need" migrants, if its actual youth was taken care of and prepared for the future. Instead, they were invited to leave the country after their studies.
To give the idea that Portugal is an aging country because of lack of national interest is an insult. It is an aging country because as always, we sell out our people and future for the rest of the world.
Soon enough, Portugal will be the luxurious graveyard for the rich elder people to retire from Northern Europe, USA, and Brazil, and there will be no actual trace of a national.

All are welcome to be a part of Portugal as a family. But take care of its people first. Only then will you trully be able to assess if we need the migration fluxes for our preservation.

- A growingly sad and outraged Portuguese young adult

By Alex from Lisbon on 01-11-2019 01:26

Well Rip the poor and disabled people from Portugal now they will have to compete against the all world for a job, politicians like more money then their own people. I guess the big corporations won.

By Jorge Jonson from Lisbon on 01-11-2019 12:51

When open immigration I am need this thing .

By Munish saini from Other on 01-11-2019 09:58

Hello I am Jose Mario Adolfo Fernandes I wish to get all information on the Portuguese need that relates to citizen card etc.

By Adolfo Jose Mario Fernandes from Other on 01-11-2019 09:35

Would be welcome news. The immigration system is completely broken. A disaster. Needs a complete overhaul. Also completely rampant corruption at SEF must be dealt with. This can be achieved by changing current procedures.
Let's see if all this comes to fruition.

By Marcelo Araujo from Porto on 01-11-2019 09:25
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