To mitigate the consequences of the measures, exceptional and temporary, applied during the period of emergency and calamity, the Portuguese government has now established several measures to simplify some concession and renewal processes of residence permits, to unequivocally guarantee the rights of all foreign citizens with processes pending at the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).
Several simplification measures went into effect:
- COVID-19 led to the closure of SEF, making it impossible for the renewal processes to take place during that period. It is estimated that on July 1st, 2020, it will be possible to schedule new appointments.
- The Portuguese Government extended the validity of all Residence titles that expired from February 24th – those titles will now be valid until October 30th, 2020. Once again, it demonstrates its respect for the rights of foreign citizens and the necessary understanding of their concerns and needs
- When analysing an application for a residence permit or a renewal, SEF may from now on choose to consult directly with public entities, to extract the necessary information to prepare the application, such as declarations of tax status regularized with the Tax and Customs Authority or Social Security, instead of asking the applicants to gather and handle those documents, as it was previously the case. In the case of residence permits obtained through the SAPA Portal, those entitled “Manifestation on Interest”, namely Residence permit for independent professional activity or immigrant entrepreneurs or Residence permit to exercise subordinate professional activity, the measures in place will avoid travelling, in person, to SEF. The applicant will only need to make his or her request through the SEF Portals, submitting the application with all the required information and documentation. After analysis and approval, it will only be necessary to settle the fee for issuing the Residence Card, which may be received in the comfort of the applicants’ home.
New measures or similar ones are expected regarding the Golden Visa application or renewal.
More information on how to manage and schedule an application for a Residence Permit shall be made available soon.