Since mid-2019, the London and Manchester records have worked exceptionally well with extended opening hours to help EU citizens apply for the registration system. [EU Settlement Scheme, EUSS].
However, after the deadline to register with the EUSS on Wednesday, the normal consulate reopened on Thursday.
This means the Embassy of London will no longer serve the public on Saturdays, while the Manchester Embassy will maintain this flexibility until mid-September.
Both embassies are waiting to strengthen staff, subject to the approval of the Ministry of Finance when Secretary of State for Communities Berta Nunes visited the United Kingdom in May.
At the time, the government official said he expected the situation to be “normalized” within 1-2 months at the UK Embassy Service Center (CAC UK) operating in Portugal and was currently focusing on information by phone and e-mail. Mail.
However, Portuguese residents in the United Kingdom told Lusa that they continue to face difficulties in planning to renew their citizens’ cards and passports.
Michael Costa, who lives in Basildon, 50 kilometers from London, had his passport expired in October and was looking for a vacancy in advance to renew, but the closest option offered was in March 2022.
“I am concerned that my passport was used to make a settlement [estatuto de residência]. I have a temporary title and I can already get permanent. I’m going to do this this weekend, my passport is valid, otherwise I may have problems, “he told Lusa.
Permanent status (`immigration status`) is granted after five consecutive years of residency in the country, but short-term holders receive temporary status (` pre-immigration status`) until they have completed the required status. Time.
“At worst, I go to Portugal at Christmas because I can do this before I am here,” he said.
Nubia S and her husband have expired since January 2020, but the appointment was canceled at the Manchester consulate in March last year because of the Govt-19 epidemic.
The issue was linked to an epidemic crisis, a complicated pregnancy and the baby’s health problems, but when contacted again a few months ago by the clinic to try to update the documents, he did not receive an answer.
But now it’s urgent again, because her husband’s employer and the real estate company that handled the new lease need renewed documents.
“People understand and accept outdated documents, otherwise they will not do so, but they told us to update everything as much as we can,” he stressed.
According to the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities (SECP) Lusa, the service center has already acquired 10 new operators in May, with seven joining since January, and they are investing in modernizing and requesting embassy positions.
Demand for this specialty has grown significantly as a result of recent corporate scandals involving Brexit, embassies being closed or limited service during imprisonment.
In the first half of 2021, 40,875 diplomatic missions were made to the consulate in London, 67% more than in the same period in 2020, and 16,592, 43% more to the consulate in Manchester.
In May alone, the consulate in London issued more than 7,000 citizens’ cards and passports and committed 10,100 acts, more than the pre-epidemic numbers.
“The increase in the number of practices in place reflects efforts to support the community by extending Brexit and immigration status applications, ie diplomatic service hours,” the SECP said.
Carlos Convells, PSD vice-president of the European Circle, acknowledges that delays in arriving at embassies in the UK are “a chronic problem” exacerbated by the Brexit and Govt-19 epidemic, preventing many people from traveling to Portugal to update your documents.
However, he fears that “he has never been in a situation like this” and that “if they return to normal time and close on Saturday, the situation will get complicated”.
It takes time for employees to make a reinforcement impact due to the need for adaptation and training, but it is inevitable.
“Embassies should be in line with the reality of the community,” he said succinctly.