The new platform for obtaining residence permits in Portugal for citizens of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) under the Agreement on Mobility between the Member States of the Organization was presented today by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) at a ceremony. Ministry of Interior Administration.
In addition to CPLP immigrants with pending procedures in SEF until December 2022, citizens with CPLP visas issued by Portuguese consulates after October 31, 2022 can also obtain a residence permit “fully automatically and” online”, explained the National Director of SEF.
Fernando Silva noted that this measure has a “cap of 150,000 citizens”, which corresponds to visas issued and expressions of interest in SEF until December 2022, but may translate to a lower number, given that many of them may have already left Portugal.
The same official explained that, starting Monday, these citizens can access the “CPLP Portal,” through the SEF and ePortugal.gov websites, and apply for a residence permit.
The director highlighted that the privileges of this residence permit are “exclusive” online, “without the need for any other type of interaction with the service or physical travel to a service point”.
However, in the case of minors involved in the legalization process, it is necessary to go “afterward to the SEF Service Centre”.
According to the same official, a residence permit for immigrants from the CPLP will cost 15 euros, and it will take “usually 72 hours” for this document to be available in electronic form.
Fernando Silva submits that in the second phase, this process will be extended to CPLP nationals who are in Portugal and who have not yet applied for a residence permit with SEF or who have done so after January 2023.
The SEF director also said that in the near future, the “CPLP portal” for residence permits will only be available at ePortugal.gov.
The same person in charge confirmed that the data verification is done automatically, since the SEF already has access to all the citizen’s data previously entered into the system, a “much faster, safer and simpler process”, which is very clear and in which the information the applicant will provide very limited.
CPLP nationals who intend to come to Portugal from now on do not need to establish any contact with the SEF, they only have to go to the Portuguese consular representation in their home countries to obtain a visa for Portugal.
According to the SEF, the residence permit under the CPLP Mobility Agreement is initially valid for one year, renewable for two consecutive two-year terms.
A source from SEF told Lusa that immigrants from the CPLP with pending cases are predominantly Brazilians, who, between 2021 and 2022, have completed expressions of interest on the online platform, the SAPA Automatic Scheduling System (a request formalized with the SEF to obtain permission from the dwelling).
In addition to Portugal, Cape Verde, Brazil, Timor-Leste, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Angola and Mozambique are also part of the CPLP.
This process takes place at a time when the government is preparing to restructure the SEF, whose administrative functions in terms of migration will be transferred to the Portuguese Agency for Migration and Asylum (APMA).
Within the scope of the restructuring, which has been postponed until the establishment of the APMA, the police powers of that body will pass to the PSP, GNR and PJ, while the existing powers in administrative matters relating to foreign nationals will now be exercised by the APMA and the Institute of Records and Notaries.
The restructuring of the SEF was decided by the previous government and approved by the Assembly of the Republic in November 2021, after it had already been postponed twice.
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