The Prime Minister today made, before the Portuguese community in Johannesburg, a kind of balance on the measures taken by their governments to expand the rights of immigrants and noted that on Saturday the virtual consulate will start operating.
António Costa spoke immediately before the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in the pavilion of the Portuguese Cultural, Recreational, and Sports Union in Johannesburg, and was listened to, among others, by the President of the Regional Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque.
In this initiative, as part of the Commemorations of Portugal and Camões Day with the Portuguese communities in South Africa, the leader of the Portuguese executive left only a political message by recalling that the current president of the Assembly of the Republic, Augusto Santos Silva, was elected [PS deputy] by emigration, more precisely by the constituency Outside Europe. A brief passage in which he also mentioned that the President of the Republic himself is also elected by the Portuguese living outside the national territory.
The Prime Minister’s speech was intended to highlight his government’s measures in relation to the Portuguese communities, highlighting that on June 10 the virtual consulate will start operating – a measure he had already announced earlier this week in Luanda.
“We must always strive to do more and better to be closer and closer to each of you. This effort is made primarily by the consuls and ambassadors. But today the technologies allow us to be closer to each other even at a distance”, he said.
According to António Costa, his government teams as of November 2015, “had the old dream of being able to install on each person’s cell phone, or on the computer, a real consulate, where one can handle all the operations that do not require a personal and direct conversation with consuls or ambassadors.”
“On June 10, 2023, we will finally launch the virtual consulate. When you arrive home, in a place where you have a strong network, if you go to the portal of the Portuguese communities, you will already find the entrance to the virtual consulate. Registration is very easy: Those who have a citizen card and a reader can register in this way; those who don’t have one can access the digital mobile key through the cell phone’s own camera with their biometric registration,” he explained.
After detailing the operations that will be available online as of Saturday, he said that there will be a platform for consular appointments, “so that this will be handled between each one and the consulates, without intermediaries, putting an end to those who do business at the expense of selling consular service appointments.”
“It is a very important step for our outreach,” he maintained.