Portugal will automatically grant a residence permit to immigrants from the CPLP

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This residence permit will initially have a duration of one year

Portugal will automatically grant immigrants from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) a one-year residence permit, according to a Government ordinance.

The ordinance, to which the Lusa news agency had access and which has not yet been published in the Diário da República, determines the model administrative title of residence to be issued to foreign citizens in the scope of the agreement on mobility among the member states of the CPLP.

The document, signed by the Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro, also establishes a fee of 15 euros for the digital issue of the residence permit certificate.

The government justifies the granting of a residence permit to CPLP citizens, which will initially last for one year, with the new regime for the entry of immigrants into Portugal, in force since November 2022 and which allows CPLP immigrants to have a visa facilitation regime in the country.

“In order to comply with this provision, it is therefore necessary to approve a model for the document in question, as well as define the fees due for the respective issuing procedure,” the ordinance states.

On Saturday, the Minister of Internal Administration had already stated that immigrants from CPLP countries would benefit from a “protection status for up to one year”, equivalent to that of citizens who entered the country to flee the war in Ukraine, where the request for temporary protection is made through an ‘online’ platform.
José Luís Carneiro also said that this model for citizens from CPLP countries will allow them to “benefit from a protection status for up to one year that allows direct access to social security, health, and tax numbers.

This process will allow the regularization of the situation of thousands of immigrants from the CPLP, mainly Brazilians, who have shown interest, between 2021 and 2022, in obtaining a residence permit in Portugal.

A source from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) told Lusa that it concerns about 150 thousand immigrants from the CPLP, mostly Brazilians, who, between 2021 and 2022, filled in the electronic platform Automatic Pre-Scheduling System (SAPA) expressions of interest (formal request to SEF to obtain a residence permit).

However, according to the same source, this number may not correspond to reality, since many of the registrations may not be valid or many of the immigrants may no longer be in the country.

According to the SEF, in a first phase of the process, immigrants will be contacted ‘online’ and, after this notification, CPLP citizens will be legalized under this new mobility regime, without the need for an in-person visit.

This process takes place at a time when the Government is preparing the restructuring of the SEF, whose administrative functions in the field of immigration will pass to the Portuguese Agency for Migration and Asylum (APMA).

Under the restructuring, which was postponed until the creation of APMA, the police powers of that body will pass to the PSP, the GNR, and the PJ, while the current administrative powers regarding foreign citizens will be exercised by APMA and the Institute of Registration and Notary.

The restructuring of SEF was decided by the previous government and approved by Parliament in November 2021, having already been postponed twice.

This week, the Minister of Internal Administration assured that the executive maintains “the political objective” of concluding until the end of March the legislative process for the creation of APMA.

SEF data show that the foreign population residing legally in Portugal increased in 2022 for the seventh consecutive year, totaling 757,252. The Brazilian and Indian communities have grown the most.

According to the SEF, Brazilian citizens continue to be the main foreign community residing in the country, with a total of 233,138 people, 28,444 more (13%) than in 2021.

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