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Father's Death and a Daughter's Determination: SEF Grants Visa-Free Entry to Bangladeshi Immigrant at Lisbon Airport

In the busy city of Lisbon, a Bangladeshi immigrant had been living for 12 months. She was allowed to stay under SEF's Article 88, which gives special permission to live in Portugal without a typical visa. One day, her life changed dramatically when she got a phone call from Bangladesh: her father had suddenly passed away. Overwhelmed with grief and urgency, she decided to return to Bangladesh immediately, even though she didn't have a Schengen visa and had pending paperwork in Portugal.

Her stay in Portugal was authorized by SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras), the agency responsible for immigration and border control. Article 88 allowed her to stay while she worked on getting a resident permit. But when her father died, she left quickly to be with her family, without getting her resident card.

Back in Bangladesh, she faced a new problem. AIMA (AGÊNCIA PARA A INTEGRAÇÃO, MIGRAÇÕES E ASILO) had a new rule requiring a 400-euro payment upfront to book an appointment for a resident permit. She paid the fee and got an appointment, but now she had to figure out how to get back to Portugal without a valid visa.

Determined to return to Lisbon and continue her life, she contacted a lawyer in Portugal. Despite the risks, she decided to travel back using her expired resident permit from the Netherlands. This allowed her to board a flight from Bangladesh to Portugal, but her troubles were not over yet.

When she arrived at Lisbon airport, SEF officers detained her because she didn't have a valid Portuguese visa. She was held in custody for six hours and faced the threat of being sent back. Her lawyer, who was at the airport, stayed in constant contact with the immigration officers, arguing for her release and re-entry into Portugal. Such cases are very rare, especially in countries like Bangladesh.

Her lawyer presented a strong case based on humanitarian reasons. They showed her father's death certificate, her tax records, the appointment receipt from AIMA, and proof of her previous legal residence in Portugal. After checking her finances, social security contributions, and local municipal records, SEF officers made an extraordinary decision. They recognized her situation and let her enter Portugal without a visa.

This decision was rare and showed compassion and flexibility in the strict immigration system. The Bangladeshi immigrant’s story is a powerful example of resilience and the importance of considering humanitarian issues in immigration policies.

Her experience highlights the struggles many immigrants face in Portugal. Recently, many have been stuck in bureaucratic delays waiting for their AIMA appointments. For example, an Indian immigrant named Inderjeet faced similar issues and eventually returned to his home country, risking a Schengen travel ban for overstaying his visa. Another case involved a Pakistani couple who worked in Portugal for two years and paid taxes but couldn’t return home when their mother died due to immigration delays and legal changes.

In this context, the Bangladeshi immigrant's successful return to Portugal on humanitarian grounds is a beacon of hope. It shows the potential for compassion in the immigration system. It reminds us that behind every visa application is a person with a unique story, often filled with urgent and compelling circumstances. Her journey, marked by grief, determination, and success, exemplifies why empathy and flexibility are crucial in immigration policies.

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This privacy policy outlines the principles and practices we follow to protect the privacy and rights of individuals mentioned in our news stories. The following policy applies to the story titled "A Father's Death and a Daughter's Determination: SEF Grants Visa-Free Entry to Bangladeshi Immigrant" and any related content.

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