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Government Extends Immigrant's Document Validity by One Year

Confident that pending cases will be resolved by the summer of 2025, the Government has extended the validity of immigrant documents until June 30, 2025.

On Tuesday, the Government approved a one-year extension of document and visa validity for immigrants within national territory, alongside establishing a task force to expedite pending processes.

In a statement following the Council of Ministers, the government fulfilled several promises made after presenting and approving the Migration Action Plan earlier this month. It extended the validity of documents and visas related to residency in the national territory until June 30, 2025, addressing a longstanding aspiration of immigrants.

The high number of pending cases at the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA), which were estimated on Tuesday at 410,000 cases, has made it difficult for many immigrants to renew their documents, whether residence permits, work visas, or mobility visas from the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries.

The government announced the approval of a decree law assigning AIMA the mission of actively attracting immigrants while acknowledging and enhancing the Migration Observatory within that government agency.

Simultaneously, the executive passed a resolution establishing a Mission Structure for the Recovery of Pending Processes at AIMA, tasked with reviewing and resolving pending regularization cases for foreign nationals.

This Mission Structure is set to operate until June 2, 2025, with a workforce of up to 300 individuals dedicated to managing administrative processes and supporting applicants.

During parliamentary proceedings on Tuesday, AIMA President Luís Goes Pinheiro expressed confidence that by summer 2025, outstanding issues would be resolved, allowing authorities to focus solely on current cases.

Speaking at the parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms, and Guarantees, in a hearing requested by the Bloco de Esquerda e Livre, Luís Goes Pinheiro disclosed that there are 342,000 pending matters related to "expressions of interest and administrative processes for residence authorization," in addition to 70,000 ongoing processes.

In total, Goes Pinheiro informed deputies that Portuguese authorities are facing a maximum of slightly over 400,000 pending requests to be resolved.

"This number is expected to decrease as many processes are closed, either because immigrants choose to relocate to another country or manage to regularize their status through alternative means, such as the mobility visa of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) or family reunification," explained Goes Pinheiro.

"The context of pending processes involves awaiting action by AIMA," he clarified.

"Some of these processes pertain to expressions of interest, a now-defunct legal mechanism that previously facilitated the regularization of foreigners who entered the country on tourist visas."

"In May, AIMA sent 223,000 emails to expedite appointments for regularization processes related to this mechanism, of which 110,000 were paid. The remainder, if unpaid and without further action, may be considered closed by our services."

"Nevertheless," Goes Pinheiro conceded, "whether the total is 300,000 or 400,000, it remains a very significant number. Any solutions to this issue must be scalable."

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