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SEF prepares a response to legalize about 170,000 immigrants outside Europe in October 2023.

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

SEF Getting Ready to Legalize 170,000 Immigrants from Non-European Countries

The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) is making plans to legalize around 170,000 immigrants from countries outside Europe and the Portuguese-speaking nations. The Minister of Home Affairs made this announcement today.

Earlier this year, SEF introduced a portal to grant residence permits automatically to thousands of citizens from Portuguese-speaking countries who had pending cases. Now, SEF is working on a solution for the remaining immigrants, particularly from India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. These individuals have expressed their interest in obtaining a residence permit by formally requesting SEF's assistance. SEF Collaborates with State Institutions to Address 170,000 Expressions of Interest from Immigrants

The SEF is working together with the Agency for Administrative Modernization and other state institutions, including the Institute of Registry and Notaries (IRN), to address the approximately 170,000 expressions of interest from citizens of non-European Union countries and countries outside the CPLP. José Luís Carneiro shared this information during a press conference.

The minister stated that the objective is to complete the regularization process for these individuals who submitted expressions of interest to SEF in 2020 by the end of October. This timeline coincides with the completion of the SEF's dissolution process.

Minister José Luís Carneiro emphasized that the accumulation of expressions of interest occurred in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Obtaining residence permits requires the collection of biometric data, which necessitates a visit to the SEF. However, due to lockdown measures, individuals were unable to make such trips.

As part of the SEF merger process, the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA) will be created, which will replace this service in administrative matters for foreign citizens.

In a balance sheet made to the Lusa agency, the SEF said that the portal made available for the allocation of residence permits to citizens of the CPLP granted more than 113,000 of these titles, and Brazilians represent almost 83% of the new immigrants regularized in Portugal.

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