COVID-19: Changes at SEF public service and border control


Prevention and control measures for the new coronavirus (PT)

The State of Emergency is in effect throughout the entire national territory until March 1st, 2021.

According to Order nº 1689-B / 2021, of February 12, during the state of emergency, and while it is in force, the public attendance service of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) is only available by pre-booking for urgent situations, which are:

– Citizens in need of travelling or who prove the urgent and pressing need to exit the national territory, for unforeseen/unexpected and unavoidable reasons;

– Citizens whose documents have been stolen, robbed or lost;

– Citizens who prove the urgent and pressing need for scheduling, namely for humanitarian reasons, personal or medical duly established.

Urgent scheduling requests must be sent by email – – or telephone service of SEF’s Contact Centre.

All the appointments already booked from February 15 2021 onwards will be rescheduled by SEF, keeping the chronological order, ensuring full transparency and equal treatment for foreign citizens.

Order n.ºs 3863-B/2020, of 27 March, and 10944/2020 of 8 November provide that every foreign national with applications pending before SEF, submitted between March 18 and October 15, is deemed temporarily regular in national territory. Foreign nationals in that situation have guaranteed access to every public service, specifically with regards obtaining the National Health Service user’s number and access to the NHS, as well as access to social benefits, rental contracts, employment contracts, opening of bank accounts and hiring of essential public services.