Covid-19 – Frequently Asked Questions

According to Decree Law n. º 87-A/2020, of 15 october, visas and permits concerning the stay of foreign nationals in the national territory which have expired after 24th February are accepted until 31st March 2021.

The permits and visas regarding the stay in the national territory are still accepted under the same terms after 31st March 2021, as long as their holder submits supporting evidence that he already has an appointment for the corresponding renewal.

Order n. º 10944/2020 of 8 November provides 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.

It is not an automatic legalisation. The procedure remains suspended, during its appreciation and processing period, ensuring an equal treatment for foreign nationals.

Foreign nationals who have submitted an Expression of Interest, pursuant to Act 23/2007, as amended, between March 18 and October 15 2020, are deemed legal in Portugal.

Their application document for an expression of interest extracted from SAPA Portal is proof of the regular status of the person concerned. At SAPA webportal you can consult and download the certificate of registration of the expression of interest under articles 88 and 89, n.º 2 (clicking on the QR Code icon) which may be validated within SEF by public and private authorities through an access and reading key of the QR Code.

This document shall be accepted and deemed valid by all public services, 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.

Foreign nationals who have pending proceedings before SEF, pursuant to Act 23/2007, as amended, submitted between March 18 and October 15 2020, are deemed legal in Portugal.

The proof of an appointment at SEF or the application receipt for an application submitted are evidence of the regular status of the applicant.

This document shall be accepted and deemed valid by all public services, 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.

Foreign nationals who have pending proceedings before SEF, pursuant to the Asylum Act (Act 27/2008, as amended), submitted between March 18 and October 15 2020, are deemed legal in Portugal.

The procedure remains suspended, during its appreciation and processing period, ensuring an equal treatment for foreign nationals.

According to Decree-Law n.º 87-A/2020, of 15 October, as far as residence documents, visas and documents related to the stay of foreign nationals in the national territory which have expired as from 24 February, are accepted under the same conditions until 31 March 2021.

Yes. According to Decree-Law n.º 87-A/2020, of 15 October, as far as residence documents, visas and documents related to the stay of foreign nationals in the national territory which have expired as from 24 February, are accepted under the same conditions until 31 March 2021.

We suggest you to register in SEF Portal and check if you have access to the new function of automatic renewal of your Residence Permit.

In case you do not have access to this new function, we suggest you get in touch with SEF Contact Centre in order to schedule the visit to a SEF’s bureau.

Please remember that, according to Decree-Law n.º 87-A/2020, of 15 October, as far as residence documents, visas and documents related to the stay of foreign nationals in the national territory which have expired as from 24 February, are accepted under the same conditions until 31 March 2021.

These documents continue to be accepted under the same conditions after 31 March 2021, as long as its holder submits supporting evidence of the scheduling for the corresponding renewal.

According to Decree-Law n.º 87-A/2020, of 15 October, as far as residence documents, visas and documents related to the stay of foreign nationals in the national territory which have expired as from 24 February, are accepted under the same conditions until 31 March 2021.

These documents continue to be accepted under the same conditions after 31 March 2021, as long as its holder submits supporting evidence of the scheduling for the corresponding renewal.

One should consider that, as defined by the law, the holder of a document certifying that a residence card of a family member or the holding of a residence card or of a permanent residence card is not, in any case, a previous condition for access to a right or the compliance of an administrative formality, and may as a beneficiary of the rights of a resident under the Community regime be certified by any other means of supporting evidence.

Applications for the issuing of the Portuguese electronic passport must be pre-booked. You must forward the request for scheduling through the e-mail – gricrp.cc@sef.pt. SEF will then indicate the date/time/place of your appointment.

Yes. The end of the internal border control between Portugal and Spain has occurred in 30 June.

However, though the ongoing progress of the epidemiological situation within the countries of the European Union, Portugal holds the alert, contingency and calamity situation in force. Wherefore, on a random basis, SEF, in cooperation with GNR, will carry out mobile controls of light passenger vehicles, motor caravans and light vehicles in areas of operation of the Police and Customs Cooperation Centres (PCCC) in Valença, Quintanilha, Vilar Formoso, Caia and Castro Marim.

These mobile controls have the purpose to promote the measures in force, informing nationals returning to the national territory, and foreign nationals as well, of the responsibilities to which they are subject to.

Until 23h59 of 30th January 2021, the defined by Order n.º 666-B/2021, several restrictive measures of air traffic to and from mainland Portugal, is in force.

Therefore:

– Air traffic to and from mainland Portugal of every flight from and to the European Union countries, Schengen associated countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) is authorised;

– According to the EU Council Recommendation 2020/2169 of 17 December 2020, flights from countries with a positive epidemiological assessment (Australia, China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand,  Hong Kong, Macao) are authorised, as well as the entry in Portugal of residents of the previously mentioned countries, whenever they have had on the move or international transfers only in airports of countries which are not included in the list of countries with a positive epidemiological assessment;

– Air traffic to and from mainland Portugal of every flight from and to non-EU countries or which are not Schengen associated countries is authorised for essential travelling only, under the EU Council Recommendation 2020/2169 of 17 December 2020. Essential travelling is the one who allows transit, entry or exit from Portugal of nationals from the European Union or from Schengen associated countries, and their family members, and foreign nationals legally staying in a Member State of the European Union, as well as those for professional purposes, study, family reunion, health or humanitarian reasons;

– Flights supporting the return of nationals or holders of a residence permit in mainland Portugal, as well as of humanitarian nature, which have been recognised by the competent services of foreign affairs ruling area and for the competent authorities in matter of civil aviation, as well as flights with the purpose to allow the return to their corresponding countries of foreign nationals staying in mainland Portugal, as long as such flights are promoted by the competent authorities of such countries, subject to previous request and agreement, and in keeping with the principle of reciprocity.

It depends on the origin:

1. If you proceed from EU countries, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland you are not required to;

2. If you proceed from Australia, China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand,  Hong Kong or Macao which, under the Council Recommendation 2020/2169 of 17 December 2020, countries who have currently a positive epidemiological situation, you are not required to;

3. If you proceed from a different origin than those listed in 1 and 2, you must present, before boarding, a proof of laboratory testing (RT -PCR) of screening for SARS-CoV-2 infection, with a negative result, performed within 72 hours prior to departure, without which you cannot board, except for children who are under than 24 months-old.

4. If you proceed from a different origin than those listed in 1 and 2 and you are a Portuguese citizen, a foreign national with legal residence in Portugal, a diplomat accredited in Portugal, or if you are coming on a supporting return flight or on a humanitarian flight and you have violated the duty to present a proof of laboratory testing (RT -PCR) of screening for SARS-CoV -2 infection, with a negative result, performed within 72 hours prior to departure, it will be mandatory to take the test on arrival, at the airport facilities, at your own expense. You will be perpetrating an offence according to paragraph 3, of article 3, of the Decree-Law nº 28-B / 2020, of June 26, in the current wording. You should wait in a proper place inside the airport facilities until the negative result is known.

5. If you proceed from a different origin than those listed in 1 and 2 and you are a foreign citizen who is not a legal resident in Portugal or you are in a transit situation that requires the departure from airport facilities. you will not be allowed to enter national territory if you board without presenting proof of laboratory test (RT -PCR) of screening for SARS -CoV -2 infection, with a negative result, performed within 72 hours prior to boarding. The airline will be subject to an administrative offense in case of non-compliance.

Exception is made to fines applied to airlines that allow the boarding of nationals and foreign nationals legally staying in the national territory and their relatives as defined in Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 and diplomats accredited in Portugal, without the RT-PCR negative test result 72 hours before boarding, on flights from the Portuguese-speaking African countries, and on supporting return flights of nationals or holders of a residence permit in mainland Portugal or of humanitarian nature.

All Passengers from non-EU flights or non-Schengen associated countries travelling through Portugal, that do not leave the airport facilities, need to present a proof of laboratory testing (RT -PCR) of screening for SARS-CoV -2 infection, with a negative result, performed within 72 hours prior to departure.

Under the rules approved to address the current epidemiological situation, the entry in Portugal of nationals from the European Union, from Schengen associated countries and relatives from the corresponding families is allowed, under Directive 2004/38/CE of the European Parliament and Council of 29 April, as well as third country nationals with legal residence in a Member State of the European Union.

If the situation is not within the previous paragraph, the purpose of the travelling must hold a duly established essential function or need. In case of couples, the relationship must be stable and long lasting. For the purpose, every element which may prove as declared must be assessed, such as evidence of regular visits and meetings, joint travelling, common assets, joint accounts, administrative documents for the same address, amongst others.

The essential nature of the travelling does not hinder the need of compliance with the requirements provided by the Law for the admission in the national territory, in particular the need for a visa if the purpose of the travelling is family reunification.

The assessment is case-by-case considering the documentation/grounds submitted at the border post, including the proof of the family relationship claimed or other elements the passenger considers relevant.

The verification of every documentation, as well as the compliance of every requirement provided in articles 9 and following of Law n.º 23/2007, of 04 July, and article 6 of the Schengen Borders Code, is made at the moment of the effective border control only, terms under which there is no prior issue of a declaration confirming or authorizing the travelling.

The decision for the authorization of boarding is of the sole competence of air companies which, within the current pandemic situation, will request when boarding a proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 (RT-PCR) testing of over the last 72 hours, without which boarding is not authorized.

The rules in force for the Autonomous Region of Madeira can be found here. As far as the Azores, the information is available here.​

Until 23h59 of 30th Januay 2021, the interdiction of landing and shore leaves of passengers and crews from cruise ships in national ports is in force (Order n.º 714-A/2021).

The berthing of cruise ships in national ports for supply, maintenance and lay-up is now allowed, as long as it has no passengers and for operation with the minimum ship’s crew only

This situation may be extended according to the progress of the epidemiological situation in Portugal.​

You can consult all the informations here.

The High Commission for Migrations made availabe a Practical Guide with questions and answers and also a flyer with practical information.