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 3863-B/2020, of 27 March provides that every foreign national with applications pending before SEF, submitted by date of the declaration of the National Emergency, 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, while SEF will reschedule the appointments, as from 1 July, by chronological order, ensuring an equal treatment for foreign nationals.
Foreign nationals who have submitted an Expression of Interest, pursuant to Act 23/2007, as amended, by 18 March, the date on which a State of Emergency was declared, 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, by 18 March, the date on which a State of Emergency was declared, 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) by 18 March, the date on which a State of Emergency was declared, are deemed legal in Portugal.
Public face-to-face service by the Asylum and Refugees Department remains open for submission and registration of new applications for international protection. However, legal deadlines of the international protection proceedings are suspended.
SEF shall reschedule existing appointments, beginning in 1 July 2020, by chronological order, ensuring an equal treatment for foreign nationals.
As from 1 July, SEF will reschedule appointments, by chronological order, ensuring equal treatment to foreign nationals. You should wait for SEF to get in contact with you to reschedule your appointment at a SEF bureau. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your understanding.
SEF will only provide face-to-face public service for urgent applications, in the following cases: Citizens who need to travel abroad for unexpected, urgent and unavoidable motives, duly substantiated and documented; citizens whose documents have been stolen, robbed or lost.
In these cases, you may send your application by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, together with supporting documents of the invoked urgency, which will be analysed by our services and replied as early as possible.
Applications for the issuing of the Portuguese electronic passport must be pre-booked. You must forward the request for scheduling through the e-mail – email@example.com. 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 31st October, the defined by Order nº 9934-A/2020, several restrictive measures of air traffic to and from Portugal, is in force.
– Air traffic to and from Portugal of every flight from and to the European Union countries, Schengen associated countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) and the United Kingdom, is authorised;
– According to the EU Council Recommendation 2020/1186 of 7 August, flights from countries with a positive epidemiological assessment (Australia, Canada, China, South Korea, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay), are authorised;
– Air traffic to and from 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 2020/1186 of 7 August. Essential travelling is those to allow 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, of study, family reunion, health or humanitarian reasons;
– Flights supporting the return of nationals or holders of a residence permit in 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 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.
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.
For more information:
You are not required to, if:
1. You come from EU countries, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or from the United Kingdom;
2. You come from Australia, Canada, China, South Korea, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Tunisia, Rwanda, or Thailand, which under the Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/912 of 30.06.2020 currently have a positive epidemiological situation;
3. You are in transit and do not need to leave the airport facilities, continuing your journey to the final destination;
You are required to, if:
4. You come from a different origin than those listed in 1 and 2. In that case, 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;
If 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, you can exceptionally take the test on arrival, at the airport facilities, at your own expense. You must remain at in your residence or accommodation stated until the notification of a negative test result, subject of being charged of the crime of spread of contagious disease. If you refuse to take the test on arrival, you will incur the crimes of disobedience and the spread of contagious disease, being notified immediately by SEF to perform the test, at your own expense, within 48 hours. Health and safety authorities, as well as the territorially competent security force in your area of residence are informed of this notification.
If you are a foreign citizen who is not a legal resident in Portugal, 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. This rule is also applicable to transit situations that require departure from airport facilities.
Passengers transiting through Portugal and which do not have to leave the airport facilities do not need a Covid-19 teste result.
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 23:59 of 30th October, the interdiction of landing and shore leaves of passengers and crews from cruise ships in national ports is in force (Order nº 9934-B/2020).
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.