New legal regulation for Aliens Act
The new Regulatory Decree of the Legal Regime of entry, stay, exit and removal of foreign nationals from the national territory has been published in Diário da República and meets the goals on the basis of the changes to the Aliens Act 2017.
The new legal regulation allows the speeding up, to make less bureaucratic and lighten the proceedings for visas and residence permits, in particular:
- Introduces a more simplified regime for students who wish to attend vocational education courses in Portugal and of entrepreneur, highly qualified immigrants in order to make the new business models related to entrepreneurship, technology and innovation more attractive, responding to difficulties of companies felt in this field (Startup Visa);
- Simplifies the residence scheme for seasonal workers and introduces the new regime for workers transferred from other Member States, provided they are integrated within the company staff;
- Speeds up and simplifies the granting of residence permits for anyone who intends to study in higher education. Thus, a more favorable treatment for students from CPLP States (Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries), employees and self-employees has been introduced.
- The Aliens Act allowed the adjusting of the national legislation to the new economic and social dynamics as well:
- The proceedings will from now on, as a rule, have their presentation on an electronic form and, whenever possible, the face-to-face interview in a consulate is waived;
- The Immigration and Borders Service, in situations where it is informed of the travel date, will provide, in the several favorable opinions concerning residence visas, the schedule date for SEF. The applicant is, therefore, waived from scheduling when at the national territory;
- The appointments for the granting and renewing of the residence permit can now be made, at the applicant’s request, for any regional directorate/delegation, allowing therefore to anticipate deadlines;
- SEF will use documents already existing in its working flow in all procedures for granting and renewal of the residence permit avoiding, therefore, those documents to be required to the applicants once again;
- It is important to remember that article 123 of the Aliens Act waives under exceptional situations the submission of evidence of the legal entry. The diploma now published allows the regularization of the immigrants already in Portugal for humanitarian reasons, whenever evidence of the existence of integration into the labor market with discounts for social security for a period over one year is submitted.
In its Program, the Government recognizes that we are facing a demographic challenge. Therefore, all the Government’s strategy in the migrations area will promote the attraction of immigrants through legal immigration channels by means of the development of an intercultural society and by deepening the integration of immigrants in the Portuguese society.