Aliens temporary (temporary being the key word) permanence permit in Portuguese territory – Dispatch No. 3863-B / 2020, of March 27, 2020

Under the current over legislating scenario, we have been watching on a daily basis, Dispatch No. 3863-B / 2020, of March 27, 2020, was enforced, determining that competent authorities must manage all the appointments in a way that unequivocally guarantees the rights of all foreign citizens with pending files at SEF, under COVID 19 context.

You can check the dispatch here (https://dre.pt/home/-/dre/130835082/details/maximized).

First, it is important to clarify something:
SEF did NOT approve all immigration pending files!
Although the news carried by the media announces that the Government regularized all pending immigrants’ files, this is not at all, truth.
The diploma does not legalize the situation of all immigrants with pending files at SEF, nor will pending applications for residence permits be automatically granted.

What the Government intends with this dispatch, is to prevent any immigrant from being expelled from Portugal during this period of national emergency, by making the below-mentioned documents they possess temporarily valid, even if they are no longer within their respective validity.

But this is a situation that is intended to be temporary.
After the state of emergency is declared ceased, the processes that were pending will be analysed and decided and the appointments that have been suspended will be rescheduled.

In general, the diploma provides for the following:

– In the case of foreign citizens who have applied for the concession or renewal of a temporary or permanent residence permit, or who have applied for asylum or subsidiary protection, their permanence in the national territory is considered to be regular, as long as by the 18th March, the date of the declaration of the national State of Emergency, they have a pending process at SEF,

The applicant must make proof of their file status, and such document is the document that is valid as attesting their legal permanence in Portugal.
These are the only documents that the law enforces as having such power:

a) In applications for a residence permit for the exercise of subordinate or independent professional activity or a residence permit for investment (Golden Visa):
– through a document proving the expression of interest or request issued by the registration platforms in use at SEF;
b) In other situations of processes pending in the SEF, namely concessions or renewals of residence permits, either the general regime or the exceptional regimes:
– through the proof of the appointment in SEF or a receipt proving the request.

This law states that these documents must be considered valid before all institutions, public or private, as if they were the residence permit itself, but only so that these citizens can, in Portugal, take care of all their issues. They must be, in this case, treated as national citizens.

These documents will not be considered as residence permits for travel purposes, either since no travel abroad is authorized and since applications for residence permits have not been effectively granted.

If an applicant must leave the country, they have to request an urgent appointment for their situation to be appreciated by the Regional Directors.

Urgent appointments can be requested only in the following situations:

– Citizens who need to travel or who prove the urgent and absolute need to be absent from national territory.
– Citizens which documents have been stolen or lost.

All appointments that were scheduled until March 27 are suspended and will be rescheduled, starting July 1, 2020, in chronological order.

Any queries about the subject, just contact us.

 

Joana Nunes

joana.nunes@gsnadv.com

 

 

Information courtesy of EVFG, of which Joana Nunes, the author is an associate.

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