Action Plan for Migration: learn about the main measures


This Monday, the Council of Ministers approved the Action Plan for Migration, which aims to correct the serious problems in the rules for entry into Portugal, resolve the operational incapacity of AIMA and ensure the operability of border control systems. In addition to the entry process, another fundamental axis of the Action Plan involves working on the integration of immigrants, so that this is effective and works.

The plan now approved is based on the principle that Portugal needs and wants to welcome more immigrants – for demographic, social and economic reasons. An immigration that must be regulated and monitored, accompanied by humanist integration.

The Plan is divided into four main areas of action: regulated immigration; attracting foreign talent; human integration that works; institutional reorganization.

In the regulated immigration chapter, emphasis is placed on the review of entry rules, namely the extinction of the Expressions of Interest procedure. But also for the Resolution of Pending Issues and Irregular Situations, which will involve the creation of a mission structure to resolve the more than 400 thousand pending processes.

In terms of fulfilling Portugal’s Commitments with Humanism, it is planned to reinforce the operational framework of the CPLP Mobility Agreement. Inspection on national territory will involve the creation of a multi-force inspection team to combat abuses (human trafficking, illegal immigration, labour exploitation and human rights violations).

With regard to reception, the proposal approved by the Council of Ministers provides for the creation of Municipal/Intermunicipal Emergency Reception Centers for immigrants. It also includes a reinforcement of the supply, coverage and frequency of teaching Portuguese as a Non-Mother Language (PLNM).

Here are the 41 measures approved by the Council of Ministers:


Review of Entry Rules

  • Terminate the Expressions of Interest procedure
  • Strengthen response and processing capacity at Consular Posts
  • Prioritize entry channels for family reunification, young students and qualified professionals

 Resolution of Pending Issues and Irregular Situations

  •  Create Mission Structure to resolve +400 thousand pending processes 

Ensure the IT Border Control System

  • Urgently intervene in existing border control infrastructures, IT systems and databases 
  •  Catch up on the implementation of new border control systems
  •  Mitigate the high levels of congestion and delays experienced at border crossings at Lisbon and Faro airports 

 Fulfill Portugal’s Commitments with Humanism

  • Strengthen the operational framework of the CPLP Mobility Agreement
  • Confirm and execute resettlement and relocation commitments for beneficiaries and applicants for international protection
  • Develop and execute the National Plan for the Implementation of the European Union Migration and Asylum Pact

Effective and Humane Reception and Return

  •  Increase the capacity of Spaces Equivalent to Temporary Installation Centers (EECITs)
  •  Build new Temporary Installation Centers (CIT), ensuring legal and civil society support
  •  Establish procedural speed mechanisms to be applied in judicial appeals processes, in terms of immigration and asylum
  • Ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the return system, unifying these skills across police forces

Inspection in National Territory

  • Create a multi-force inspection team to combat abuses (human trafficking, illegal immigration, labor exploitation and human rights violations)
  •  Audit linguistic assessment processes for obtaining Portuguese nationality


Human Capital Attraction

  • Establish a human capital attraction system aligned with the country’s needs
  • Improve the process of recognizing qualifications and competencies 
  • Promote professional training and training of foreign citizens
  • Carry out a Labor Needs Survey, aligning the supply and demand of foreign workers and their scheduled reception
  •  Promote the attraction and attendance of foreign students in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions 



  • Increase places for asylum seekers and refugees in reception centers
  • Increase the capacity of specialized Residential Units for emergency reception of unaccompanied minors
  • Increase temporary and urgent accommodation capacity for immigrants, refugees and beneficiaries of international protection
  • Promote the professional integration of immigrants into the national labor market
  • Create Municipal/Intermunicipal Emergency Reception Centers for immigrants, in cooperation with Municipalities
  • Implement integration projects in very critical neighborhoods under municipal coordination

Portuguese language

  • Strengthen supply, coverage and frequency of teaching Portuguese as a Non-Mother Language (PLNM)
  • Provide multilingual materials and guidance, including in functional Portuguese

 Public Services Response

  • Simplify the process for granting equivalences in basic education
  • Promote and manage immigrants’ access to the National Health Service

 Mobilization of Private Resources to Finance Integration

  • Create instruments to channel private capital for social investment in immigrant integration projects


 Review the Institutional Architecture of Migration Policies

  • Create the Foreigners and Borders Unit at PSP
  • Restructuring of AIMA’s competencies and internal organization
  • Strengthen AIMA’s human and technological resources, creating an incentive for productivity and performance
  • Transfer the responsibility for face-to-face processing of requests for renewal of residence permits from IRN to AIMA
  • Expansion of the in-person service available for immigrant citizens to request their sectoral identifiers (NIF, NISS, NNU)
  • Restore the Migration Observatory as a State body to inform public policy

Decentralize: Strengthen the Role of Municipalities and Civil Society

  •  Redefine and automate the Council for Migration and Asylum, as an advisory body to the Government
  • Strengthen financial support for immigrant and civil society associations operating in the sector
  • Strengthen financial support for immigrant and civil society associations operating in the sector

Original publication in Portuguese here