SEF will have simpler procedures for applications for the granting and renewal of residence permits, allowing “substantially” to reduce service times at the counters for around 250,000 foreign citizens, according to an order today published.

In a statement, the Foreigners and Borders Service states that the order envisages “mitigating the consequences that resulted from the health emergency situation, adopting exceptional and temporary measures that allow for a recovery of pending issues and an efficiency gain in the document management of foreign citizens”.

SEF states that, in the context of pending requests for renewal of residence permits, the citizen does not need to go to a service desk, simply by making the request on the SEF Portal.

Subsequently, SEF will carry out all security consultations to confirm the suitability of the applicant, as well as consultations with the databases necessary to assess the fulfillment, by the applicant, of its tax obligations and before Social Security, explains the SEF, adding that , after paying the fees, the citizen will receive the residence permit at his / her tax address.

In relation to requests for the granting of a residence permit with a visa waiver, citizens do not need to submit new documentary evidence, for the purpose, documents submitted together with the visa waiver request (expression of interest), regardless of expiration date, provided they are valid on the date of presentation, according to SEF.

With this measure, SEF foresees “a substantial reduction in the service times at the counter, which should increase from 40 to 15 minutes”.

However, according to a decree-law published this May, the approximately 130,000 immigrants who were provisionally settled in Portugal due to the covid-19 pandemic will continue in this situation until October 31.

The 130,000 foreign nationals who remained in good standing were those who had pending cases at SEF until March 18, when it was decided to declare a state of emergency due to the covid-19 pandemic.

With this temporary regularization, immigrants were granted access to health care, Social Security support or various rights, such as entering into a lease or employment contract.

The order published today by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Internal Administration, Modernization of the State and Public Administration and Labor, Solidarity and Security also states that the securities to be issued following decisions on requests that fall within the scope of the within the scope of this order and that they relate to minors.