The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) is a security service within the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) that, in the context of internal security policy, is responsible for carrying out checks on persons at the borders, monitoring aliens inside national territory, preventing and fighting organized crime involving illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings, decide upon asylum applications, issuing passports and identification documents to foreign nationals, in order to safeguard internal security and individual rights and freedoms within the global context of the migratory phenomenon.

SEF is responsible for promoting, coordinating and implementing the measures and actions related to these activities and to migratory movements. Internationally, it is responsible to ensure, as required by the Government, the representation of the Portuguese State in the working groups of the European Union, as well as at international organizations or events related to its expertise area. To visit the SEF website click on the logo on this page.

Immigration laws

All the laws concerning, Entry visa, declaration of entry, working permits,, notification of accommodation for visitors, residency permits, removal from the national territory, travel document requirement and other matters is contained in Act 23/2007 of July 4, amended by Act 29/2012 of August 9 in English

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. An overview of this can be downloaded in English here.

The new legal regulation allows the speeding up, to make less bureaucratic and lighten the proceedings for visas and residence permits

New SEF Website

In 2018 SEF launched its new website which simplifies many of its services’ One main feature is the creation of a personal service area where you can apply for various permits etc. To do this you need to register on-line. Visit the the SEF website immigration page for the following services:

  • Entry into Portugal
  • Visiting SEF
  • Rights and Duties of Residence
  • Extending Stay in Portugal
  • Applying for Residence in Portugal
  • Renewal of Residence in portugal