Covid-19: Changes at SEF public service

Covid-19: Changes at SEF public service

Covid-19: From 30 March onwards, Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) implemented a new scheme for managing public service and the scheduling of appointments, comprising a resolution whereby the situation of foreign citizens with pending applications submitted by March the 18th – date of the declaration of the state of emergency, will be regarded as regular in Portugal.

This scheme, underpinned by the ministerial order n. 3863-B/2020, of March 27, provides for the closing of all SEF’s service bureaus, as of the same date, in order to reduce the risks to public health resulting from face-to-face service, thus protecting both administration staff and applicants.

Applicants who have registered an expression of interest for obtaining a Residence Permit under Articles 88, 89 and 90-A may prove their regular status by showing a document extracted from the relevant IT platforms.

Applicants of Residence Permit and applicants for an extension of a Residence Permit – irrespectively of the regime – may prove their regular status by showing documentary evidence of a scheduled appointment, or by showing the receipt for an application already submitted to our services.

These supporting documents will be valid before all public services, namely to obtain the National Health Service user number and access NHS services, to access other health care services, social benefits, rental contracts, employment contracts, opening of bank accounts and hiring of essential public services.

Please note that visas and documents related to the stay of foreign nationals in Portugal, which have expired after 24 February, remain valid until 30 June. These documents, as well as the Citizen’s Card, the Driver’s Licence, the Criminal Record, as well as Certificates, are valid before the public authorities for all legal purposes.

SEF will continue ensuring face-to-face service for requests deemed urgent, only, that is, foreign citizens who need to travel and that prove the urgent and unavoidable need to leave the Portuguese territory, for unforeseeable / unexpected and unavoidable reasons and citizens whose documents have been stolen, robbed, or lost.

In addition, all appointments planned up to 27 March will be rescheduled by SEF, beginning on 1 July, in compliance with the former chronological order, ensuring full transparency and equal treatment.

With regards the issuing of Passports, SEF will accept urgent and duly substantiated requests, only.

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Fonte: Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras