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PORTUGAL – Visa and Residence Procedures Simplified

, 02/10/2018

Regulatory Decree no. 9/2018, published on 11 September 2018, took effect on 1 October 2018.

As well as implementing the 2017 amendments to the immigration law which transposed certain EU Directives into Portuguese law (see our previous alert here, the decree seeks to simplify visa application and residence permit procedures and to reduce processing times.

Among the changes are the following:

Visa applications can now be made, and appointments booked for biometric data collection, via a new online visa information portal;
Residence permit applications can now be made online, and an appointment for residence permit collection at the immigration office (SEF) can now be booked as soon as a residence visa is granted and the date of travel known (previously an appointment could only be booked on arrival in Portugal). Biometric data and original documents may still be requested;
Nationals of Portuguese-speaking countries can now request university student visas online, with a waiver of the interview and livelihood test;
Procedures for seasonal workers are simplified.

Action Items

Employers who may be affected should consult their immigration specialist.