New regime for the entry of foreigners: what changes from Sunday?

The Government intends with the new regime for the entry of foreigners in Portugal, which comes into force on Sunday, to provide safe immigration and avoid illegal networks, the Secretary of State for Equality and Migration told Lusa.

“Portugal, by consecrating a visa for looking for work, is precisely providing an accessible way to travel safely. This is a concern and a priority for the Government: that whoever comes to Portugal, to establish their life here, can do so through safe immigration routes”, explained Isabel Almeida Rodrigues.

The new regime for the entry of immigrants into Portugal comes into force on Sunday, with a six-month visa for a foreigner looking for work in the country.

This visa to look for work in Portugal is valid for 120 days and can be extended for another 60 days, being granted at Portuguese consular posts, which communicate immediately to the Foreigners and Borders Service and the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP).

According to the new law, in order to apply for a visa to seek work, it is necessary to declare the conditions of stay in Portugal and proof of presentation of a declaration of expression of interest for registration with the IEFP and possession of means of subsistence equivalent to three minimum monthly wages.

Citizens of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) will also have a visa facilitation regime in Portugal, within the scope of the agreement on mobility between CPLP member states.

According to the decree, CPLP citizens can obtain a visa to look for work or a CPLP residence visa, being exempted from presenting valid travel insurance, proof of means of subsistence, copy of the return ticket and presentation in person to apply. visa.

The Secretary of State highlights the legal mechanism, considering that “there is no reason” for a foreigner who wants to come to Portugal to look for work to subject himself to illegal networks.

“We are talking about a visa that is obtained from our consular network, in which the person instructs the application and then goes to the services to continue the process. I do not believe that a process that is developed with the consular network, which imposes contact between the person who intends to come to Portugal and our consular network, can be more favorable to a trafficking network than the absence of this mechanism”, he maintained.

The secretary of state responded to some immigrant associations in Portugal, which warned that this new mechanism could encourage illegal networks.

For the official, “it will be much easier for networks to operate in a context in which this mechanism does not exist”.

“I don’t think it can be said that the existence of the visa is more unfavorable than its non-existence”, he added.

The changes to the legal regime for the entry, stay, departure and removal of foreign citizens from the national territory establish “procedures that allow attracting regulated and integrated immigration, for the development of the country, changing the way in which the public administration relates to immigrants and guarantee conditions for the integration of immigrants”.

The new regime puts an end to the quota regime for immigration, makes it easier to obtain a residence visa for foreign students who attend higher education in Portugal and allows digital nomads to grant a residence or temporary stay visa.

The latest data from the SEF indicated that the foreign population residing in Portugal exceeds 800,000 people, the Brazilian population being the largest, estimated at more than 250,000 people.

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