Amendments To The Foreigners’ Law

Amendments To The Foreigners’ Law

Due to the large number of residence request processes in progress, contrasting with the lack of employees at the Foreigners and Border Service - SEF, new rules will be implemented in order to simplify the application process and reduce visits to the SEF offices,

In August of this year, the amendments to the Foreigners' Law (Law no. 23/07, July 4th) were published in the Journal of Laws, modifying the legal regime for the entry, stay, and exit of foreigners in the national territory.

Below we list the five most relevant changes for you:


  1. Family reunification Visa

Previously, to apply for a family group visa, it was necessary to wait for the main applicant's visa to be issued and then apply for the family members' visas.

With the new changes, it will be possible to apply for both the main applicant's visa and the family members' visas at the same time, without waiting for the approval of the main visa.

For this purpose, the following are considered family members of the holder

 (i) the spouse,

(ii) Minor or incapacitated dependent children of the couple or one of the spouses

(iii) adult dependent children of the couple or one of the spouses who are single and studying at an educational institution in Portugal;

 (iv) direct first degree ascendants of the resident or the spouse; (v) minor siblings, among others;


  1. Creating an employment visa for Portugal

A new visa was recently created for foreign citizens who are looking to work in Portugal and allows the applicant to enter and stay in national territory for up to 120 days (extendable for another 60 days).

It will be necessary that until the end of this period, the applicant has a work contract, otherwise he/she will have to return to the country of origin and wait 1 year to apply for a new visa.

To apply for this visa, you must present a request at the Portuguese consulate in the country of origin (or in the country where you have your legal residence).


  1. Simplification of visas for CPLP citizens

The concession of short-stay, temporary stay or residence visas to citizens covered by the CPLP Agreement (Community of Portuguese Language Countries).

If the process is already underway, it will be covered by the previous law.

The countries covered by the CPLP are:

  • São Tomé e Príncipe;
  • Guiné-Bissau;
  • Guiné-Equatorial;
  • Moçambique;
  • Brasil;
  • Angola;
  • Timor-Leste.
  • Cabo-verde


  1. Provisional attribution of NIF, NISS, SNS

As part of the residence visa, a residence pre-authorization must be issued, which will enable the issuance of the fiscal number (NIF), social security number (NISS), and national user number (SNS).


  1. Simplification of the issue and renewal of the residence permission for British beneficiaries of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement

In order to speed up the process of issuing residence per beneficiaries of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, some public entities are now competent to issue and renew residence permission for British citizens, namely, the Institute of registry and Notary and the Citizen Service Desk.


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