(Published on 01/10/2018)
The Regulatory Decree 9/2018, of 11 September establishes new rules on the granting of visas and residence permits.
The new provisions aim to respond to some of the difficulties that have been felt, adapting the current law to the new economic and social dynamics, streamlining established procedures.
Thus, among other measures, the Decree establishes:
1) A simplified regime for foreigners applying to attend professional qualification courses in Portugal, and for highly qualified entrepreneurial immigrants, linked to entrepreneurship, to technology and to innovation, in response to difficulties experienced by companies in this field (Startup Visa);
2) A simplified regime for seasonal workers;
3) A new regime for workers transferred from other EU Member States, provided that they are part of the company staff;
4) An agile regime to facilitate the procedures for granting residence visas for nationals of Portuguese-speaking third-countries;
5) The presentation of the procedures in digital form as a rule-regime;
6) The exemption of face-to-face interview in a consulate, whenever legally possible;
7) That, in cases where the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) is informed of the date of travel, it will then provide, in the positive reports regarding residence visas, the scheduled date of the appointment at SEF’s facilities. The applicant is thus exempt from scheduling once in the national territory;
8) That the schedules for granting and renewal of the residence permit may be made, at the request of the applicant, to any regional direction / delegation, thus allowing the anticipation of the deadlines;
9) That SEF will use the documents already in its workflow, in all the processes of granting and renewing the residence permit, thus avoiding that they are again required from the applicants.
This new regime updates the rules applicable to the presence of citizens of other countries in Portugal, thus making the procedures more agile and secure.