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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure PT-2020-22/434 Updated – measures in Portugal

Regularisation of immigrants' presence on national territory

A permanência em território nacional de cidadãos estrangeiros com processos pendentes no SEF é considerada regular

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 26 May 2020 – 26 May 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS)
Measure added 09 April 2020 (updated 14 July 2020)

Background information

Aiming at responding to the specific nature of the threat of infection by COVID-19, the management of the customer service and scheduling of appointments must be done in order to ensure unequivocally the rights of all foreign citizens with pending processes in the Foreigners and Borders Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras - SEF).

The Order 3863-B/2020 of 27 March 2020 provides for that, on the date when the state of national emergency was declared, these foreign citizens are in situation of regular permanence on the national territory.

Content of measure

The Order 3863-B/2020 of 27 March 2020 provides for that from 18 March 2020, the date when the state of national emergency was declared, the foreign citizens with pending processes at the SEF are in situation of regular permanence in national territory.

These pending processes cover requests for entry and permanence in national territory; and requests for asylum, refugee or subsidiary protection.

The documents proving the request made or the scheduling at the SEF are to be considered valid by all public services, notably to obtain an user number, access to the National Health Service or other rights to health care, access to social benefits, conclusion of renting contracts, conclusion of employment contracts, opening of bank accounts and use of essential public services.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

13 July 2020

The Order 5793-A/2020, of 26 May, adopts exceptional and temporary measures in order to the recovery of pending processes at the SEF.

This Order implements a simplified procedure for the instruction of applications for a residence permit. This applies both in the cases of new applications and applications for the renewal of residence permits.

This simplified procedure is in force since 26 May 2020 and for a period of one year.

Use of measure

Not available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


No involvement of social partners.

Views and reactions

Not applicable.


  • 27 March 2020: Despacho n.º 3863-B/2020 - Diário da República n.º 62/2020, 3º Suplemento, Série II de 2020-03-27  Publicação: Diário da República n.º 62/2020, 3º Suplemento, Série II de 2020-03-27 (
  • 26 May 2020: Despacho n.º 5793-A/2020 (


Eurofound (2020), Regularisation of immigrants' presence on national territory, measure PT-2020-22/434 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.