The Portuguese Service of Foreigners and Borders (SEF) made it possible for citizens of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) to submit their residence permits online on Monday, and on the same day, the authority registered a high number of applications.
Data provided by SEF show that as soon as the system became fully operational, the country started to receive a high number of applications. Only in the first two hours, over 6,300 residence permit requests filed by CPLP citizens were received, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to Portugal News, apart from receiving a high number of requests, SEF also issued tens of documents on Monday. By midday, SEF issued over 560 documents to CPLP citizens “with reference to the payment of residence permits”.
Late last month, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the Portuguese government has said it would grant automatic residence permits to CPLP citizens that would remain valid for a period of one year.
Through this portal, CPLP citizens can benefit from a new, simplified, and fast model for granting residence permits, completely digital and accessible. This portal, in addition to facilitating and speeding up the process, also aims to avoid going to SEF to get the residence permit certificate.
“The high demand causes specific access difficulties throughout the morning of this Monday. However, the portal remains in operation. Citizens holding new CPLP consular visas issued after October 31, 2022, can also register on the portal,” the statement of SEF reads.
Before this decision came into force, in a statement issued on February 28, the Portuguese government said that such a measure would allow about 150,000 immigrants from Portuguese-speaking countries to adjust their situation in the country and would help the country deal with the labour shortage.
The same emphasised that in order for Portuguese-speaking citizens to be able to adjust their situation and obtain a one-year residence permit, they would be required to prove that they have a job in the country.
The government also noted that all immigrants from Portuguese-speaking countries would have to present a work contract when obtaining a residence permit.
As for other rules, the government explained that citizens of Portuguese-speaking countries must pay a fee of €15 for a residence permit.
Since November of last year, when the rules for citizens of Portuguese-speaking countries were relaxed, Portugal has allowed CPLP citizens to obtain visas and enter the country for work and other purposes without having to undergo strict rules.