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Change in the law on foreigners. You will need a work visa to enter Portugal, no more 88/89 File Locks

The Government announced this Monday the end of the exceptional regime that allowed a foreigner to enter Portugal and only then apply for a residence permit.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, promulgated this Monday the change in the law on foreigners that ends the exception regime that allowed immigrants to regularize themselves in Portugal, through the legal form of expressions of interest.

Expression of interest terminated. Immigrants must have a work visa before entering Portugal
Now, the Government will require the majority of those who want to work in Portugal to do so through consular posts. The legislative change, with immediate effect, will be accompanied by a transitional regime for requests already made — that is, anyone who has already expressed interest will not be affected, they just have to wait for the response from the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum ( AIMA).

“Bearing in mind the extremely urgent situation of regularizing many thousands of pending residence permit processes, the President of the Republic promulgated a specific diploma which, respecting the situations existing to date, avoids overloading ongoing regularization processes with new expressions of interest. , admitted in previous legislation”, reads a note published on the Presidency’s website.

The Government announced this Monday the end of the exceptional regime that allowed a foreigner to enter Portugal and only then apply for a residence permit and announced the creation of a mission structure to regularize pending processes, estimated at 400 thousand.

The Action Plan for Migration, approved this Monday by the Council of Ministers, states the “end of the exceptional regime that now allows entry without rules, extinguishing the designated procedure for expressions of interest”, considered an “open door and source of a large part of pending issues”.

An employment contract or other solution will be required

From now on, it will no longer be possible for a foreigner with a tourist visa to regularize their status in Portugal, requiring an employment contract or another solution previously dealt with in the Portuguese consular network.

In the note published three hours after the Prime Minister's announcement, the Presidency informed that the head of State “promulgated the Government diploma that amends Law No. 23/2007, of July 4, in its current wording, which establishes the conditions and procedures for entry, stay, exit and removal of foreign citizens from Portuguese territory, as well as the status of long-term resident”.

The plan also includes “strengthening the response and processing capacity of consular posts identified as priority”, with the reinforcement of 45 elements in 15 countries, a list that includes all countries in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).

The repeal of articles 88 and 89 of the Foreigners Law, which allowed the legalization of foreign tourists in Portugal, will be followed by a “revision of the [general] law in parliament” in the coming months.

Foreigners and Borders Unit created at PSP

However, all requests already submitted will be processed, as long as they “have been instructed correctly” or have “more than one year of social security discounts”.

The plan approved this Monday includes the creation of a “mission structure, with additional human, material and financial resources, made possible by extraordinary hiring measures, which integrates AIMA employees, inspectors from the former SEF [Foreigners and Borders Service ] and other professionals to recruit”.

Among the 41 measures foreseen in the plan, there is also the transformation of the current mobility visa for CPLP immigrants into a community visa (Shengen), which allows movement around the European Union, and the creation of a Foreigners and Borders Unit (UEF) in the PSP to monitor the presence of immigrants and create emergency care centers.