Article

Amendments to the regime of entry and stay of foreigners in the Portuguese territory

On the 25th of August of 2022, Law no. 18/2022 (hereinafter "Law") was published with the purpose of introducing amendments to the Portuguese regime for the entry and stay of foreigners in national territory, namely the creation of conditions for the implementation of the Agreement on Mobility between the Member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries signed in Luanda on 17 July 2021.

Thus, the Law under analysis proceeds with the ninth amendment to the legal regime for the entry, stay, exit and expulsion of foreigners in national territory approved by Law no. 23/2007 of 4 July (hereinafter the "Foreigners' Law", the second amendment to Law no. 27/2008 of 30 June, the first amendment to Law no. 8/2007 of 4 July and the second amendment to Law no. 27/2008 of 30 June, the second amendment to Law no. 8/2007 of 4 July). No. 27/2008 of 30 June, establishing the conditions and procedures for granting asylum or subsidiary protection and the statuses of asylum seeker, refugee, and subsidiary protection and, finally, the implementation in the internal legal order of Regulations (EU) Nos. 2018/1860, 2018/1861 and 2018/1862 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 November 2018 on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS).

With regard to the main changes introduced by this law, we highlight the following:

  • The creation of the modality of the job seeking visa. This visa allows its holder to enter and remain in national territory for the purpose of seeking work and to carry out dependent work, until the expiration of the visa or until authorisation is granted. Although the visa is granted for a period of 120 days, it may be extended for a further 60 days, allowing one entry into Portugal.
    The granting of this visa depends on compliance with the general conditions for the granting of residence, temporary stay and short stay visas foreseen in the Law on Foreigners and the obligation to have a transport document that assures the return. The holder of the visa who, within the referred period of time, establishes and formalises an employment relationship, will have the right to request a residence permit as long as the remaining conditions for that purpose are met. If the holder of this visa has not established an employment relationshipwithin this period and has initiated the process of documentary regularisation, they will be required to leave the Portuguese territory and can only reapply one year after the expiry of the previous visa. It should also be emphasised that the temporary stay visa regime will be applicable when the holder of a visa for seeking work establishes an employment relationshipwithin the 120 day period.
  • The creation of the modality created for the “Digital Nomads”, of a residence visa for the exercise of professional activity rendered remotely outside national territory which grants subordinated workers and independent professionals a residence visa for the exercise of professional activity rendered, remotely, to individuals or collective persons with their domicile or head office outside national territory, where the labour relationship or rendering of services must be demonstrated.
  • The favouring of the mobility of citizens between the member states of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) through the creation of special conditions for the granting of visas to nationals of these states, as well as the introduction of the residence permit regime for CPLP citizens. With the approval of the law under analysis, nationals from states in which the CPLP Agreement is in force will be able to request a residence visa without the prior opinion of the Portuguese authorities (hereinafter “SEF”) and whose analysis and attribution will depend only on the verification of the SIS database and whether or not there are indications of prohibition of entry and stay. In parallel, if these citizens are holders of short-stay visas or temporary stay visas, or even when they have legally entered Portuguese territory, they may request to Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) a CPLP residence permit in national territory.
  • The extension of the validity of the travel title for refugees which, from now on, will be valid for a period of 5 years subject to renewals associated with the eventual renewal of the residence title (as opposed to the 1-year period foreseen until now); this title allows the refugee to enter and leave national territory as well as the territory of other states who recognise it for this purpose.
  • The regime for the entry of foreign minors is now extended to vulnerable adults who are unable to travel or who have been refused exit from the territory. Their entry is dependent on the person exercising parental responsibilities or the persons to whom they are formally entrusted being admitted into the country, and national or foreign minors travelling unaccompanied by the person exercising parental responsibilities and not in possession of legally certified authorisation granted by them, are not permitted to leave Portuguese territory.
  • The admissibility of granting temporary stay visas for the following new purposes: accompanying a family member who holds a temporary stay visa, except if the purpose of the visa is to carry out seasonal work, and without prejudice to the regrouping regime; carrying out a subordinate or independent professional activity, provided remotely, to an individual or legal entity with residence or head office outside national territory, which presupposes the demonstration of the employment relationship or the provision of services.
  • The residence permit "EU Blue Card" will now have an initial validity of two years, renewable for successive periods of three years.

The present law and the alterations introduced by it entered into force on the 26th of August.

To access to the entire wording of Law no. 18/2022 of 25th of August please click here.

For more information on this subject, please contact:
Jorge Costa Martins
jcmartins@ctsu.pt

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