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Immigration Law : What has changed. Our highlights

02 set 2022
Amendment of the Immigration Law - Entry, stay, exit and expulsion of foreign citizens from Portuguese territory 0

Law No. 18/2022, of 25 August was published in the “Diário da República” (Official Journal), which makes the ninth amendment to Law No. 23/2007, of 4 July, which approves the Legal Regime for the entry, stay, exit and expulsion of foreign citizens from the national territory.

 We highlight the following main amendments:


- For nationals of Member States of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), and regardless of the nature of the visa, the granting of visas is simplified insofar as the prior opinion of the SEF is dispensed with. This amendment is important insofar as the SEF's prior opinion is dispensed with and the process for issuing a visa is much quicker.


- The residence visa to attend a higher education study program does not require the previous opinion of SEF and, therefore, the process of granting a visa is simplified, provided that the applicant is admitted to a higher education institution in the national territory.


- The visa to seek work in Portugal: a new modality of visa, which aims to allow its holder to enter and remain in national territory for the purpose of seeking work. The work search visa is granted for a period of 120 days, extendable for a further 60 days, and allows one to enter Portugal. If within the referred period of 120 days the holder of the visa concludes a work contract, the holder will have the right to request a residence permit.


- The residence visa for digital nomads: this is perhaps one of the most awaited amendments and which we believe to be of greater relevance. This alteration creates, thus, the temporary stay or residence visa for subordinated workers and independent professionals who carry out their professional activity remotely, to individuals or legal entities with their domicile or head office outside Portuguese territory, and the employment relationship or provision of services must be demonstrated, depending on the case.


- Both the temporary stay visa and the residence visa will now include as one of their purposes, the accompanying family members of the bearer/applicant of the respective visas. In relation to the concession of the residence visa, it is now possible to simultaneously request a residence visa for the main applicant and for his or her family members. These changes in both visas (of temporary stay and residence) consubstantiate an enormous relevance, clearly allowing and facilitating international mobility in what family reunification is concerned.


- With the granting of the residence visa, a residence pre-authorization is issued which contains information regarding the obtaining of the residence permit and the provisional attribution of the tax identification number, social security number, and national health service number.



The periods of validity of the residence visas have also been amended and are now as follows:


. The temporary residence permit is now valid for a period of two years counted from the date of issue of the respective title and is renewable for successive periods of three years;


. The residence permit for higher education students is valid for three years, renewable for equal periods, and, in cases where the duration of the studies is less than three years, is issued for the duration of the studies;


. The residence permit granted to researchers is valid for two years, renewable for equal periods or for the duration of the host agreement, if this is less than two years;


. The residence permit for trainees is valid for six months, for the duration of the internship program, plus a period of three months, if this is less than six months, or for two years in the case of a long-term internship, in which case it can be renewed once for the remaining period of the internship program;


. The residence permit granted to the family member of the holder of a permanent residence permit is issued for a period of two years, renewable for successive periods of three years.


Finally, we consider it relevant that the validity of the "EU Blue Card" has also been changed to two years, renewable for successive periods of three years.



Tânia Gonçalves Leal (Lawyer/Partner): tgl@lfadv.pt 


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