The reorganization and reduction of bureaucracy in the Portuguese immigration system is a priority for the current Government.
With the publication of the State Budget, new rules entered into force taking the first steps in this direction. In particular:
– In 2020, the temporary residence permit foreseen in paragraph 1 of article 75 of the Immigration Law becomes valid for a period of 2 years from the date of issue of the respective title and renewable for successive periods of 3 years.
– In 2020, the refugee travel permit foreseen in paragraph 2 of article 19 of the Immigration Law , becomes valid for a period of 5 years from the date of issue of the respective title.
– During the year 2020, the setting of the global quota for the purpose of granting a residence permit visa for the exercise of subordinate professional activity provided for in article 59 of the Law, is suspended, and residence visas may be issued for exercise of subordinate professional activity to third-country nationals who fulfill the general conditions and:
a) Proof to have an employment contract or promise of an employment contract; or
b) Proof to have recognized and adequate qualifications or competences for the exercise of one of the activities covered by the previous number and benefit from an individualized expression of interest by the employer.
It shall also be highlighted that, during COVID19 pandemic, the Portuguese Government took unprecedented measures at a global level, in response to the restrictions imposed by Coronavirus contingency status and decided to regularize all immigrants who have pending applications at the Immigration Office, submitted up to 3/18/2020. Asylum seekers were also covered.
This extraordinary measure aimed to unequivocally guarantee the rights of all foreign citizens with pending cases in Portugal and allowed them to access, for instance, the National Health Service, social support benefits, conclusion of lease contracts, conclusion of employment contracts, opening of bank accounts and contracting of essential services.
It is even more noticeable why Portugal was granted with the title of the most welcoming country for expats according to InterNations, the largest global network and information site for people who live and work abroad.