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Newsletter July 2018

Legal Updates

"Citizen Card" for immigrants

Under the Simplex+2018 Program, the Government will create a new citizen card for immigrants. This new document will include the tax identification number (NIF), social security number and the National Health Service.

With the creation of this card, the attribution of all these numbers to the foreign citizen will occur simultaneously at the place of the issuance of the residence permit (Foreigner and Border Service), reducing the time and effort expended. Although the collection of the new citizen’s card at SEF, its operation will not be solely the responsibility of this entity, since it will be a process of intercommunication between the entities involved (Tax Authorities and Social Security).

The creation of the citizen card for Immigrants means that the Portuguese Government is investing in its policy of encouraging Immigration, making the integration of foreign citizens in Portugal quicker and comfortable

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Legal protection of legal persons in financial difficulties

The Constitutional Court ruling nr. 242/2018, declared the unconstitutional, with general binding force, a rule of the Law that regulates access to justice in cross-border disputes.

The rule in question (which resulted from the transposition of an European Directive) seal the access of commercial companies in absolute to the institute of legal protection, without regard to their specific financial situation – denying a fundamental right of access to the Courts, protected by the Constitution.

This would be the case, for example, of situations in which the financial hardship of a company is mainly due to the existence of overdue and unpaid debts, case in which the company may be prevented to go to court to recover them.

Thus, based on the effective legal protection of legal persons, this rule was considered unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court, ceasing its effects in the Portuguese legal system.

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Business Updates

Portugal is becoming increasingly multicultural

The world is delighted with Portugal, but it is not only tourism that goes through the best phase ever. The number of high added value immigrants has also increased positively affecting the Portuguese economy and making Portugal an increasingly multicultural country. The number of foreigners living in Portugal increased by 6% em 2017, with the highest growth regarding Italian and French citizens who have entered to the top 10 of the most representative nationalities of foreigners in Portugal.

The increase in high added value immigrants shows that Portugal is appealing to foreigners, mainly to citizens of the European Union, who arrive in Portugal under the tax regime of Non Regular Resident. Outside, Portugal is seen as a safe country, with good weather, good gastronomy, heritage charm and nice people, opening a wide range of business opportunities

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Legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes

The Portuguese Parliament has approved the legalization of the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes. The therapeutic use of the plant is not allowed only of medicines and preparations.

The approval of these products for commercialization is the responsibility of Infarmed, National Authority of Medicine and Health Products. It is not allowed the production by the user, commonly known as self-cultivation. The entity responsible for supervising the production of cannabis preparations will be the Military Laboratory.

The sale of the products will be in pharmacies and only the pharmacist, or whoever replaces it in his absence or impediment, can fill the prescriptions. These can only be used once. When the prescription is intended for a minor, disable or interdicted person, it should be granted only to those who have and prove the respective legal guardianship.

To this type of products have been associated of therapeutic indications of the oncological forum, as well as multiple sclerosis or epilepsy.

The voting took place on June 15 and the final diploma resulted from contributions from all parties with seats in the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic.

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