New immigration rules in Portugal

Jul 09 | 2024

The new immigration rules in Portugal, announced by the Portuguese Government on 3 June, 2024, are now officially in effect.

Portuguese flagThese changes represent a significant revision of the legislation governing immigration in the country, aimed at promoting a more efficient migration policy aligned with the commitments made by Portugal and its European partners within the Schengen Area.

One of the most notable changes is the repeal of residence permit procedures based on expressions of interest, introduced by a 2017 amendment to the law. The government considered this measure ‘ill-considered’ and compromising to the principles of the Schengen Area. The repeal may be followed by a possible parliamentary review of the law, with a transitional regime for pending applications, which will include those who applied before the new decree, as well as cases where employment contracts and social security contributions already exist.

The new decree-law also includes a series of comprehensive measures to address pending issues and irregular situations, such as the creation of a dedicated ‘task force’ to resolve the over 400,000 pending cases. Additionally, the implementation of a national monitoring system is planned to combat abuses and ensure compliance with immigration laws.

To attract foreign talent, the decree addresses improvements in the recognition of qualifications and skills, promotes professional training for foreign citizens, and increases capacity in reception centres for asylum seekers and refugees. It also emphasises measures to enhance the professional integration of immigrants into the national labour market and the teaching of Portuguese as a Non-Native Language.

Rossana Veglia, Chief Mobility Officer of Global International Relocation said: "The new rules represent a significant advancement for immigration policy in Portugal. The creation of a 'task force' to address pending processes demonstrates the government's commitment to resolving bureaucratic issues more efficiently. In a time of so many changes, it is inevitable to observe a period of uncertainty and confusion. In this context, the importance of professional guidance, such as that provided by Global, becomes even more evident in facilitating and clarifying the processes."

These changes reflect the Portuguese government's commitment to creating a more welcoming and efficient environment for immigrants, while ensuring compliance with immigration laws and Portugal's international commitments. “Global is ready to assist expatriates in navigating these new rules, providing support and guidance at every stage of the immigration process,” said Rossana.