SEF and the Portuguese Minister for Tourism have finally revealed the true reason for the apparent delays for those requiring a biometric photograph for their Residência card.
The Minister admitted that ‘Those people wishing to live in Portugal should be given the opportunity to visit and appreciate the country as part of the process of becoming citizens’. This explains why those in Lagos have to go to Lisbon and the residents of Albufeira get their appointment in Évora.
He continued: ‘It gives applicants a tremendous prospect to travel and enjoy the more remote areas of Portugal, not to mention the increased fuel sales and motorway tolls that also help our economy.’
He called the innovative policy ‘Bureaucratic Tourism’, but admitted that SEF had taken advice from IMTT who have many years of experience of creative activities for immigrants.
Other less advanced countries, that handle biometric passport photos online, are watching closely because they can see the economic advantages of the SEF travel system, but they are struggling to reduce their bureaucratic efficiency to the levels required for success.
Gov UK commented that introducing Bureaucratic Tourism by centring biometrics in Cardiff would have a beneficial impact on fuel tax revenue, Severn Bridge tolls and parking fines which would offset much of the £250m cost of post-Brexit UK passport printing in Holland.
Apparently, many people taking up residence in Portugal are retired and welcome the opportunity to travel and fill in time which otherwise would be wasted. Lagos resident ‘Mucho Pistof’ admitted that he had always wanted to visit Tavira and the SEF had now given him the chance.