The government has decided to ‘regularise all immigrants with pending cases at (borders agency) SEF’.
The move, published only on Friday night, ensures immigrants awaiting papers instantly become legal and so can be covered by any and all support given to regular citizens.
The measure also covers asylum seekers, writes Público – stressing that no special papers are required. Proof that immigrants/ asylum seekers have a meeting scheduled with SEF or have a receipt even showing they have formally requested a meeting will be sufficient.
With these basic papers, people who feared for their rights in this gathering health crisis will finally qualify for access to the SNS health service and the ability to enter into work/ rental contracts, open a bank account and “contract essential public services”.
Says Público, the government directive also opens the way to ‘urgent scheduling’ of appointments for foreign citizens who need to travel abroad, or have lost/ had stolen identity documents.
SEF meantime hasn’t confirmed how many immigrants this measures covers.
In the wider sphere, all visas in the process of lapsing have been given a reprieve to June 30.
Says Público, the latest data on State contributions by immigrants brought €746.9 million into State coffers, set against social benefits claimed of €95.6 million.