Requests for Portuguese residency increase by 1300%

It is exactly as SEF (the foreigners and frontiers agency) predicted. New legislation stipulating what is required for people to seek Portuguese residency has opened the floodgates.

In just one week, SEF received no less than 4,073 requests.

In an average week before the regime was changed and accessible online 300 was the norm.

As Diário de Notícias infers, the rule-change (which came into online effect on September 11) has worked as a form of “call” to all illegals currently living and working in Portugal.

Nationalities deluging SEF with requests are “predominantly Brazilian, Cape Verdian, Ukrainian, Indian and Nepalese”.

This tallies with nationalities seeking residency pre-regime change, only now there are so many more people involved.

The new rules basically mean applicants only need to show that they have “the promise of a work contract” and have “signed up” at a social security office.

Previously, no-one could apply for residency unless they already had a valid work contract and a past history of Social Security contributions.

DN stresses that while SEF’s fears about the new regime “appear to be confirmed”, the government has not been sympathetic and may still ignore the implications.

SEF dubs the situation “an extraordinary regularisation of immigrants, in contrast and against the position that has been assumed by the European Union”.

It is not clear yet where this will lead.

Opposition parties have taken SEF’s concerns onboard, to be told by PS Socialists that they are trying to create “a storm in a teacup”.

Vice-president of the Socialist bench Pedro Delgado Alves stressed that “the promise of a work contract” does not mean a “torn piece of paper on the back of a napkin” but has legal standing of the type found “in all European countries”.

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