Residence authorisations “to be renewed automatically”
Is interior minister José Luís Carneiro just very good at PR? This is the question today

Residence authorisations “to be renewed automatically”

Government persists with messaging that make little sense

Portugal’s minister for internal administration has continued the litany of positive soundbites that appear to evaporate into the ether.

Lusa reports today that “residence authorisation are to be renewed automatically.

Portugal’s government will include in the next budget a rule that allows the automatic renewal of residence permits for foreigners living in the country until 2023, the minister of internal administration said today.

“We have taken the decision to automatically renew residence permits until 31 December. In dialogue with the deputy minister for parliamentary affairs, it is foreseen that we can insert a rule in the budget proposal to guarantee that this automatic mechanism can be extended throughout 2023 with regard to the renewal of residence permits,” said José Luís Carneiro.

“During the special consideration of the 2023 budget, the minister specified that these citizens who can automatically renew expired residence permits are those whose “biometric data is collected” and “documentation is already known to SEF“.

“In recent days it has been reported that thousands of immigrants, mostly Brazilians, have, for some time now, been unable to renew their residence permits, which have since expired, thus becoming unable to leave Portugal and, many, unable to find work or open a bank account”.

Lusa’s news, and José Luís Carneiro’s assertions, appear to completely ignore the thousands of Brits, also unable to travel and potentially ‘find work and/ or open a bank account’ – few of which have had the chance to have their biometric data ‘collected’.

On the basis that everyone must be being treated equally, if the majority of Brits have not had their biometric data dealt with, it follows this will also apply to the “thousands of Brazilians”.

And how does this ‘automatic renewal’ help if you have been living in Portugal up to now on the strength of a piece of paper with a QR code (ie if you have not yet received a permanent residency?

None of this is really explained.

Neither has the fact that Britons trying to contact SEF almost invariably have to give up trying, through either a lack of response, or a constant engaged signal.

Even emails fail to bring useful replies. Inquiries may get an email reply that their contact has been received, but that appears to be about it. Days go by, while Lusa continues to report gushing ‘government announcements’ to the extent that one frustrated resident in Porto actually believes SEF has been taken over by a Public Relations company

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com