Working together

news: Working together

Dr. António Carlos Patrício, the Regional Director of the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF), and the Governador Civil do Distrito de Faro, Sr. José Valentim Rosado, visited the AFPOP office recently to discuss ways in which AFPOP, the association for foreign residents in Portugal, could work with the SEF to help the region’s expatriate community.

The meeting came about after AFPOP discovered that many foreign residents were apprehensive about visiting the SEF offices, either because they are not able to speak Portuguese and are wary of the bureaucratic procedure, or they do not have the time to start the Residência process. AFPOP believed that it can help rectify this situation and were delighted that Dr. Patrício was interested in speaking to them about their proposal.

We asked AFPOP’s Executive Officer, Michael Reeve, about the meeting and about how AFPOP can help the foreign resident community in this area. “We talked to Dr. Patrício about two main topics. Firstly, how we can help the staff at the SEF bureaux and, secondly, how we can help our members to have their problems addressed satisfactorily,” Michael told us. “We looked at ways in which the AFPOP office can assist its members with completion and submission of their paperwork, thereby lessening the initial workload on the SEF staff. We also wondered whether we could act as a point of contact for members who may have problems or complaints about the SEF.”

During the meeting Dr. Patrício revealed that he could see no reason why AFPOP could not work together with the SEF to improve their service to its members and indicated that he thought AFPOP had a lot to offer in terms of helping the SEF and the foreign resident community. He also expressed his belief that a formal protocol could exist between the two entities in the future. “Overall, the meeting was productive and a good starting point from which to move forward,” Michael confirmed. “AFPOP will keep its members informed of all progress made.”

For more information about AFPOP and the services that they offer, please contact the office by phone on 282 458 509 or by e-mail at [email protected]. Alternatively visit the AFPOP website on