47,000 people extended Portuguese residence permit online in a month

August 26, 2020
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47,000 Portuguese residence permits renewed through the online system
Photo: Adobe Stock
The Migration Service of Portugal (SEF) has published the first results of the online service for automatic renewal of residence permits. In just one month the system has successfully reissued 47,000 residence permit cards for third country nationals.

The service of automatic renewal of residence permits was launched on July 21, 2020. Its main purpose is to simplify the procedure of reissuance of permits for stay in the country. Switching to online format was a logical step against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How it works

To use the auto-renewal service, a resident must register on the official SEF website. The new feature is available in the Applications → Automatic Renewal section.

When choosing the service the applicant is offered to fill in a special form, where he attaches all necessary documents electronically.

After submitting an application, a resident has 48 hours to pay for the service. Payment is also made online through a single document management system – Single Collecting Document (DUC).

Portugal’s residence permit extension

Portugal's residence permit extension procedure for investors

The service of automatic renewal of residence permits is not yet available for residents participating in the residence permit program in Portugal for investment. For them the procedure of status renewal remains the same.

At the first stage, the resident collects a package of necessary documents and pays a fee for reissuing the residence permit card. The documents and payment receipt are sent electronically to the SEF for consideration.

Once the documents have been reviewed, an electronic record is made available on the SEF’s official website for a personal meeting with migration officials. On an appointed date and time, the investor should visit the SEF office to submit the original documents and biometrics.

The application is considered within 3-4 months, after which it takes another 2 weeks to reissue residence permit cards.

Thus, the primary check of documents is already carried out in electronic form. Therefore, there is a real possibility that in the near future the service of online renewal of the residence permit will also be available to investors.

When an investor needs to extend a residence permit

At the end of July 2020, the Government of Portugal approved a new schedule for the extension of residence permit for investors.

If an investor has applied for participation in the Golden visa program after April 1, 2020, the first time he will extend the status in 2 years. All subsequent renewals are made every 2 years.

If an investor has applied for participation in the program until April 1, the old scheme of renewing residence permit – 1 +2 +2. That is, the first extension must take place in 1 year after obtaining the status.

Thus, under the terms of the program, the investor regularly renews his residence permit. It is also possible for holders of gold visas to obtain citizenship of Portugal, if the resident status was maintained for 5 years. Therefore, the investor must at least 2 times extend the residence permit before applying for a Portuguese passport.

In this regard, the service of automatic renewal of residence permit would greatly facilitate the process of reissuance of documents for investors and their families.

How the demand for the "Golden visa" of Portugal is changing

The number of Russian citizens who receive a residence permit for Portugal for their investment is constantly growing.

Thus, in 2020 Russia was among the top 5 countries in terms of the number of applications for participation in the program. According to the results for January-July 2020, 44 investors from Russia received the Golden visa of Portugal. This is 69% more than in the same period in 2019.

In just 7 months of 2020, the department of the program issued more than 2000 gold visas, which brought the country 439 million euros.

Portugal is traditionally one of the most attractive destinations for immigration in the European Union. Even in crisis conditions it took the 3rd place in the Global Peace Index 2020. This indicates a high level of security and economic development in Portugal.

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