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Portuguese government decrees that foreign citizens with pending applications shall be temporarily deemed as legal when remaining in Portugal

The Portuguese Government has declared, under Decree no. 3863-B/2020 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, that foreign citizens that have pending applications for the approval or renewal of residence permits, asylum or refugee status, shall be temporarily considered as having their permanence in Portugal as legal, from March 18th 2020.

Proof of the pending applications can be made via the documents of “manifestation of interest” or applications made on the SEF platforms, or in the case of approval or renewal of residence permits, documents proving appointments scheduled at SEF or receipt of filed applications.

These document will allow applicants to sign up for the SNS – National Health Service, social protection benefits, entering into rental and employment contracts, opening bank accounts and entering into contracts regarding essential public services.

Furthermore, visas and documents regarding the permanence of foreign citizens in the national territory which have expired after February 24th shall be considered valid until June 30th 2020, and should be accepted by public authorities for all legal intents and purposes.