In a clarification requested by the Lusa agency, SEF said that the first order, published on March 27, 2020, allowed around 260 thousand immigrants with pending cases at SEF, between March 18 and October 15, to have stayed with their situation temporarily settled.
Since then, and after scheduling the SEF to complete the regularization process, most of them had their situation permanently settled, and there are still pending cases for future resolution.
Meanwhile, and still due to covid-19, the Government extended this process, through an order published on November 08, 2020, which allowed the temporary settlement of 116.700 immigrants who had made their requests between March 18 and 15, October 2020.
In all, 356.700 immigrants were temporarily regulated during this period, which allowed them, namely, “to access all public services, namely to obtain the number of users, access to the National Health Service or to other health care rights, access to social support benefits, signing lease contracts, entering into employment contracts, opening bank accounts and contracting essential public services ”.
The covid-19 pandemic, and the respective measures to prevent the transmission of infection, affected SEF services, such as "other Public Administration services and other public attendance services", as the service itself acknowledges.
“From March 30 to May 4, 2020, SEF service stations were closed due to the national pandemic situation (state of emergency)”, indicates this body, stressing that, “despite the constraints”, in 2020 more than 200.700 citizens were served at the SEF branches.
In July 2020, SEF made available a new online functionality for Automatic Renewal of Residence Permits, having already carried out about 88.000 automatic renewals of residence permits, through an entirely digital process that dispenses with the physical travel of the citizen to the counter. attendance.
SEF performed about 201.000 face-to-face visits and issued 117.500 residency documents (129.155 in 2019). Of these, and for the exercise of professional activity, more than 25.000 new residence permits were issued (26.716 in 2019) and more than 21.000 appointments are scheduled for SEF branches by June.
According to the SEF Border and Asylum Immigration Report (RIFA), in 2019 590.348 foreign citizens holding a residence permit lived in Portugal, the highest value recorded by this service since its creation in 1976.
In Portugal, 8.543 people died from 528.469 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.