SEF officially closed down and replaced by AIMA and IRN
Portugal’s new immigration agency AIMA (Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum) officially began operations this week replacing the former Portuguese borders and immigration service SEF. (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) which was extinguished over the weekend.
AIMA opened its doors on Monday, October 30 and had 347,000 pending processes, and said it would hire 190 staff at its headquarters in Lisbon.
All of SEF’s other staff have been integrated into other forces. AIMA will deal with administrative procedures related to foreign nationals. However, staff involved in inspection are being transferred to the Judiciary Police (PJ).
Portugal’s Institute of Registration and Notary (IRN) will also be responsible for administrative functions.
Matters cornering the police such as illegal immigration and smuggling will pass to the Public Security Police (PSP), National Republican Guard (GNR) and Judiciary Police (PJ).
The GNR will monitor, control and inspect Maritime and land borders, including ports and cruise ship terminals.
The PSP will police, monitor and inspect airports and the PJ will deal with illegal immigration and human trafficking.
The IRN will be responsible for electronic passports and temporary passports, and renewals of residency permits. (both permanent and temporary)
However, the renewal of documents for trafficking victims will be dealt with by the AIMA.
Under the IRN, documents can be issued and renewed by Citizens Shops (Lojas de Cidadão) whose 34 ‘shops’ will now have longer opening hours. Applications for appointments can also be booked online while renewals can be done online with documents collected when ready.