Despacho n.º 3863-B/2020, de 27 de março

Emellin de Oliveira/ April 3, 2020/

Emellin de Oliveira[1]

FREE TRANSLATION: Order n. º 3863-B/2020, issued on 27th March 2020[2]


This Order establishes that the management of booked and scheduled appointments is carried out in such a way as to unequivocally guarantee the rights of all foreign citizens with pending procedures at the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF – “Immigration Police”), within the scope of COVID 19.

Aware of the global epidemiological situation and, in particular, in the European Union and the increase in cases of infection in Portugal, with the progressive extension of its geographical expression, a State of Emergency was declared throughout the national territory, for a period of 15 days, starting at 0:00 am on March 19th, 2020, and ending at 11:59 pm on April 2nd, 2020, without prejudice to possible extensions[3];

With regard to the SEF’s legal attributions and the exceptional measures taken within them, it is extremely important to respond to this reality in terms of the management of human resources management and the scheduled appointments;

In order to respond to the specific threat of COVID19 contagion, the management of bookings and scheduled appointments must be conducted in a way as to unequivocally guarantee the rights of all foreign citizens with pending procedures at SEF, determining that, on the date of the declaration of State of National Emergency declaration, they are in a situation of regular stay in National Territory;

Considering that article 16 of the Decree-Law no. 10-A/2020, issued on 13th March, expressly provides that “documents and visas related to the stay in national territory, whose validity expires from the date of entry into force of this Decree-Law or in the immediately preceding 15 days, are considered as valid, in the same terms, until June 30th, 2020»;

Considering the need to reduce the risks to public health associated with face-to-face services, both for SEF staff and the users of these public services;

The following has been determined:

1. In the case of foreign citizens who have made requests under the Immigration Law[4] or who have made requests under the Asylum Law[5], with pending procedures at SEF on March 18th (date of the declaration of the State of National Emergency), their stay in the national territory is considered as regular (legal).

2 – The documents attesting to the situation mentioned in the preceding paragraph are the following:

a) For requests made under articles 88, 89 and 90-A of Immigration Law: the document of expression of interest[6] or the request issued by the SEF platforms registration;

b) In other situations of pending procedures at the SEF, namely concessions or renewals of residence permits, regardless of the regime applied to them (either the general regime or the exceptional ones): a document proving the existence of a scheduled appointment at SEF or a receipt proving the request has been submitted[7].

3. The documents referred in the previous number are considered valid before all public services, namely to obtain user number[8], access to the National Health Service or other rights regarding to health care, access to social support benefits, celebrate leasing contracts, celebrate work/employment contracts, open bank accounts and contract essential public services.

4 – Urgent booking is allowed, but dependent on a decision of the SEF Regional Directors which attests these reasons, on the following urgent situations:

a) Citizens who need to travel or who prove the urgent and unavoidable need to be absent from national territory, for imponderable and unavoidable reasons;

b) Citizens whose documents have been stolen, misappropriated or lost.

5 – For the purpose of issuing urgent passports, applications will only be considered by SEF in cases of force majeure or other duly proven urgencies.

6 – In cases in which the SEF must guarantee attendance, upon request for a booking sent to the email “” or through the Contact Centre, the operation of the following network of service stations is ensured exclusively by SEF or, in other cases, in conjunction with management entities:

a) Direção Regional do Algarve;

b) Delegação Regional de Portimão;

c) Direção Regional dos Açores;

d) Direção Regional da Madeira;

e) Delegação Regional de Porto Santo;

f) Direção Regional de Lisboa, Vale do Tejo e Alentejo;

g) Delegação Regional de Setúbal;

h) Loja do Cidadão de Coimbra;

i) Loja do Cidadão de Aveiro;

j) Centro Nacional de Apoio à Integração de Migrantes do Porto;

k) Gabinete de Asilo e Refugiados.

7 – The public attendance provided by the Asylum and Refugee Office[9] remains open for the presentation and registration of new applications for international protection, but the legal deadlines in international protection proceedings are suspended.

8 – For cases of urgent issue of passports, SEF maintains the operation of the “Passport stores”[10] at the Airports in Porto and Lisbon, and the requests must be submitted through the contact centre or by the e-mail “”.

9 – The scheduled appointments that are provided by the Automatic Pre-Scheduling System (SAPA) and other systems used by SEF are suspended, and all the appointments booked until March 27th 2020, will be rescheduled en bloc as for July 1st 2020, in chronological order, guaranteeing equal treatment between foreign citizens.

10 – SEF proceeds to the public dissemination, as well as to the dissemination through the public services/forces and security services of the present Order.

11 – SEF will also promote the dissemination of this Order on all websites and social networks for which it is responsible.

12 – SEF must articulate with the National Press – Casa da Moeda, S. A., the necessary issue of documents for urgent and essential cases provided in this Order.

13 – The presence of SEF staff to provide essential services is carried out on a rotation basis, observing the current regulations regarding alternative forms of work, namely teleworking and the fulfilment of the special duty of protection provided by Decree no. 2-A/2020, of March 20th.

14 – The opening hours of the essential service are determined by the top manager of the service, being publicized in a visible way and posted on the public access doors and following the terms established by paragraph 4 of Order No. 3301-C/2020, of March 15th.

15 – The safety and hygiene rules laid down in article 13 of Decree no. 2-A/2020, of March 20th, are applicable, with the necessary adaptations, as well as the hygiene and health rules defined by the Directorate-General of Health.

6 – Priority service laid down in the Decree-Law no. 58/2016, of August 29th, is guaranteed, without prejudice to the priority service laid down in article 14 of Decree no. 2-A / 2020, also applicable to these public services, with the necessary adaptations.

17 – The present Order enters into force on the day of publication.

March 27th, 2020. – A Ministra de Estado e da Presidência, Mariana Guimarães Vieira da Silva. – O Ministro da Administração Interna, Eduardo Arménio do Nascimento Cabrita. – A Ministra do Trabalho, Solidariedade e Segurança Social, Ana Manuel Jerónimo Lopes Correia Mendes Godinho. – A Ministra da Saúde, Marta Alexandra Fartura Braga Temido de Almeida Simões.

[1] Emellin de Oliveira is a Ph.D. Candidate in EU Migration Law at NOVA University of Lisbon – School of Law, Researcher at CEDIS (Research Centre on Law and Society).

[2] Original Version, available at:

[3] See:

[4] Lei n.º 23/2007, de 4 de julho, alterada pela Lei n.º 28/2019, de 29 de março, Lei n.º 26/2018, de 5 de julho, Lei n.º 102/2017, de 28 de agosto, Lei n.º 59/2017, de 31 de julho, Lei n.º 63/2015, de 30 de junho, Lei n.º 56/2015, de 23 de junho, Lei n.º 29/2012, de 9 de agosto (regime jurídico da entrada, permanência, saída e afastamento de estrangeiros do território nacional)

[5] Lei n.º 26/2014, de 5 de maio, que procede à primeira alteração à Lei n.º 27/2008, de 30 de junho, que estabelece as condições e procedimentos de concessão de asilo ou proteção subsidiária e os estatutos de requerente de asilo, de refugiado e de proteção subsidiária

[6] The so-called: “manifestação de interesse”.

[7] The receipt of documents deliverance is given in the end of the appointment.

[8]  The registration number to access services, such as the National Health System.

[9] In Portuguese: Gabinete de Asilo e Refugiados.

[10] In Portuguese: Loja do Passaporte.

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About Emellin de Oliveira

Cofundadora e Coordenadora Executiva da NOVA Refugee Clinic, Team Leader do “Grupo de Prática” e da Linha de Investigação “Migração & Transformação Digital”. É também investigadora do Centro de Investigação e Desenvolvimento sobre Direito e Sociedade (CEDIS) e Doutoranda em Direito na NOVA School of Law.