SEF : Changes Ahead

Changes Ahead: Service for Foreigners and Borders to be Replaced, Ensuring Smooth Operations for Expats

Change is on the horizon for the Service for Foreigners and Borders (SEF) in Portugal. Recent reports indicate that the SEF will be dissolved in October, raising concerns among expatriates about the impact on their residency and immigration processes. However, rest assured that the Portuguese government has taken proactive measures to ensure the smooth operation of services and minimize disruptions for expats. In this article, we will explore the upcoming changes and provide reassurance that expats will continue to receive efficient support for their immigration needs.

The Transition Plan:

The Portuguese government has formulated a comprehensive transition plan to replace the SEF effectively. This plan aims to streamline and improve the immigration and residency processes for expats in Portugal. It includes the creation of a new entity, the Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA – Agência para a Integração, Migrações e Asilo). The AIMA will assume the responsibilities previously held by the SEF, ensuring continuity and efficient services for expats.

Enhanced Efficiency and Accessibility:

Committed to enhancing efficiency and accessibility, the AIMA will leverage advanced digital platforms, online portals, and streamlined processes. Expats can expect improved services and reduced waiting times for applications, renewals, and other immigration-related tasks. The goal is to simplify procedures and create a more user-friendly experience.

Continuity of Services:

The Portuguese government is dedicated to ensuring a seamless transition between the SEF and the AIMA. Existing SEF staff will be reassigned to the AIMA, ensuring that experienced professionals continue to handle expats’ needs. Ongoing applications, permits, and residence renewals will be processed without interruption during the transition period.

Clear Communication and Support:

Throughout the transition process, the Portuguese government will maintain clear communication channels with expats. The AIMA will provide updated information, guidelines, and assistance to ensure expats are well-informed and supported during the changes. Dedicated helplines, online resources, and multilingual support will be available to address any concerns or questions expats may have.

Portugal’s Commitment to Expats:

Portugal has long been known for its welcoming attitude towards expatriates. The government’s decision to dissolve the SEF and introduce the AIMA reflects its commitment to further improving the experiences of expats living in the country. The changes are intended to enhance efficiency, streamline processes, and offer a more user-friendly system that caters to the needs of the growing expat community.

While news of the SEF’s dissolution may initially raise concerns among expats in Portugal, it is important to understand that the Portuguese government is taking proactive steps to ensure a smooth transition and continued excellent service. The establishment of the AIMA and the comprehensive transition plan demonstrate the government’s commitment to maintaining efficient operations and supporting expats throughout the process. Rest assured, Portugal remains a welcoming and expat-friendly destination, dedicated to providing a seamless immigration experience for those living and working in the country.


How can I notify the authorities of my change of address please ?? I have my biometric residency card….I have made so many calls without success ..
Your help is greatly appreciated ..thank you

Hello. You have to call the numbers that SEF had. AIMA mentioned they are the same, for now. And yes it«s quite hard to get them to answer the phone and then get an appointment.

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