Home News ‘Citizen’s card for foreign residents’ launched

‘Citizen’s card for foreign residents’ launched

Published on 15/06/2018

The Portuguese government is launching a citizenship card for registered foreigners in Portugal.

The card, similar to the national ‘cartão de cidadão,’ groups together identification references for tax, social security and the national health system.

Immigrants now will be able to apply for their very own ‘cartão de cidadão,’ potentially avoiding hours of sitting round or waiting for the post.

“Nowadays, when someone goes through the residency process, once you get a ‘residência,’ you then have to visit the branches of Finance, Social Security and the National Health Service and register with each,” said Secretary of State for Administrative Modernisation, Graça Fonseca.

According to Fonseca, with the new card, the applicant will be given all these numbers at the same time and in the same place, reducing the time and effort.
“Currently, the process is relatively complicated and involves several trips,” explained Graça Fonseca, patiently.

The new ‘citizens’ card for foreigners’ will be controlled by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), but its bureaucratic operation will not be the sole responsibility of this august cadre.

It will be a process of “intercommunication between the various parties, from Finance to Social Security,” and as a four-party multi-agency programme, applicants can expect teething problems, initial delays and an information black-out if there are problems.

The Secretary of State says that the new card is part of the ‘Simplex + 2018’ programme. As part of a pre-Brexit plan to facilitate UK citizens living in Portugal to get registered, the project is a sensible one and will help identify registered UK national living in Portugal when they become non-EU citizens, post-Brexit.

Last month, more than a hundred immigrants demonstrated outside the Assembly of the Republic against the delay in issuing residence permits, including cases of citizens who already work and pay into the Social security system.

Simplex is the 2006 programme to simplify and modernise public services.

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