In a statement, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) explains that as of 23 March the entity will be offering the “automatic renewal” functionality for the approximately 16,000 residence permits that expire between 1 April and 30 June “with a guarantee of compliance under the safety rules and mitigation of the consequences that resulted from the health emergency situation ”.

SEF states that until the new announcement, this feature was available for residence permits with an expiry date until 31 March but that now the date of “automatic renewals” has been extended by another three months.

Since July 2020, SEF has activated this feature in the “personal area” of the SEF portal where foreign citizens can access the “automatic renewal” feature of their residence permit.

SEF stresses that this process of “automatic renewals”, which now enters the fourth phase, is entirely digital and does not require the physical presence of citizens at the service desk.

In November 2020, this tool was extended to foreign students attending higher education in Portugal.

SEF stated that since July 2020 around 104,000 automatic renewals have been carried out, mostly by citizens from Brazil (49,418), Cape Verde (7,108) and Nepal (6,629).