The creation of the Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA) signals a fresh phase in Portugal’s approach to immigration. AIMA takes over from the previous Portuguese Borders. And Immigration Service (SEF) with the goal of simplifying and humanizing the administration of immigration and asylum services.
Individuals relocating to Portugal, especially those coming from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland, will interact with AIMA. And it will as the government entity responsible for handling residency applications in the country.
Inherited from SEF, AIMA assumes a central position in overseeing administrative processes concerning foreign nationals. And also departing from SEF’s dual role encompassing both administrative and police functions. AIMA is task with the following responsibilities:
- Regulating the entry and duration of stay for foreign nationals.
- Granting and renewing various residence permits and certificates.
- Handling refugee and asylum matters, which involves the operation of a newly establish National Multidisciplinary Center for Protection and Integration.
Reassignment of Responsabilities
The inception of AIMA has led to the reassignment of various responsibilities among different entities:
Judiciary Police (PJ) is entrust with managing inspection staff and addressing issues related to illegal immigration and human trafficking.
Institute of Registration and Notary (IRN) assumes a crucial role in managing electronic passports, temporary passports, and residency permit renewals. However, it’s important to note that specific cases falling under AIMA’s purview will handle by the agency.
AIMA development Goals
AIMA has delineate a series of short-term and enduring objectives, underscoring its dedication to enhancing immigration services in Portugal:
AIMA Portal Launch: The unveiling of the AIMA portal is schedule for the end of the year. This platform will introduce an efficient application process for family reunification among long-term residents. And also eliminating the necessity for phone appointments.
1º Half 2024
2ª Half 2024
AIMA Portal Accepting Residence Authorization Applications: This advancement is poise to streamline the residence authorization application process for migrants.
Creation of 10 Additional Service Points: AIMA’s ongoing expansion endeavors aim to establish proximity in service provision to various communities.
Telephone Support Center: In response to the vary needs of migrants, AIMA is commit to delivering improved support through a high-quality telephone assistance center.
Multidisciplinary Center for Protection and Integration: This facility is purpose-build to oversee international protection procedures. And provide comprehensive support to refugees and asylum seekers, guiding them from the initial application stage to complete integration.
Clear Pending Cases from SEF
The considerable challenge confronting AIMA lies in the need to effectively address a substantial backlog exceeding 347,000 unresolved cases. And initially focusing on the critical aspect of family reunification. Recognizing the urgency of this matter, AIMA is gearing up to launch an extensive and strategic operation in the early months of 2024. The primary objective of this operation is to expedite the processing of applications. And aiming to achieve this within a targeted timeframe of 12 to 15 months.
This ambitious undertaking will require close collaboration with various stakeholders, including municipalities, professional orders. And Local Support Centers for Migrants. AIMA is poised to leverage the successful organizational model implemented during Portugal’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign. And also drawing valuable insights to streamline and enhance the efficiency of this operation.
Where is AIMA?
AIMA’s main office is situated on Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar, 20, in Lisbon, and it will initiate its activities with 34 service counters distributed across Portugal. Additionally, the agency has strategic plans for expansion, intending to introduce a minimum of 10 new branches within the first year.
For information on the location of an AIMA office in your city, click here. Below are addresses for some of the most popular cities:
- Lisbon I: Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar, 20, 1069-119 Lisboa
- Braga: Rua dos Granjinhos, 6, 4700-996 Braga
- Faro: Largo Municipal Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro, 8000-151 Faro
- Leiria: Largo Dr. Manuel de Arriaga, 1, 2400-177 Leiria
Frequently asked questions about SEF replaced by AIMA
What is AIMA in Portugal?
The inception of the Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA) heralds a fresh era in Portugal’s immigration policy. Taking over from the former Portuguese Borders and Immigration Service (SEF), AIMA strives to simplify and humanize the administration of immigration and asylum services.
What is happening with SEF?
The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) ceased to exist on October 29, being succeeded by the Agency for Integration, Migrations, and Asylum (AIMA).
What replaces SEF in Portugal?
Effective on October 29, 2023, the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) and the High Commissioner of Migration was replaced and consolidated under the newly established Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA).
Is SEF closing in Portugal?
Yes. on October 29, 2023, the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) was replaced and consolidated under the newly established Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA).
Where is AIMA?
AIMA’s headquarters is on Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar, 20, 1069-119 Lisboa.