CPLP Automatic Residence Permit: See How It Works

14 de March, 2023

CPLP Automatic Residence Permit: See How It Works

Learn how the residence permit for CPLP members works, who it is intended for, how much it costs, and how to apply.
Reading: 4 min

It’s already online the new portal for online application for residence permits for members of the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries). The service is oriented to the approximately 150 thousand immigrants from immigrants from Portuguese-speaking countries in Portugal who have entered the country legally and have pending processes at the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF). The goal of the Portuguese government is to legalize the situation of part of the people who are in an irregular situation in the country.

According to the information released so far by the government, the document grants its applicants the same rights made possible by any other RP (Residency Permit) model. That is: travel within the Schengen Area, work, study, family reunification, access to public health care and social security. However, the authorization will be valid for only one year.

In this article we will explain how the CPLP RP works, who it is intended for, and how to apply for it.

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Who can request the Residency Permit CPLP?

In the first phase, they may request the CPLP RP:

  • CPLP immigrants with processes pending at SEF until December 2022
  • CPLP citizens with visas issued by Portuguese consulates after October 31, 2022.

At a later time, the date of which has not yet been set, immigrants who submitted an Expression of Interest after January 1, 2023 will have the option to apply for a Residence Permit through the same procedure.

According to the SEF, the immigrants from the CPLP with pending processes are mostly Brazilians who between 2021 and 2022 filled in the electronic platform Sistema Automático de Pré-Agendamento (SAPA) with expressions of interest (formalized request to the SEF to obtain a residence permit).

In addition to Portugal, Cape Verde, Brazil, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, and Mozambique make up the CPLP.

How much does the CPLP residence permit cost

A fee of 15 euros will be charged to CPLP immigrants who wish to obtain a residence permit. It must be available in electronic format within an average period of 72 hours.

How to apply for the CPLP residence permit?

The request must be made on the SEF website. It is necessary to have a login and password (SAPA portal credentials) to access the service. In the residence permit application, the data provided for the expression of interest will already be automatically included; all you need to do is update it. The site itself will generate a reference for the payment of the service. The printout will be available after payment. Click here to see the tutorial.

CPLP Residence Permit (RP) is not an automatic visa

After the Portuguese government approved the new model residence permit for CPLP members on March 1, some media outlets announced the creation of an “automatic visa for Portugal. This led to some confusion about the document in question.

What is being automatically granted at this moment is not a visa but a residence permit, valid for 1 year, and only for CPLP members who had already made a residence manifestation.

For those who do not fit the profile, it is still necessary to apply for a visa to migrate to Portugal.

What is the difference between a visa, expression of interest and a residence permit?

A visa is a document that authorizes entry into Portugal and is acquired in the country of origin. There are several types of visas, usually of short duration. It allows the person to enter Portugal with the purpose of staying in the country.

After entering Portugal with the visa, it is necessary to request a temporary residence permit. This authorization is what allows you to legally stay in the country, according to the motivation of the visa requested in the country of origin.

But let’s suppose that a person comes to Portugal as a tourist or on business (and without a specific visa) and, in the meantime, decides to stay living in the country… how to legalize a stay longer than the 3 months allowed to tourists? In this case, the interested party will need a residence permit to legally live in the country. This authorization is requested through an expression of interest (MI), while already in Portugal.

In summary, the visa is requested in advance, in the country of origin. The expression of interest is made when the interested party is already in Portugal. The residence permit is the document that is issued after the visa and the IM, which authorizes the stay in the country.

Learn about the various types of visas offered by Portugal.

What now? Should I apply for a visa to enter Portugal?

Yes. If you are abroad and want to move to the country, a visa is still required. Immigrants should always prefer to apply for a visa in the country where they live, before traveling to Portugal. It is much safer, legal and comfortable. Furthermore, the residence permits issued on the basis of a visa usually have a duration of 2 years, and are therefore more practical.

If you wish to live in Portugal, talk to Atlantic Bridge consultants and migrate safely and legally.



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