Extinction of Portuguese Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) postponed

Written By Lara Silva

The extinction of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) in Portugal has been postponed once again, without a particular extinction date set. SEF was set to be extinct on May 12 and be replaced by the Portuguese Agency of Migration and Asylum (APMA).

The Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro stated the “transition should occur in a tranquil and safe manner” and that this transition is not yet ready. He also guaranteed that the fundamental rights of the workers at SEF will be safeguarded during the transition.

“We are working with the different ministries to make sure that this institutional transformation occurs with serenity, stability, and trust and in a condition that guarantees that the functions of security, that are paramount functions of the state continue to be safeguarded”, said Carneiro in Portalegre. The Minister went on to say that in the next few days a “legislative solution” regarding the APMA may be found.

The APMA which will replace SEF will take care of issues of requests for visas, asylum, and aiding refugees, as well as studying, promoting, and executing measures relating to migratory movements and politics  The “policing” aspect of SEF is set to be given to law enforcement agencies such as PSP and GNR, while SEF will remain its administrative roles. SEF will no longer enforce border control, as well as deal with issues of illegal immigration and human trafficking. These will be left to the police.

The President of the Union that represents SEF workers, Acácio Pereira has said postponing the extinction of SEF is the right move as this is a “complex process”. He says that not all the rights of workers have been considered at this point in the process.

The current workers at SEF are given the chance to transition to APMA, if they wish. There are over 1,666 workers at SEF, 1,049 of which are inspectors.

Stay up to date
Subscribe To Portugal.com's Newsletter

Receive the latest news, travel information, stories, offers and more!

Invalid email address
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Join our FB group Portugal Travel & Living for all things Portugal and news updates

Related Articles


  1. hi ,
    i need an urgent appointment from SEF and they are not giving it, because of this extinction. My wife has to travel because her father is sick but she has an unvalid card and SEF is not renewing it. can someone help


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Follow Us


Most Popular

Lisbon’s Lost Café: The Legendary Chave D’Ouro

I first heard about the Café Chave d'Ouro (which translates in Portuguese as "Golden Key") in Neill Lochery's riveting book Lisbon: War in the...

99 Places You Cannot Miss in Portugal

From north to south, as well as in the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores, Portugal's natural beauty and historical richness make it so...

Portugal Golden Visa: The Ultimate Guide to Portugal’s Golden Visa 2023

October 2023 Update: Portugal's Golden Visa Not Ending After All Portugal shocked the world in February 2023 when the government announced an end to Portugal’s...

Latest Articles