The Agency for Migration and Asylum (AIMA) replaces SEF, starting on October 29, 2023

  • 3 November, 23

Mercan Asia would like to update you the new Agency for Integration, Migrations, and Asylum (AIMA) has established the replacement of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), following the decree-law published on June 2, 2023.

What is AIMA?

As already announced before (The new Portuguese immigration entity begins on 29 October), AIMA is responsible for administrative functions related to foreign citizens in Portugal, namely residence permits and refugees.

The High Commission for Migration will be responsible for the reception and integration of immigrants in Portugal.

What will happen to the SEF?

The powers of SEF have been transferred to the competencies owned by the previous immigration services into 3 others, one of which was created exclusively for this new goal and makes the separation between administrative and police functions.

  • POLICE COMPETENCES – will be divided between:

           – Criminal Police (“PJ”) – where de SEF inspectors will now be established;

           – Republican National Guard (“GNR”) – which will be responsible for the control of land and sea

borders and Public Security Police;

           – (“PSP”) – the now on responsible for the air borders.

  • RESIDENCIES AND VISAS – creation of a new entity:

          – Agency for Migration and Asylum (AIMA)


          – Civil Registry – The Civil registry will receive this competence already being implemented.

Furthermore, this reform in the Portuguese immigration system marks a change in the Government’s approach to immigration. According to the Portuguese Government, “this way, in situations of migratory pressure or humanitarian crisis, Portugal will be prepared to respond in a more coordinated and immediate way” to challenges such as trafficking in human beings and labor exploitation, “safeguarding the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees” and also a step forward in the implementation of digital components to the legalization process.

The creation of the new entity will not impact your Golden visa application. The files under SEF analysis will be transferred automatically to the new entity.

For Mercan Asia side, we are preparing for new scheme of projects that qualified for the Portugal Golden Visa Program and shall keep the clients posted. If you have any questions, please contact us via email

Cre: iaservices