Long-term residence


Country Report: Long-term residence Last updated: 26/05/22


Portuguese Refugee Council Visit Website

Competence for issuing a long-term residence permit lies with the National Director of SEF,[1] that must issue a decision within 6 months of application.[2] The residence permit is valid for 5 years and is automatically renewed at the request of the beneficiary of protection.[3]

The following criteria must be met to obtain a long-term resident status regardless of the type of international protection held by the beneficiary:[4]

  • Legal and continuous residence in the national territory for 5 years following the date of the application for international protection (no difference being drawn between refugee status and subsidiary protection);
  • Stable and regular resources to ensure his/her survival and that of his/her family members, without having to resort to the social assistance system;
  • Health insurance;
  • Accommodation;
  • Fluency in basic Portuguese.

A former beneficiary of international protection whose refugee status has ceased because he or she has voluntarily accepted protection of the country of nationality or, has voluntarily re-acquired the nationality of his/her country of origin, can be refused long term residence status (see Cessation).[5]

According to SEF, no such permits were issued to beneficiaries of international protection in 2021.

As the main provider of legal information and assistance to asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, CPR is not aware of the issuance of long-term residence status to beneficiaries of international protection in recent years and has provided legal assistance in a limited number of cases for that purpose. According to its experience, access to such status by beneficiaries of international protection is rare for reasons mostly related to a lack of information and awareness, adequate financial resources, insufficient language skills, and the priority given to applications for Naturalisation.




[1] Article 128 Immigration Act.

[2] Article 129(4) Immigration Act. The time limit can be extended by 3 months in particularly complex cases but the applicant must be informed of the extension of the time limit (Article 129(5) Immigration Act) and the application is automatically accepted in the absence of a decision at the end of the 3-month time limit extension (Article 129(6) Immigration Act).

[3] Article 130(2) Immigration Act.

[4] Article 126 Immigration Act.

[5] Article 127(3) Immigration Act.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation