On 28 March, the Portuguese government announced that all migrants living in the country are to be treated as permanent residents during the crisis. Persons must provide evidence of an on-going residency request before they can use the country’s health service, welfare system, bank accounts, and work and rental contracts. These rules would apply from Monday 30 March. A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry is quoted as saying, “People should not be deprived of their rights to health and public service just because their application has not yet been processed … In these exceptional times, the rights of migrants must be guaranteed.” In effect, the measure grants all migrants and asylum seekers currently in the country full citizenship rights.
The GDP has been unable to find any reports indicating that authorities have taken measures within immigration detention centres.
- C. Drury, “Coronavirus: Portugal to Treat Migrants as Residents During Pandemic,” The Independent, 28 March 2020, www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-portugal-migrants-asylum-seekers-treatment-residents-a9431831.html
- Schengen Visa Info, “Portugal Grants Migrants and Asylum Seekers Full Citizenship Rights During Covid-19 Outbreak”, 2 April 2020, www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/portugal-grants-migrants-and-asylum-seekers-full-citizenship-rights-during-covid-19/
- Global Detention Project, Immigration Detention in Portugal, www.globaldetentionproject.org/countries/europe/portugal