The Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA) requested the payment of fees of up to 400 euros to immigrants with pending authorisation processes, within 10 days, in order to speed up the response to accumulated requests. An official source from the office of the Minister of the Presidency indicated that it had become aware of the measure, and highlighted that the Government will present a “different response”, which will integrate the action plan that the Executive is preparing.

“The Government has become aware of an AIMA procedure according to which communications were sent to migrant citizens, regarding authorisation processes that had been pending, in many cases, for a long time. The Government also learned that citizens were asked to pay amounts of up to 400 euros within a very short period of 10 days, under penalty of their requests being forfeited”, Notícias ao Minuto confirmed with the authority.

According to the entity, this procedure was based on a “regulatory decree (no. 1/2024) of January 17, 2024, approved by the previous Government, and which ordered new fees to be applied to the processes then pending”.

“It is admitted that AIMA understood its actions as being linked to norms dictated by the previous Government and that it acted seeking to achieve a benevolent objective of accelerating the processing of the thousands of pending processes that it inherited from the inadequate process of extinguishing the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF). However, the way the procedure is changed now applied to thousands of people, many of them in a vulnerable context, and can generate socially and economically difficult situations”.

The government stated that “the objective of resolving the hundreds of thousands of pending issues deserves a response that, while being effective and rationalising, is socially fair and balanced”, having indicated that this “different response will be part of the action plan that the Government, as already reported, is preparing and will present soon”.

The news was reported by Antena 1, which highlighted that many of those targeted were afraid that they were being victims of a computer scam.

However, the AIMA workers' union argued that the measure could help to resolve pending processes, as some of the immigrants no longer reside in Portugal, according to that statement.