More than 93 thousand border controls on the first day after the extinction of the SEF

The Minister of Internal Administration spoke at Gago Coutinho Airport, in Faro, on the day SEF was extinguished

photo: file

More than 82 thousand controls at air borders and more than 11.400 at sea borders are the results of the first day in which PSP, PJ and GNR assume new powers, said the Minister of Internal Administration yesterday.

According to José Luís Carneiro, control of the maritime borders by the GNR took place without incident, while at the air borders 11 citizens were placed in spaces equivalent to temporary installation centers.

«There were 11 passengers who stayed in spaces considered temporary installation centers because they did not meet the conditions to enter the Schengen area, which shows that the security conditions also worked effectively», said the official.

The Minister of Internal Administration spoke at Gago Coutinho Airport, in Faro, on a visit to recognize the work of professionals from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), which was abolished this Sunday, and the PSP, at the time of transition of skills between the two institutions.

According to the government official, at Lisbon airport, between 00:00 and 10:00 yesterday, the average waiting time for passengers undergoing control was 30 minutes, which is equivalent to a reduction of the average waiting time by one third.

at the airport of Faro, until 20:00 p.m., 79 flights and a total of 13.128 passengers were controlled, with an average waiting time of 10 minutes being recorded, which was “the shortest waiting time there has been since operating at the airport of Faro», he stressed.

Asked what this reduction in waiting times is due to, the Minister of Internal Administration replied that there are more human resources: at both the air and sea borders, around 90 more elements are now working.

Given this data, journalists asked José Luís Carneiro whether this reinforcement of resources at the borders could not harm other sectors, to which the minister replied that, in 2022, 2.500 new elements were admitted to the PSP and GNR.

And he continued: «This year we will admit another 1.500 new members. 580 new police officers finished a few days ago and another 500 will enter training in November. This reinforcement of human resources also has to do with this objective of strengthening resources at air, sea and land borders».

In today's session at the airport of Faro Also present were the President of the Chamber of Faro, Rogério Bacalhau, the national director of the Judiciary Police, Luís Neves, and the national director of the PSP, José Barros Correia.

The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) was abolished today at 00:00, with the Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum (AIMA) taking effect, which will succeed this service in administrative matters of issuing documents to foreigners.

The SEF's powers will be transferred to seven bodies, passing police functions to the PSP, GNR and PJ, while administrative matters related to foreign citizens will go to the new agency and the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN).

The Borders and Foreigners Coordination Unit will also be created, which will operate under the authority of the secretary general of the Internal Security System, in addition to some inspectors being transferred to the Tax Authority.

AIMA, which inherits from the SEF around 300 pending immigration legalization processes, will also succeed the High Commission for Migrations, which is also extinct today.

The restructuring of the SEF was decided by the previous Government and approved by the Assembly of the Republic in November 2021, having been postponed twice.

SEF was created in 1986 and was a security service integrated into the Ministry of Internal Affairs.