LISBON: Foreign citizens seeking work in Portugal can stay in the country for six months under a new visa regime announced by the government on Friday.

The new rules, which change the rules of entry, stay, exit and removal of foreign nationals, will enter into force on Nov 1, reported Xinhua.

According to the government, the aim is to establish “procedures that allow attracting regulated and integrated immigration for the development of the country, changing how the public administration relates to immigrants and guaranteeing conditions for the integration of immigrants”.

The entry and free movement of citizens of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) is also facilitated since their job search and residence visas will be automatically approved.

“These requests must be granted outright unless the applicant is identified in the Schengen Information System as having some legal restriction of refusal of entry and stay,“ the decree says.

The new regime also facilitates access to residence visas for foreign students who attend higher education in Portugal and allows the granting of a residence or temporary stay visa to “digital nomads”, who work remotely via the Internet.

Over 800,000 foreign nationals reside in Portugal currently, according to the country’s Immigration and Border Service (SEF).-Bernama

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