Family reunification gets a boost with AIMA

Family reunification gets a boost with AIMA

AIMA is the new agency replacing SEF … paradigma-



- Development and availability of the AIMA Portal

The Portal will be launched by the end of the year to deal with family reunification applications from older residents, eliminating the need for phone appointments.


- Mega-operation to recover 347,000 pending cases

Operation involving local authorities, professional associations and employees of the Local Support Centres for the Integration of Migrants to recover backlogs.

- Strategic plan to promote the Portuguese language among expats/migrants.


In a press release, the Portuguese government said that the 347,000 pending cases inherited from the now-defunct SEF will be one of the new Agency's "initial priorities, particularly in cases involving family reunifications", promising "a specific operation" to deal with this problem in the first quarter of 2024 and the launch, by the end of 2023, of a "digital portal for online applications for the granting and renewal of residence permits". … 4-93b3e239


This is the new website for AIMA (formerly SEF).

As this is a new agency created at the end of October 2023, the functionalities will be available until the end of this year 2023. See previous post.

Hello Johnny PT and hello everyone,

Still stuck with family reunification matter,

Can someone tell if the new agency AIMA resumed the appointments for family reunification and how it works.

Do we have still to make appointment like it was with SEF or the process is now different.


Hi Hafidoux,

As everything is very new (the AIMA agency was created at the end of October 2023), what is known at the moment is:

- until March 2024, they will prioritise family reunification applications that have already been made,

- for those who want family reunification but haven't yet submitted an application, by the end of 2023 they will have an online portal to help process family reunification applications from residents who have already been in Portugal. The goal is to simplify this process with online procedures and avoid the trouble of making phone appointments.


Hi Johnny and a big thank you for your post as the reunification issues are driving us crazy. Following D7 I successfully got my res card in June and have been viewing the SEF website every week which consistently advises that no appointments are available for reunification.

Do you consider the SEF website now defunct following the AIMA takeover? Do you think there will be a brand new 'reunification' portal or just an add on the current website - is this the correct site?



Is this the correct site?

Hi James,

AIMA was created in October 2023 and is intended to replace SEF. Its website is still being redeveloped, but you can find this information here about reunification issues - it hasn't been translated into English yet: … 98-o-n-o-2

The SEF website still exists because the AIMA website is still very incomplete, but I hear it's going to have new features soon.  The information on the SEF website is still valid, I don't know if the phone numbers have changed.

Family reunification is a problem inherited from SEF, as there are many cases pending. Unfortunately, you have to make an appointment by phone. I know it's difficult, but I don't see any other way...

Should it provide any insight whatsoever, my own application on family reunion - with help of Claim Albufeira - made in February 2023:

I eventually receive a response from a Brexit.sef email address upon 27th September asking me to provide oodles of evidence (monthly joint bank statements, joint address etc etc), going back at least 2 years prior to Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Approximately 6 years in total.

The email which was also copied to Claim.

The email address copied was Centro Local de Apoio à Integração de Migrantes • [email protected]

I respond with everything I have (eg I cannot provide copies of original monthly statements going back 6 years without a lengthy and expensive personal visit to my bank as they just aren't available online).

I have other evidence including Visa stamps, Visa applications to Embassy, Certificate of Union in Algarve etc etc.

I return all of this by email in first week of October.

From then.....nothing!

I email again, asking for appointment and reminding them my partner was only given extension of stay in Portugal whilst our application is being considered, and in any case until 31/12/2023, now little more than 2 weeks away.

I ask what they expect us to do, exit Portugal with an early flight, apply for another visa, overstay??

I ask all of this on 07th December.

Again ..nothing.

I don't see any excuse for this type of State behaviour whatsoever.  Sadly, it's all so typical, however


Make a written complaint in the Yellow Book (Livro Amarelo) available at all service desks. Here is useless... … afa2f86302

It is through this official instrument that the Agency finds out the facts of the complaint and responds back to you.


Not sure if that last piece of advice was meant to be addressed to myself, and my apologies if it wasn't, but if it is..

I'm not sure it would be preferential to make any complaint as don't wish to bite the hand that feeds.

As we are both aware, the bureaucracy from Portuguese immigration is brain numbing.

Just typical lack of government responsibility for the people that pays their salaries.


This problem exists because it has been accumulating with the number of requests & immigrants for reunification and with the countless problems with restructuring SEF.

I think you should make a written complaint.

Hi @JohnnyPT,

Thanks a lot for sharing useful information.

"By the end of 2023 they will have an online portal to help process family reunification applications from residents who have already been in Portugal."

Seems that the portal is not yet available for online appointments.

Hi @irfanalibutt123,

You have to make an appointment by phone...