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Lisbon, April 7 Portugal’s Council of Ministers approved the establishment of the Agency for Minorities, Migrations and Asylum, which will replace the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) and the High Commission for Migrations.
The agency will integrate the SEF structure with its 680 employees, and the process of renewing residence permits for foreigners in Portugal will be handled by the Institute of Registries and Notary, according to an official announcement by the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva.
Ana Catarina Mendes, Minister in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister and for Parliamentary Affairs, said in the press conference after the council meeting that the new agency will integrate the High Commission for Migration to respond to the challenges of inclusion and integration of migrants in Portugal, reports Xinhua news agency.
Meanwhile, Minister of Internal Administration Jose Luis Carneiro said that this restructuring will guarantee safer national borders and resist illegal immigration and human trafficking.
While the SEF agents cancelled a strike previously arranged for April 7, the Union of Employees of the Foreigners and Borders Service, which integrates employees with non-police functions, held a two-day strike to protest against their integration into other Portuguese state bodies.