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FAQ: Documentation, Violence, Exit of minors out of National Territory and Access to Health

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I married my spouse in my home country, and now that we are both in Portugal, I want a divorce because I no longer want to suffer from his/her psychological aggression. Do I have to return to my home country and deal with everything there?

No. Even though the marriage was performed in another country, divorce can be obtained in Portugal. Documents from the country of origin, along with the marriage license or certificate, will be required.

Furthermore, depending on the extent of the psychological violence, you can report it to the police in order to initiate the criminal proceeding.


I came to Portugal to be with my boyfriend, but he controls everything I do. He also told me that he would kill me. What can I do?

Regardless of the reason behind your stay in Portugal, no one should have his or her freedom limited, or have the legitimacy to harass anyone else, either in the form of physical threats or psychological aggression. Threats, beatings and psychological abuse are crimes, and therefore, you can report this incident or case to any police station (Public Security Police, National Guard, Foreigners and Borders Service, and Judicial Police), or also in any court, like to the prosecutors.

In addition to the report, it is important that you seek expert support to help you establish a safety plan, and for that, you can contact APAV| UAVM. 


I am victim of domestic violence, and my spouse still makes threats to leave me alone in Portugal and return to our original country with our children. What can I do to stop him?

You can send to the Foreigners and Borders Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – SEF) a statement opposing the exit of minors, declaring your parental responsibilities and prohibiting the departure of your children. Along with this statement, you need to send the birth certificates of your children, your and their identity cards and the marriage license or certificate.

Subsequently you should seek out the Family and Youth Court in your residential area to carry out the regulation of parental responsibilities and to ask the Court to prohibit your spouse from taking your children out of Portugal. 


I am a victim of domestic violence and my live-in partner says that if I report it to the police, he or she will go to the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) to kick me out of Portugal without my children. Can he or she do that?

The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) is responsible for monitoring the documentation of foreign nationals with temporary or permanent residency. SEF may expel a foreign national if he or she is found residing in Portugal illegally (without a visa or residence permit) or as a result of a court order (when the foreign national has been convicted of a crime, for example). If your partner eventually reports you to SEF, this body will verify your situation in Portugal, and if you have or present the documents on time, it will not start any process of expulsion. 


I was a victim of a violent robbery and am suffering from a lot of headaches and body aches. I was afraid to go to the hospital because I am an undocumented migrant. Do I have the right to receive medical care?

All individuals, even undocumented migrants, have the right receive health care through the public system. Hospitals or health centres cannot refuse to provide treatment to a person based on the fact that he or she is a foreigner or is undocumented, especially when the person in question was a victim of a crime. However, if the person in need of medical care does not make contributions to Social Security, all medical services are charged to him or her.