Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2018, 07:35 GMT

Law No. 34/1994 of 14 September 1994, Defining the Legal Regime or Reception of Aliens or Stateless Persons into Temporary Reception Centers

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Publication Date 14 September 1994
Reference PRT-125
Cite as Law No. 34/1994 of 14 September 1994, Defining the Legal Regime or Reception of Aliens or Stateless Persons into Temporary Reception Centers [Portugal],  14 September 1994, available at: [accessed 19 February 2018]
Comments This is an unofficial translation. This Act was promulgated by the President of the Republic on 16 August 1994 and contersigned by the Prime Minister on 23 August 1994. The Law was published in the Official Gazette dated 14 September 1994.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Assembly of the Republic, pursuant to article 164, paragraph d), 168, n°1, paragraph b), and 169, n° 3, of the Constitution, proclaims the following:

Article 1 - Object

The present law regulates the reception of aliens, for humanitarian or security reasons, in temporary centers.

Article 2 - Reception for humanitarian reasons

1. The reception for humanitarian reasons is a measure of social assistance applicable to aliens lacking resources enabling them to cater for their subsistence and who, having requested political asylum, stay in national territory till the final decision on their respective application, or till the withdrawal of the application, or having the latter been rejected, till the deadline fixed to leave the Country expires.

2. The reception for humanitarian reasons is decided by the Director of the Aliens and Borders' Services following a written request by the alien who is in one of the situations foreseen in the previous paragraph and after hearing the regional Center of social security of the area with respect to the situation of social and economic destitution.

Article 3 - Reception for security reasons

1. The reception for security reasons is a detention measure decided by the competent judge, on the basis of one of the following grounds:

a) To guarantee the enforcement of a decision of expulsion;

b) Disobedience to a judicial decision to present oneself periodically;

c) Necessity to ensure the appearance before a judicial authority;.

2. The reception, provided that it has been decided, will be maintained till the grant of a permanence visa or an authorization of residence or till the enforcement of a decision of expulsion or the re-embarkation of the alien. It will not exceed a period of two months and it will be reconsidered judicially at the end of each period of eight days.

Article 4 - Reception as a result of an attempt of irregular entry

1. Besides the cases referred to in paragraph n° 1 of the preceding article, the reception in temporary reception centers may also be decided as regards aliens trying to enter into national territory, without being legally qualified, as well as when their presence in the international zone of the port or airport has completed 48 hours or when security reasons justify it.

2. During the period of time referred to in the preceding paragraph the Aliens and Borders' Service will inform the alien of his rights. As soon as the impossibility that he re-embarks within that period of time is foreseen it will report to the competent court the alien's presence in the international zone, forwarding copy of the relating file, in order to take a decision on the maintenance of that situation or on the reception in an appropriate center.

3. For the effects of the control of documents and the application of the preceding paragraphs, the international zone of ports or airports is meant to be the zone located between the points of embarkation and disembarkation and the place where check-points for the control of personal documents are installed.

Article 5 - Installation of the centers

The temporary reception centers may function in different buildings, assigned to each of the the two regimes foreseen in the present act, or in just one building, in this latter case the entrance and the respective areas having to be separate.

Article 6 - Initiative of creation

The creation of the temporary reception centers and the definition of their structure and organization will be accomplished by decree-law.

Article 7 - Subsidiary law

To aliens received in terms of articles 3 and 4 is applicable subsidiarily, and with the due adaptations, the regime foreseen by articles 209 to 216-A of Decree-Law n° 265/79, of 1 August, with the modifications and the drafting resulting from Decree-Law n° 49/80, of 22 March, and by Decree-Law n° 414-85, of 18 October.

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