The Agreement on Mobility between Member States of the CPLP was approved at the XXVI Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), held in Luanda, Angola, on 16 July 2021.
The said Agreement came into force on the first of January 2022 in the States which delivered their respective instruments of ratification to the Executive Secretariat of the CPLP – the Agreement has unlimited time (Art. 31). By December 2021, the instruments of ratification of Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Portugal and Guinea-Bissau had been received by the Executive Secretariat of the CPLP. In January 2022, Mozambique, Brazil in March and Timor-Leste and Angola in June.
The Agreement on Mobility is a Framework Agreement that establishes the legal basis on which greater mobility and movement within the CPLP area will be built. This covers the circulation of workers in and to the CPLP. Thus, the labour market constitutes one of the great foundations for this instrument.
The States Parties may now enter into additional agreements on mobility, having the freedom to choose the mobility modalities they wish to apply, the group of beneficiaries; as well as the other State Parties with whom they wish to establish the partnership.
The objective of the Agreement is to increase the mobility of citizens of the Member States in the CPLP regions. However, the exact pace and extent of this increase, for each individual citizen, will depend on the extent to which his or her State of origin is integrated into the Agreement and the partnerships that his or her State establishes under the Agreement.
The mobility modalities provided for in the Agreement consist of the “CPLP Short Term Stay”, “CPLP Temporary Stay”, “CPLP Residence Visa” and “CPLP Residence”.
The CPLP Short Stay does not require prior administrative authorization and is intended for all citizens of the Parties, holders of ordinary or regular passports, and holders of diplomatic, official, special and service passports. The duration of the CPLP short stay is regulated by domestic law, being however guided by the structural principles of the Agreement, which intends the exemption for stays of up to 90 days.
The CPLP Temporary Stay depends on prior administrative authorisation granted by the host party, in the form of a temporary visa for citizens of the Parties, for a period not exceeding 12 months, such visa being intended for holders of ordinary passports.
CPLP residence visas and CPLP residence permits depend on prior administrative authorisation under the conditions provided for by the Agreement. The administrative authorisation is issued in a first phase by means of a residence visa, which permits entry into the territory of another Party for the purpose of obtaining a CPLP residence permit, a title that gives the applicant the right to reside in the territory of that Party under the terms and with the effects foreseen in the Agreement.
The CPLP residence visa and the CPLP residence permit may be granted to all nationals of either party who meet the following requirements cumulatively:
i) The absence of measures banning the applicant from entering the host Party, as provided for under its domestic law;
(ii) there are no indications that the applicant may be a threat to public policy, public security or public health in the host Party, as determined by its internal law.
The CPLP fixation Residence Visa is valid for a period of 90 days, without prejudice to a more favourable term under the domestic law of the host Party. The CPLP residence permit, on the other hand, allows residence in the territory of the issuing party for an initial period of one year, renewable for successive periods of two years, without prejudice to renewals for a longer period in accordance with the internal law of that Party.
Holders of the CPLP residence permit shall enjoy the same rights, freedoms and guarantees as the nationals of the host Party and equal treatment in respect of economic, social and cultural rights, in particular as regard to access to education, to the labour market and to health care.
Felipe Cunha @ DCM | Littler