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Repository of Practices


Primary GCM Objectives

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


2020 - Present

Type of practice


Geographic scope



Sub Regions:


MySEF project is part of the Portuguese Public Administration modernization project “iSimplex”, enacted by 2020 State Budget Law. MySEF's aim is at providing an online service at SEF's Portal, where individuals can access all SEF’s services in a personalized way, such as renewal of residence permits, request online certificates, electronic payments, managing appointments, rescheduling and changing data. MySEF area should also allow citizens to consult all requests made and their status, to access submitted data and interact with SEF's team for clarifications related to requests. Its implementation stems from Portugal's efforts to optimize the Border Control and Immigration Service (SEF) Web Portal, introducing some new features, e.g. the creation of a digital assistant, Chatbot.


Main Implementing Organization(s)

Government of Portugal

Detailed Information

Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF)

Benefit and Impact

MySEF application had a positive impact, increasing customer value, by making available to the immigrant community the following functionalities:
o Pro-active Services, front end and customer friendly service;
o Digital case management and use of business rules to guide users to services provided in the "MySEF";
o Reduce the need to physically go to SEF facilities, reducing waiting time for appointments;
o Better face-to-face service due to efficiency gains;
o Minimize human errors.

Impact on quantitative terms:
Number of electronic payments: 184,425 (total)
o 2020 - 85,973
o 2021- 77,505
o 2022- 20,947

• Number of appointments via MySEF: 27,630 (total)
o 2020- 15,146
o 2021 - 9,031
o 2022 - 3,453

• Number of views of the reserved area of the Portal SEF/ MySEF - 27,933,607

Key Lessons

The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting constraints created additional difficulties to the implementation of this project, which was also implemented in a context of human resources limitations. On the other hand, the global health crisis pushed governments to review their internal processes and accelerate the reviews and upgrades of public services.
Another challenge was to adequately balance the use of technology with human interaction and judgement, which cannot be fully replaced by machines, but complemented by it.
Looking ahead, SEF is considering further how to foster use of artificial intelligence for automation and analytics in migration services, improving the quality of data and creating greater interoperability.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Data collected about migrants must be protected and used responsibly. Safeguarding human rights must be a priority. All data must be secure and live up to the highest standards of efficiency and trust.


This innovative practice was particularly useful in the context of COVID-19. Myself tool provided a facilitated access to services in a user friendly way. This digital platform reduced pressure on SEF's human resources and the risk exposure to the virus for both immigrants and SEF personnel, increased service efficiency and legal security for immigrants. It also contributed to a more integrated document management, with a special focus on streamlining the decision-making process for the resident status of foreign citizens.

Additional Resources

Date submitted:

01 April 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.



*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).