The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service started yesterday morning, throughout national territory, a surveillance operation with a view to detect frauds performed during the exams that foreign citizens are seating to demonstrate their command of the Portuguese Language, as part of their process to apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalization.
26 teaching establishment were checked – of which 22 in mainland, 2 in the Azores, and 2 in Madeira – and 1156 foreign citizens were identified in order to determine whether they were genuine candidates to Portuguese citizenship.
11 fraudulent situations were identified, and 10 persons were arrested. In view of the criminal offenses identified – misappropriation and falsification of documents, the arrested persons were formally accused and notified to appear in court in the nearest subsequent week day.
The results of this operation seem to confirm the dissuading effect of this modus operandi by SEF that, jointly with the Ministry of Education, has been supervising these exams, which are mandatory to acquire the Portuguese nationality by naturalization, and which occur on a quarterly basis.
This operation was carried out following three others, conducted in September and December of the former year and in March this year, with the same purpose, and which resulted in 67, 14 and 6 arrests, respectively, for fraud cases identified.
The assessment exams of the Portuguese language are mandatory for foreigners who apply for Portuguese nationality by naturalization.