Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras


Expertise, Technical Advice and Training


SEF has a document expertise unit provided with the latest equipment for identity document analysis, travel and residence on which there are still doubts as for their authenticity, due to the operational activity of the Service.

Accordingly, SEF carries out expertise and elaboration of their reports, in line with European and international quality standards, not only internally but also for other Security Forces and Services and judicial authorities at their request.

In addition, SEF carries out fingerprints expertise for identification of inpiduals by comparing fingerprints, and the drawing up the associated reports as well.


Following the European Training Structure, the document expertise unit in SEF promotes, organizes and provides training in subject areas of security documentation, combating document and fingerprint fraud, at the national level, to own staff and of other Security Forces and Services.

Training in these areas to other national entities, public and private, is also given at their request, taking into account their area of activity in the context of internal security.

At the European level, experts of this unit cooperate actively in training actions promoted by FRONTEX, CEPOL, ICMPD and other agencies of the European Union, as well as under the protocols with relevant bodies of other Member States.

Training given at the international level, under the Bilateral Cooperation Protocols with other countries, in particular PALP and further with international organizations such as OIM, may be emphasized as well.

In this training area, SEF’s document expertise unit produces and updates training supporting instruments promoting qualification and development of professional competences of the relevant authorities.

For courses given by SEF’s document expertise unit, the Bologna / Copenhagen principles are followed, and the Qualifications Sectoral Framework (SQF) for Border Guards developed by FRONTEX is used.

Technical Advice

The SEF’s document expertise unit renders technical counselling and advice in matter of conception of new identity documents, travel and residence, as well as on the technical equipment for capture of biometric data and of automated document reading and analysis.

Several national and foreign documents in circulation have already benefit from the technical advice rendered by this unit, for example, the Portuguese electronic passport, the Portuguese residence permit for third-country nationals, the Cabo Verde electronic passport, the S. Tomé visa sticker, amongst others. This technical counselling and advice may be rendered by SEF to entities requesting it.

Experts of SEF’s document expertise unit guarantee the participation in technical working groups, in European and international scope, following these subjects.

Working aspects related with the unit’s activity as far qualification of services concern, are included in this area of activity as well.


Lists of documents which allow the crossing of external borders of the European Union and where it is possible to affix a visa

Technical information on​ documents issued by Member States of the European Union and third-countries​

Glossary of Technical Terms in identity documents, travel and residence

Other sites of​ interest​​

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