12 Timorese banned from flying to Portugal

12 Timorese banned from flying to Portugal

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DILI, 27 october 2022 (TATOLI) – Twelve young Timorese have been banned from flying to Portugal. Of the 12 passengers, four are women.

Lucia Francisca Alves is among the passengers who boarded EuroAtlantic Airways: “There are 12 of us who were asked to get off the plane we had just boarded.”

“It’s not the fault of the travel agencies and Timor-Leste Immigration Service. It’s the pilots who asked us to get off the plane after boarding the plane,” Alves told TATOLI at Dili airport, today.

The reason for banning the 12 Timorese from departing for Portugal was that they all have the same person as their sponsor in Portugal.

Alves said that, according to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), a sponsor in Portugal is only allowed to receive and accommodate two Timorese new arrivals to live there.

“The travel agency told us that we will fly next month. Immigration also inform us that it is not about our documents, but the pilots themselves who banned us,” Alves reiterated.

When asked about the sponsor who is responsible for their stay in Portugal, Alves said that the sponsor’s job is to pick them up at the airport and after that, they would then go and live with their relatives.

“We are not sad because our flights will be postponed to next month,” she said.

Last week, the Military Office of the President of the Republic held an urgent meeting with national security entities to carry out emergency measures to strictly check the travel documents of the Timorese nationals who intend to travel overseas looking for work in the countries such as Portugal, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Government of Timor-Leste also last week called on domestic travel agencies not to mislead citizens with false promises of jobs abroad.




Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Nelia Borges


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