If you own a local accommodation in Portugal, you should be aware of the importance of communicating with the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) about the stay of foreign citizens in your establishment. Besides being a legal obligation, local accommodation communication to SEF helps control the stay of foreigners in the country and prevent illegal immigration situations. In this article, we’ll explain how the Accommodation Bulletin Information System (SIBA) can assist with SEF communication and how to correctly fill out the SEF local accommodation form. We’ll also highlight the advantages of UpMarket, a communication management solution that can simplify the entire process.
What is SIBA and How Does It Assist with SEF Communication?
SIBA is a system developed by SEF to allow electronic communication of accommodation bulletins. All hotel establishments and similar that offer accommodation to foreign citizens must communicate the stay of these citizens to SEF within three working days. This communication must be done through SIBA, which allows electronic communication securely. With SIBA, hotel establishments and similar can easily communicate the accommodation of foreign citizens, thus complying with the legal obligation.
When is Registration in SIBA Mandatory?
Any property manager or company offering accommodation to foreign citizens, including hotels and tourist accommodations, must register in SIBA.
What are the Deadlines for Communicating Accommodation and Exit by Accommodation Bulletin?
You need to report the entry and exit of each foreign visitor to SEF within three working days.
Should I Communicate the Stay of Each Guest, Even in Groups or Couples?
Yes, it is mandatory to communicate the stay and exit of each foreign citizen, regardless of whether they are in a group or couple.
Is There a Minimum Age for Communicating the Stay and Exit of a Foreigner?
There are no age restrictions. You need to communicate the stay of all foreign citizens to SEF, regardless of age.
Is it Necessary to Communicate the Stay and Exit of Citizens of All Nationalities, Including Portuguese?
You need to communicate the stay of all foreign citizens, i.e., non-Portuguese, to SEF.
Where can I find the Local Accommodation Form?
While SEF doesn’t provide a standardized Local Accommodation Form, UpMarket has developed a comprehensive and user-friendly form tailored for property managers in Portugal. Our form is designed to ensure ease of use and full compliance with SEF and SIBA regulations. It’s available in multiple languages to accommodate international guests and simplifies the data entry process into the SIBA system. Learn more about the benefits and how to access our Local Accommodation Form in our detailed blog post.
How to Correctly Fill Out the SEF Local Accommodation Form?
To correctly fill out the SEF local accommodation form, you need to provide details such as: the full name of the foreign citizen, identification document number, entry and exit dates from the accommodation, among other information. It’s essential to fill out the form carefully to avoid mistakes or omissions that could lead to fines. If the accommodation is rented seasonally, each foreign citizen’s stay must be communicated through an accommodation bulletin. Remember that failing to communicate the accommodation to SEF is a violation punishable by a fine ranging from €100 to €2000.
How to manage guests who refuse to provide identification at check-in?
It’s essential to educate guests about the importance of identification, highlighting the legal requirement to register with SIBA and referencing Article 45 of the Schengen Agreement Implementation Convention (CAAS). If a guest refuses to provide their identification, it’s advisable to deny accommodation to avoid serious legal consequences, including hefty penalties.
How is guests’ personal data handled in local accommodation?
Guests’ personal data is processed in accordance with EU Regulation 2016/679, ensuring the utmost confidentiality. SEF’s computer application is secure and monitored by the National Data Protection Commission.
What if a couple with minor children doesn’t have identification documents for their children?
In these cases, the Birth Certificate or equivalent document, as well as annotations in the passport, are acceptable. If parents don’t present any documents for their children, one should contact the police authorities or the relevant embassy.
Which identification documents are accepted for registration in SIBA?
The acceptable documents are defined in Articles 9 and 10, number 3, of the Foreigners’ Law, Law 23/2007, of July 4. They include passports, identity cards, documents issued by relevant conventions between the States Parties of the North Atlantic Treaty, among others.
How is guests’ personal data handled in local accommodation?
The personal data provided by guests is treated with the utmost confidentiality, in accordance with EU Regulation 2016/679. SEF’s computer application is secure and monitored by the National Data Protection Commission.
Can the registration be done by a third-party agency, provided the owner gives consent?
Yes, registration can be done by a third-party agency, as long as the owner gives consent by providing the agency with authentication details.
If you forget or incorrectly enter your SEF/SIBA password, how can you reset it?
If you forget your SEF/SIBA password, enter it incorrectly, or need to change it for any reason, you should send a password reset request to the address: [email protected]. Provide the NIF (Tax Identification Number), name, and number of the establishment, and the reason why you need to reset your password.
How Can UpMarket Assist with Local Accommodation Management?
UpMarket can greatly assist in local accommodation management. One of its main advantages is its ability to automate communication with guests, eliminating the need for manual information collection and SEF communication.
By using UpMarket, local accommodation managers can request guest identification information automatically, without the need to individually reach out to them. This is done through an easy-to-use platform that makes guest information collection quick and effortless.
Moreover, UpMarket can handle the verification and validation of guest identification documents. The system can scan, validate, and store passport and ID information, eliminating the need for manual scanning or paper record-keeping. This saves time and reduces errors in information entry.
Another significant advantage of UpMarket is that it can handle communication with guests about the necessary information to comply with local accommodation legal obligations. This means local accommodation managers can focus on other essential tasks instead of spending hours trying to contact guests to collect information. The platform sends automatic notifications to guests to provide the necessary information, making information collection and legal obligation compliance easier.
Ready to save valuable time and enhance your guests’ experience? Register now and discover all the advantages of UpMarket!