For two distinct reasons:
- The demand for advice has escalated in the past few years.
- As ASMAA is in the midst of massive change, our focus as an association has expanded in line with our original objectives. We are back to focusing, not only on environmental issues, but also on human rights and the economic sustainability of local communities.
In our opinion the time is right to formally create such an advice bureau.
Through the “Advice Bureau”, ASMAA aims to assist individuals that are facing challenges with the bureaucratic aspects relating to living, visiting, owning a holiday home and/or business, and investing in Portugal.
The new program will be included under our project “Giving Voice to the People” (Dar Voz ao Povo) and managed through ASMAA's volunteer network initially. "Dar Voz ao Povo" is a lobbying project that aims to protect the human rights of its members, and the rights of local micro and small business communities. It is also our objective to assist not only the foreign resident community but also local Portuguese residents and business owners.
The ASMAA “Advice Bureau” will be available to English, French, German and Afrikaans speaking individuals initially and in the future expanded to include other languages.
Our aim is to provide independent advice and information for free, although we will be dependent on donations to run it. If individuals using the service need further support that falls outside this free service portfolio, then we’ll recommend the appropriate service providers, or members may select them from providers listed in our online business directory http://asmaabusinessdirectory.com - which is due to be launched on 1 July 2017.
It is common to find that there are thousands of foreign residents, who often struggle to understand their rights in the complex bureaucratic minefield of current and ever changing Portuguese laws and rules, and we are here to help them in the initial phases, or on an as-needed basis.
We believe that we are well positioned to make a real difference in the lives and experiences of Expats in Portugal, as well as being in a position to make a serious difference to visitors, tourists and investors to our beautiful country.
We invite you to join our dedicated group on Facebook, which you can find here: ASMAA Citizen Advice Bureau on Facebook
Note: Currently only the Facebook group will be working as the website "darvozaopovo.org" is still not online.