High Commission for Migration


The High Commission for Migration – ACM (previously the High Commission for Immigration and Intercultural Dialogue) - is the Portuguese public institution responsible for the managements of migration flows, namely throughout assuring the integration of immigrants and promoting the return of Portuguese emigrants. Because Portugal approaches migration and integration policies in a whole-of-government approach and in a holistic perspective, ACM – as the public institution integrated in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers – is responsible for interlinking different ministries to develop implement and evaluate crosscutting policies that targets migrants, including refugees, and Roma communities, and that promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue, combating all forms of ethnic and racial discrimination.

Brief history

Recognizing the importance of having a coherent integration policy for immigrants, Portugal created in 1996 the High Commission for Immigration and Ethnic Minorities (ACIME). Since then this institution assured the participation and cooperation of representative immigrant associations, social partners and State Services in the definition and assessment of policies targeting immigrants and the prevention of exclusion and discrimination. The institution has been growing its services and areas of intervention over the years and, as recognition of its importance, in 2007, its powers and intervention was reinforced and become a public institute with a new institutional name High Commission for Immigration and Intercultural Dialogue (ACIDI). More recently, acknowledging the change of the migratory experience of Portugal (the country returned to a negative net migration since 2011) and the challenges of an ageing population, the institution was once again reinforced. Under the new Organic-Law of the institution published in 2014 this public institute was renamed to High Commission for Migration (ACM) and enlarged its mission and responsibilities, having now the mission to coordinate an integrated answer to the emigration and immigration (including refugees) flows of Portugal.

Mandate Type

Predominantly promotion-type and legal support body

Litigation power:

  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) legally binding


2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)
Recommendations on discrimination issues
Publications and reports
Research projects (including surveys)

Our institution has a mandate to deal with:

  • Racial and religious discrimination

Other statistics:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)891111138185103
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)779578606084
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media41025172325


  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)

Additional details

The High Commission for Migration is a public institute with administrative and financial powers, and pursue his activity under the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The High Commissioner is, since 2015, chosen according to the evaluation of an independent body called CRESAP (details at http://www.cresap.pt ). The High Commissioner was appointed by the Government by Order number 8320-F/2015 (https://dre.pt/application/file/69901206).

Number of staff dealing with equality issues

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body

Grounds / Fields Employment Education Housing Social Protection & Healthcare Goods and Services Other
Gender Identity
Race and Ethnic Origin
Sexual Orientation
Religion & Belief

Mandate covers:

  • Public sector
  • Private sector

Operating budget in euros

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

We are accountable to

  • National Ministry