“At the end of 2018, 480,300 foreign citizens resided in Portugal, representing 4.7 percent of the total number of residents in the country, rising to an unprecedented figure of 590,348 foreigners residing in 2019, now representing 5.7 percent of the total number of residents in Portugal”, says the report, recalling that between 2010 and 2015 there was a decrease in the resident foreign population, so the country now reaches “the unprecedented value of more than a half a million resident foreigners”, according to Lusa News Agency.
The data wascollected by the OM and advertised in the Annual Statistical Report – Indicator of Integration of Immigrants in 2020, which aggregates 312 indicators obtained from 32 national and 16 international sources, with reference to the years 2018 and 2019, “to ensure the comparability of information and better identify tendencies in the situation of foreigners residing in Portugal, compared to nationals”.
Students, pensioners and people in a situation of family reunification are the main people who ask for residence visas in Portugal, with students representing almost half of the 5,565 visas granted.
“Keeping the tendency of previous years, it is important to identify that the granting of residence visas to retired people is increasingly having more importance, with pensioners in recent years representing more than twice the number of visas in relation to highly qualified workers.
With regard to the labourmarket, in Portugal foreign citizens have higher activity rates than national citizens. Portugal occupies the 4th position in the European Union among countries where foreigners from outside the EU have a higher rate of activity, which in 2019 was 75.9 percent, 17 more percentage points compared with the Portuguese in that year.
According to Lusa News Agency, they are more represented in grassroots professional levels groups, with jobs in the hotel and restaurant sector or in administrative and support activities and have lower salaries than the Portuguese.
“The insertion of foreignersin the Portuguese labour market continues not necessarily to reflect their qualifications, as it is verified that foreign workers, in comparison to Portuguese workers, have a higher percentage of workers who do not use their qualifications in the functions they exercise: in 2018, 11.4 percent of foreigners with higher qualifications (+ 7.7 percentage points than national workers) were included in the base’s professional level groups”, says the report.
The document also draws attention to the socioeconomic conditions of some immigrants, with lower incomes, worse jobs and more exposure to the risk of social exclusion, which can affect “directly the use of health services in the societies where they live”.