”The government is reviewing with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the whole visa system, aiming to reduce and simplify the existing visa system in Portugal,” Eduardo Cabrita told members of the Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees committee.

The minister said that the revision of the visa system will include the creation of a new ‘visa to seek work’.

Responding to MEPs from the Left Bloc, Beatriz Gomes Dias and PCP António Filipe, the minister said that 2020 was the year in which “the highest number ever” of residence permit renewals were registered in Portugal, totalling 132,045.

According to Eduardo Cabrita, this increase was related to the Covid-19 pandemic in which the residence permits of foreign citizens living in Portugal were automatically renewed.

The minister specified that Brazilians led again last year the requests for new residence permits, with about 42,000, and are more than 7,000 until March this year.