The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) is investigating at least 22 cases of Brazilian influencers and YouTubers living in Portugal on suspicion of aiding illegal immigration, according to a report by Expresso.
According to the newspaper, many Brazilian citizens who arrived in Portugal no later than four years ago, are now sharing tips on social media on how to get to the country, how to rent accommodation, how they entered the country as tourists and what tricks are needed to get documents.
SEF is now investigating accounts that offer advisory services, partnerships with lawyers, solicitors or travel agencies. With thousands of followers on social media, including YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, there are influencers who charge hundreds or thousands of euros for these services.
Among the content being investigated by the SEF are videos that show how to move to a bigger house before completing a year of residence in Portugal.
SEF told Expresso that "it has under investigation cases of aid to illegal immigration and association of aid to illegal immigration where suspects use the internet, namely social networks”.
In turn, the Brazilian Association of Portugal (APB) has stated that they are following the situation with “concern”, saying that this type of video generates the risk of misinforming people who want to leave their country to live in Portugal.
“It's getting uncontrollable, individuals think they have the right to take a selfie and it spreads to hundreds of people. It is regrettable”, says the president of the APB, Ricardo Pessôa.
For six years, the number of Brazilians in Portugal has increased — more than doubling since 2016. They are the most representative foreign community in the country and currently, there are more than 211,000 Brazilians living in Portugal.