More immigrants, less support

in News · 03-01-2020 01:00:00 · 7 Comments

The number of immigrants coming to Portugal is on the increase however, serious problems have been identified in the support network available for immigrants in the country.

Ombudsman, Lúcia Amaral, warned of “a serious problem” related to the support and assistance to foreign citizens who come to Portugal without speaking the language.
“The delay that is being felt in regularisation is very long,” said Lúcia Amaral who added that the country is facing a new phenomenon with migratory flows and is receiving citizens from countries that were not part of traditional immigration, namely from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“These are people who will present a complaint to the Ombudsman because they do not speak Portuguese and cannot ask for help by e-mail or by telephone”, she said, adding that many of these people have children.
Portugal, she said, is receiving immigrants who come to work and also citizens who ask for protection as soon as they cross the border, far more than previously experienced.
Lúcia Amaral stressed that at this moment there is “a serious problem” due to the “delays in the regularisation” of immigrants and the problem is becoming “very intense”.
“I see it every day,” she lamented, listing the difficulties of a face-to-face visit to the guardian service. “They go after having confronted all the other state services without being able to see their situation regularised,” she said.
The provider cited attendance at the Social Security and Aliens and Borders Service as critical points in the process of documenting immigrants and also the conditions of the international airport zone, where people are detained when they irregularly enter the country, sometimes with children.

“Under the law, they have to be detained for a few days before their situation is resolved. Some of these people come with children and the international airport area is completely unsuitable for keeping children there,” she said.
The latest statistics from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) have shown that the number of immigrants in Portugal increased in 2018, with estimates indicating that 43,170 people have entered the territory to live in the country, 6,531 more than in the previous year.
Demographic statistics for 2018, published in the INE report, indicate that 53 percent of the total of these permanent immigrants are female and 47 percent are male.
“Of the total permanent immigrants, 20,415 were of Portuguese nationality (about 47 percent) and 22,755 of foreign nationality. Of these, 8,092 were nationals from another European Union (EU) country and 14,663 from a third country, thus significantly increasing the latter type of immigrants,” according to INE data.
As for the country of birth, according to the data, of the 43,170 immigrants estimated to have entered Portugal in 2018, about 34 percent were born in Portugal, 18 percent in another EU country and 48 percent in a third country.
Regarding the country of previous residence, an estimated 18,375 immigrants originate from an EU country and 24,785 from third countries: Brazil (24 percent), France (13 percent), United Kingdom (13 percent), Angola (8 percent) and Switzerland (5 percent) were the top five countries of previous residence.
In 2013, 13.6 percent of permanent immigrants were between 0 and 14 years old (young), 81.3 percent between 15 and 64 years old (working age) and 5.1 percent were 65 or more years old (elderly).
In 2018, compared with 2013 and in relative terms, there was a decrease in the young population, an increase in the working age population and the maintenance of the older population: 12.2 percent young, 82.6 percent of people in active age and 5.2 percent of the elderly.
According to the statistical information provided by the Aliens and Borders Service (SEF), in 2018, 93,154 residence permits were granted to foreigners, 49,590 males and 43,564 females, a significant increase over the previous year (+52, 1 percent).
The largest volume of residence permits was, as has been happening since 2013, of Brazilian nationals (28,210), with a relative weight of 30.3 percent in their total.
According to INE data, in 2018 there were 477,472 foreign residents with resident status (236,233 men and 241,239 women), a growth of 14.6 percent compared to 2017 and the highest since 2013.
The positioning of Brazilian and Cape Verdean nationalities has remained unchanged since 2013: Brazil the most represented (104,504 in 2018) and Cape Verde in second position (34,444 in 2018).
In 2018, 34,633 visas were also granted at Portuguese consular posts: 14,258 for temporary stay and 20,375 for residence.


Sir please help email process very slow

By Sanover singh from Lisbon on 08-03-2020 05:36

Heart toching topic, dirty politics are going on at international level, unfortunately there is serious lack of goodly sincere leadership in the capitals of world, formula might is right is still applying in the economics of people.

By Malik Manzar from Other on 05-01-2020 02:28

Your article is so confusing. How can Portuguese nationals born in Portugal be immigrants in their own country? Your article is badly written!

By Anna from Madeira on 04-01-2020 04:59

My husband and I are comfortably retired Americans with a passive income which could satisfy Portugal’s Golden Visa. We do not yet speak Portuguese, but I have the feeling that this article is targeting poorer immigrants from developing countries who similarly do not speak Portuguese. This is an unfortunate change we’ve seen in other EU countries which previously were more welcoming to immigrants. I hope I’ve either imagined the the implied ethnocentrism or that it is the feeling of a small number if people in your beautiful country. Either way, it presents Portugal as less “special” than we believed it was. A shame.

By Tes Sandler from USA on 04-01-2020 04:08

Like to comment on Rodwell's opinion. There is more important universal languages than money. Like mathematics and music for example. How shallow can one be? " The root of all evil is money!"

By Monique Jade Bushell from Other on 04-01-2020 02:31

Like other countries, they will become a big burden to the social and health services. Controls are required to eliminate the inflow issue. Look whats happening in Italy, Greece atc..

By Antonio Horta from Other on 04-01-2020 01:01

Good Day

The legalisation is hampered by not only language, SEF is overwhelmed by documents that have to be validated. These employees have it really rough, I believe that they are doing the best they can.

This process should be streamlined for temporary resident's who have a clean track record, ie paying your taxes, obeying the laws and meeting any legislative requirements annually. Citizenship should be automatically authorised.

Futher more the need for Portuguese speaking immigrants should not be a requirement for citizenship. Most immigrants, like ourselves are business owners investing in the Portuguese economy, the numbers should be more important than the language, money is an international language.


By Rodwell from Other on 03-01-2020 11:36
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.