Portugal the country of choice for immigrants

By Daisy Sampson, in News · 04-10-2019 01:00:00 · 23 Comments
Portugal the country of choice for immigrants

Changes made to immigration laws in the country have helped to make Portugal an attractive choice for immigrants.

The number of people choosing to live in Portugal continues to rise, with almost 83,000 new residence permits issued between January and 15 September.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) reported that by mid-September 82,928 new residence permits had been issued, 23,861 of which for family reunification, in addition to 59,102 renewals of residence permits.

“These figures are much higher than those recorded in the same period last year: 42 percent more new residence permits (58,562 from January to September 2018), with an increase of 36 percent in family reunification (17,598 were granted in the same period last year) and 8 percent more renewals (54,530 in the same period last year),” reads the statement.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in its annual report on migration, published last week and cited in the statement, also said that “Portugal is the second country where immigration is fastest growing”.

According to the OECD report for 2017, Portugal received around 40,000 new long-term or permanent immigrants that year, 20.6 percent more than in 2016.

The report noted that Brazil, Italy and France were the top three nationalities of newcomers in 2017. Among the top 15 countries of origin, Brazil registered the strongest increase (4,500) and China the largest decrease (-200) in flows to Portugal compared to the previous year.

In 2018, the number of first asylum applicants increased by 22.2 percent to reach around 1,200. The majority of applicants come from Angola (200), Ukraine (100) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (100).

The changes made to Portuguese immigration law in 2017 came into effect in October 2018 and could account for the changes in immigration levels to Portugal. The amendments to the law transposed the EU directives on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for seasonal work, intra-company transfers, and for research, education, training, volunteering and au pair purposes.

The OECD report also highlights another important change to the immigration law concerning the regularisation process for undocumented migrants. This law sees that migrants in employment and who had made social security contributions for at least one year may apply to be regularised on humanitarian grounds even if they are unable to show proof of legal entry into the country, which was previously a requirement.

The implementation of these legal amendments has led to a simplified procedure for obtaining and renewing visas and residence permits, especially for highly-skilled migrants, entrepreneurs, researchers and international students.

Other schemes such as the Nationality Law in Portugal which has now been amended to broaden access to citizenship for children born in Portugal to non-Portuguese parents and to foreigners living in Portugal and the “Golden Visa” permit have also helped to encourage higher levels of immigration and residency in the country. Meanwhile Portugal is also working on attracting Portuguese emigrants home with a measure allowing emigrants who have lived abroad for at least three years and who return to Portugal between January 2019 and December 2020 to benefit from a 50 percent income tax cut until 2023.

MAI also stated that the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) has registered in recent weeks “a significant increase in appointment scheduling capacity, especially for the renewal of residence permits, family reunification and granting of residence permits” thanks to the opening of around 11,000 additional staff vacancies by the end of the year and more than 116,000 vacancies for the first quarter of 2020.

It also says that SEF has implemented, in recent weeks, a new more secure method of scheduling appointments - following complaints about appointments sold through online classified ad sites – and a public competition is under way to hire 116 technical assistants, specifically for public service.

The improvements at SEF have been created to reduce processing times.

OECD countries received about 5.3 million new permanent migrants in 2018, a 2 percent increase on 2017, according to preliminary data.

Since 2015, European OECD countries have collectively received more permanent migrants than the United States. However, the United States remains the largest single destination country for migrants, followed by Germany.


Contradictory messages along the way. Who do we believe?

by Ahmed Sheriff from Other on 27-02-2020 03:39:00

Hello sr i am in malta and want to portugal imigration can you help me about this

by Rashid from Porto on 09-01-2020 12:30:00

I am Indian and love Porto as people are conservative, hardworking like Indians.

by Ravi Oberoi from Lisbon on 14-12-2019 05:34:00

I want to migrate to portugal ???????? could you please help me out for settling to portugal?

by Awais Siddiqui from Other on 25-11-2019 02:46:00

What is the age limit if someone wants immigration to Portugal!

by Shakeel from Other on 25-11-2019 07:46:00

Only if you want to loss you money and waste your time, we recommended Portugal for investment as well as resettlement.

by Natcho from Other on 17-11-2019 07:13:00

We recommended Portugal for investment as well as resettlement.

by Crown segment from Lisbon on 15-11-2019 03:22:00

How can i get job there i am intersted in this program

by Inderjeet from Other on 10-10-2019 04:26:00

I have lost my big investment in Lisbon last year. Portugal has a very weak and unstable economical business situation in all sectors. I do not recommend any one to invest or spend a penny in Portugal.

by Ray from USA on 10-10-2019 03:44:00

The service which is provided by SEF is rubish!! Just like any other governmental office in Portugal the majority of people whom are working there are old and unskilled! Portugal are very different from other EU countries.. Portugal is more like North African countries, the way the Portuguese people express thereselves is just like there mother land Morocco. For all those whom wonder the origins of Portugal - The Portuguese people are orginally north African trips which moved to Spain and Portugal around 900 years ago. The meaning of Portugal in Arabic language is "The Orange fruit".

by Ahmad Morocco from Alentejo on 09-10-2019 11:42:00

Portugal is a very bad country, even the refugees does not want to live and stay in portugal. The country of the "Tudo mal".

by Syrian from Other on 09-10-2019 08:15:00

These figures are not true!! and does not reflect the reality!! Portugal is the biggest scam country in Europe.

by Toni Robert from UK on 08-10-2019 03:34:00

The Portuguese Parliament should reduce the legal residence duration to 3 or 4 years for foreigners to apply for Portuguese citizenship. This should also include fast processing time for citizenship applications. Portugal should attract immigrants and not make then run away!

by João from Porto on 08-10-2019 03:28:00

Send me notifications about SEF rules in Portugal

by Poorna Kumar kota from Porto on 06-10-2019 08:05:00

I am keenly interested in settling down in Portugal with my family and also interested in investing in her economy.
How can this be possible

by Prince Francis Femi Akiniyi from Other on 05-10-2019 05:22:00

I am Italian /American therefore entitled by birth and lineage to reside in Europe. Portugal is by far the most xenophobic and dreadful country I ever lived. SEF is worst than old communities burocracy. Go to Spain

by Erasmo Freitas from Lisbon on 05-10-2019 12:33:00

I'm Canadian of Portuguese descent through parents. It has been a lot of paperwork and so much buracoucy to get my Portuguese nationality. It's taken over a year and a half so far. There has to be a better way.

by Connie Rodrigues from Other on 05-10-2019 12:28:00

Portuguese people are conservative, hardworking and traditional. But, when a new idea surfaces to solve a problem in their country. They accept the new ways of handing a problem with enthusiasm. Portuguese are rather unique peopleh

by David O'Brien from USA on 05-10-2019 02:21:00

I believe this makes God happy. Also, that is good about the asylum seekers. Every life has value, and things are good when we can share our values and support each other with acts of kindness and equality.

by Alan Silva from USA on 04-10-2019 09:53:00

How much should i have income to live in portugal. Everage income for 2 pensioners.

by Carmelo Camilleri from Other on 04-10-2019 04:42:00

Hello good day l want to information about it l want to get Express passport Portugal cizten l need want get one it l want move work in Portugal.....?

by George lopes from Lisbon on 04-10-2019 02:18:00

I'm Englush living in Portugal I have a fiance in Philippines I have tried and tried to get a visa for here to come Portugal for a holiday but impossible ..

by ANTHONY CONYERS from Lisbon on 04-10-2019 09:27:00

I love porto I been living in porto since 6 years... Portuguese people are the best people in the world very helpful kind and the best hospitality. And SEF is doing a wonderful job they always help in a best way,
Thank you porto Portugal.

by Mohd Rafiq sheikh from Porto on 04-10-2019 08:53:00
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