While most democratic countries close its borders to immigrants, the Foreign and Border Service (SEF) hits a record of 480,300 foreign nationals, holding registered residence permits since the agency was created in 1976.

However, a crucial question after finding a home and settling down with the family, is what do and how to recover in a new location far away from your comfort zone?

Realising this demand and based on her own need to get new customers when she moved to Portugal, a Brazilian architect Viviane Cunha began to organise regular networking meetings that were aimed at this public. Involving mostly Brazilians, French, English, among other nationalities, as well as the Portuguese interested in this niche, have participated.

“The first events had 45 people. Now we are in the 9th event and have almost 100 members. The event is free and is always held in places where the public can enjoy good wine, snacks and the informal atmosphere. Here, friendships begin with a common coincidence or affinity. One gets into a conversation, introduces oneself and states what one does which is normal in Portugal.

“After all, everyone has a story, a reason to be here," says the architect

According to businessman Edson Norton, who arrived in Portugal seven months ago, the event was instrumental in increasing his network of contacts. "I found it interesting because it brings people together focused on entrepreneurs seeking to do business in Portugal. I am a credit intermediary and I have closed some contracts," he says.

Portuguese bank prosecutor Carlos Ortigueira, another member, believes that "the chosen locations are always held in bars and restaurants which foster open spirit and interaction between participants."

Career management psychologist Carolina Palombini recommends participating in happy hours for immigrants and any professional interested in expanding their network. According to her, this is the ideal time, when people are more open to listen, expose their needs and "plant the seeds that will be harvested later."
"Networking events in this format are essential for those who still need to explore the turf and investigate all the business and action possibilities. The environment already selects people with common interests and allows for the creation of stronger bonds. Exchanging your professional differences becomes easier and more natural and for those looking for business partnerships, this is the perfect situation," adds Carolina.

The next event will take place on 17 October, from 18h to 21h, at Mundo do Vino, at Rua São Bento, 15, Lisbon. The space is one of the supporters of the event and has 40 national and international wine options. Admission is free, but to participate you have to register through WhatsApp: (+55) 21 98858-0424 (Viviane Cunha).