A recent statement by a researcher in Portugal has brought attention to the country’s immigration laws and their alignment with those of the European Union. Ana Rita Gil, a researcher and professor at Lisbon Public Law, stated that Portugal’s law regarding foreigners does not align with that of the European Union, potentially fueling anti-immigrant sentiments in the electoral campaign.
Gil highlighted that Portugal’s law allows those who are in the country irregularly to be regularized without the necessary documentation, making it easy for non-Portuguese nationals to remain in the country. This has led to increased immigration in the country.
Article 88 of Portugal’s law allows citizens of other countries who have entered Portugal legally with the purpose of expressing interest to apply for a residence permit provided they have an employment contract and are registered with social security. This, along with another article enabling self-employed professionals or entrepreneurs to apply for a residence permit, has resulted in a high volume of pending regularization processes, estimated at 300,000.
The research also pointed out that Portugal’s work-seeker visa was created to encourage people to come legally, but due to the consulates’ inability to respond to requests, people prefer to continue coming illegally.
Portugal’s Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) authorization also goes against EU laws, as the residence permits created are not recognized in the Schengen area. The European Council has made recommendations against these measures.
The resident population in Portugal has increased, with 117,843 permanent immigrants entering the country in 2022, a 21.3% increase from the previous year. The migration balance has been positive for the sixth consecutive year.
Gil’s statements have sparked a debate regarding Portugal’s immigration laws and their impact on the country’s population and politics. As the country continues to deal with increased immigration, these issues will likely remain at the forefront of discussions in the coming years.
Still have some travel questions? Ask in our Travel WhatsApp Group.