Tougher immigration laws take effect in Portugal

New immigration rules have come into force in Portugal, following a government revision and announcement in early June.

The change – reflecting a shift to more right-leaning policies by political parties across Europe – has revoked the ‘manifestation of interest’ mechanism, which allowed non-EU migrants who didn’t have an employment contract to move to Portugal and request residency after they had made social security payments for a year. Migrants must now have an employment contract in place before moving to the country.

The government said it will now prioritise the entry of ‘qualified’ professionals, students, people from Portuguese-speaking countries and people moving to be with family already in Portugal.

Portuguese Prime Minister Luis Montenegro said there are currently around 400,000 pending regularisation processes, which the government aims to tackle with a dedicated task force and restructure of its new migration and border agency, and increasing staff working in this area.

Rossana Veglia, Chief Mobility Officer of Portuguese Affiliate Global International Relocation said: ‘The new rules represent a significant advancement for immigration policy in Portugal. The creation of a task force to address pending processes demonstrates the government’s commitment to resolving bureaucratic issues more efficiently. In a time of so many changes, it is inevitable to observe a period of uncertainty and confusion.

‘In this context, the importance of professional guidance, such as that provided by Global, becomes even more evident in facilitating and clarifying the processes.’

A press release by Global said the law change reflect ‘The Portuguese government’s commitment to creating a more welcoming and efficient environment for immigrants, while ensuring compliance with immigration laws and Portugal’s international commitments.’

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