More than 16,000 immigrants workers registered in 2018 – most were from Brazil
Five times more immigrant workers were approved in 2018, most of them Brazilians. This is a reflection of the changes to the SEF rules which have simplified the process and enabled illegal workers to get legal.
In 2017, there were 3,500 immigrants applying for registration but the jump to 16,517 in 2018 has put Foreign and Borders Service staff under pressure.
This increase is a reflection of the changes made in 2018 to the legalisation process for foreigners coming to Portugal to work.
At the time, the Government said it needed to attract immigrants in certain key sectors, so allowed a free pass for those who had been working here for a year or more.
The biggest change was in the system which aimed to “streamline, reduce bureaucracy and make visa application procedures more flexible,” said the Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, at the time.
One of the main changes was the possibility of online SEF appointment booking for any office in the country. Before, appointments had to be booked in the applicant’s postal area.
The increase in the number of immigrants represents an effort made by the Portuguese State to “regularise immigrants who are integrated into the Portuguese labour market.”
The SEF explained that the majority of the immigrants in the last year are from Brazil.