Portugal lifestyle ‘coaches’ range from valuable advice to handbook for illegal immigration – 16/06/2021 – World

The growing interest of Brazilians in Portugal has exploded the demand for books, courses, YouTube channels and, of course, digital influencers who teach step by step how to live in the European country.

From free content to consulting services that charge over R $ 1,000, there is material for all profiles: from students to those with 500,000 euros (R $ 3.1 million) to obtain special visas. .

After moving to Portugal with her husband and children in search of a better quality of life and safety, Patrícia Lemos began to receive many questions from those who wanted to follow the same path.

Tips began to be shared on social networks – on Instagram, the Rio de Janeiro press secretary now has nearly 190,000 followers – and ended up becoming the basis of a company specializing in helping people. immigration procedures. In 2020, with the high demand driven by the coronavirus pandemic, the guidelines have been compiled into a course for those who want to get started in Portuguese life once and for all.

“I created the course because I couldn’t manage it anymore. I needed to create a product in which I could give information to a lot of people at once, because Covid has drastically increased the demand, ”he says. Named Jornada Portugal, the course, which costs R $ 1,297, is now on its way to its seventh edition.

In addition to step-by-step recorded lessons on essential information for living in the country, from the visa process to the functioning of the local health system, the course includes career counseling sessions, instruction on the cultural and social aspects of Portugal. . “We have hit the key to planning very hard. They say it’s better to take ten, five years, but it’s to go there regularly. Or you’ll depend on government help for a number of things, ”he says.

The businesswoman also points out that she tries to educate students about the inevitable changes in the lives of those who choose to live in another country. “You will not reproduce your life in Brazil. You can be the daughter of the owner of the world in Brazil, but here you are just another quiet citizen.

Among the information on visas, health services and the labor market, influencer Patrícia posted on social media photos of her routine with her family and practical aspects of life in Portugal, such as the price of groceries. at the supermarket. By the way, Portuguese supermarket shopping videos are an almost guaranteed hit among immigration channels, typically attracting thousands of views.

Specializing in content aimed at Brazilians wishing to live in Europe, the Eurodicas portal has also launched a series of ebooks and video lessons on how to live in Portugal. Ana Luiza Fernandes, responsible for the content of the website, explains that although the portal is geared towards information about the entire continent, around 50% of the hits are looking for data relating to the Iberian country.

“We know that only a very privileged part of Brazil speaks English. A lot of people end up wanting to come to Portugal because of this aspect, in addition to the cost of living and the ease of integration, ”she explains.

According to Ana Luiza, even if access to courses and ebooks is chargeable, the prices are deliberately low – between R $ 50 and R $ 150 -, which allows more people to have access to content on legal immigration . In fact, much of the content available on the site, such as reports, is free.

In the loaded matter, the big difference is the organization, which attracts one of the main audiences of the portal: retirees, many of whom have difficulty finding information spread across the site.

One of the content that has caught the attention of this group the most is the possibility, thanks to bilateral agreements between Brazil and Portugal, to use the National Health Service under the same conditions as a European citizen. So the possibility of stopping paying for expensive Brazilian health plans is a gimmick.

While the offer of courses, YouTube channels and Instagram profiles is robust, the quality of the content is not always there. There is incorrect information in the textbooks for those who want to immigrate illegally, including guidelines on how to lie to immigration officials upon entering the country.

Portugal allows the regularization of people who have entered to live and work in the country without the appropriate visa, but the process is long and bureaucratic. Often, even while working and paying taxes, it takes more than two years to obtain a residence permit.

Living without proper papers means, in many cases, to be in a situation of greater social and professional vulnerability and to have very restricted freedom of movement. Even so, there is no lack of influencers to propose this alternative, which has already called for the warning of the Portuguese authorities.

Last week, the SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service, the agency responsible for immigration to the country) arrested a Brazilian woman who offered her help in illegally immigrating to Portugal. In a statement, the organization specifies that since 2018, through social networks, suspicion has persuaded dozens of Brazilian women to go to the country and guided immigrants to enter Portuguese territory as tourists.

With the help of her husband, SEF added, she took people from Lisbon airport to her home, charging them high sums for transportation, accommodation and expenses allegedly necessary to secure employment contracts. , opening bank accounts and facilitating the procedures to obtain the necessary documents. for legalization. Immigrant aid associations claim that cases of Brazilians deceived by the promise of money and easy regularization in Portugal are recurrent.

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