The number of Brazilians living in Portugal has increased for the fourth year in a row, reaching a record high in 2020 of 183,993 legal residents. The change represents an increase of 21.6% over the previous year.
The information was published by the SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) on Wednesday (23).
Brazilians remain the largest foreign community in Portugal, accounting for 27.8% of the country’s immigrants.
According to specialists, the growth in the number of Brazilian residents, even in a pandemic year, is largely explained by the delay in the regularization process.
According to the president of Casa do Brasil in Lisbon, an NGO that helps the immigrant community, the new residence permits granted are linked to requests that were made in previous years, but which still went through the administrative bureaucracy.
“We have identified that these Brazilians who appear in the reports of foreign and border services were already in Portugal even before the pandemic. What is happening is that the regularizations and the residence permits arrived at this time, ”says Cyntia de Paula.
Unlike many members of the European Union, Portugal has a relatively straightforward regularization system for those who enter the country as a tourist and remain living and working without proper authorization.
The road, however, is generally long. Often there is an interval of more than two years between the application for regularization and the granting of a residence permit.
As the borders of the European Union have been closed to Brazilian tourists since March 2020, the entry of new immigrants with this profile – who represent a significant proportion of new residences – has been quite limited.
Currently, to enter the country, you must be a citizen of the European Union, have a study or work visa issued by a consulate in Brazil, or meet one of the few exceptions provided by the government. .
Brazilian immigration figures in Portugal generally follow the economic and political climate of both countries.
In 2011, when Portugal was in crisis and had to resort to international borrowing, the number of Brazilian residents began to decline steadily.
In 2017, with Brazil in crisis and Portugal in recovery, the trend was reversed.
Although the 183,993 Brazilian official residents identified by the SEF already represent a significant number, the actual number of Brazilians living in the country is much higher.
Official statistics do not include those who also have dual nationality from Portugal or another country in the European Union, nor migrants in an irregular situation.