Portugal received over 64,500 foreigners until August

Povitar Singh, better known as Sandy, is still trying to figure out the best way to win over customers for the restaurant that opened three months ago next to Avenida de Roma, in Lisbon. The lunch buffet started this week because those who work in the area told him they need to “eat well and quickly”.

He arrived in Portugal a year and a half ago and is one of the many Indians who chose the country to live. This was the fastest growing community last year. and keep coming. Many are on the waiting list to obtain a residence permit, such as Sandy.

Until 31 August, the Aliens and Borders Service (SEF) issued 63,884 residence permits (AR), which represents a decrease of 12.6% compared to the first eight months of 2020 (72 973). In the same period this year, they received 589 asylum requests (international protection), 7.68% less than in 2020 (638). There are over 64,522 immigrants officially residing in the country, not counting the thousands awaiting their regularization.

This year, immigration numbers continue to rise, albeit more slowly than in the years immediately prior to covid-19. Consequences of the limits to world circulation with the pandemic, but also of the delays in the conclusion of the regularization processes, which have worsened. Many services closed during the months of confinement, which increased the wait from a year and a half to at least two.

Starting the process is easy, the difficult thing is to arrange an interview to present the remaining documentation, which until a month ago was done by the applicant via the Internet, without respecting the order in which the processes were entered. The SEF changed the form of booking, starting by calling the “declarations of interest” presented in 2017 and 2018. This month is scheduled to schedule the requests for 2019.