Sunday, May 26, 2024

New government admits to immigration quotas

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The objective is to “adopt the principle that ‘we are a country with open doors to immigration, but not wide open doors’, materialised in quantitative objectives for immigration, considering the security dimension, prioritising in terms of qualifications and avoiding exploitation by illegal and criminal networks”, can be read in the program of the XXIV Constitutional Government (PSD/CDS) released today and delivered to the Assembly of the Republic.

In the document, the Government considers that “Portugal faces significant challenges in relation to migration”, with “ineffective legislation and a lack of coordination between the public, private and social sectors”, allowing the proliferation of “human trafficking networks capable of atrocities rarely seen”, with “complex social problems such as housing challenges and the persistence of xenophobic phenomena”.

To resolve this situation, the executive proposes “holistic and collaborative policies, involving the State, the business sector and social institutions”, which allow “regulated immigration, with humanism, dignity and constructive for the sustainable development of Portugal”.

In the area of migration, the Government has set the goals of “a regulated immigration policy that ensures that immigrants in Portugal have their fundamental rights respected and promoted”, the “establishment of national talent and attraction of qualified professional immigrants” and “guarantee control of the Portuguese borders and the external border of the European Union”.

To this end, the executive admits changing “the regime so that residence permits are based on previously concluded work contracts or through a work search visa”.

The current model allows the regularisation of people without a visa, upon presentation of an employment contract already concluded in Portugal or just a promise of work contract.


The Government also promises to “encourage and support immigrant associations as interlocutors of public entities for the purposes of planning and evaluating public integration policies both at national, regional and local level” and “fight against xenophobia and social exclusion”

The executive also undertakes to “create an attraction, reception and integration program, promoting, whenever possible, regulated immigration of family nuclei” and to “attract qualified immigration” to “respond to demographic and labor needs work in Portugal”, including measures to promote the teaching of the Portuguese language and “knowledge of Portuguese culture by immigrants”.


In the chapter on emigration, the Government of Luís Montenegro is concerned about the departure of young people: “The generation with the most qualifications ever, in which the country invested a lot of resources, is leaving the country due to a lack of opportunities”.

In this sense, the executive commits to “policies to support the return of national citizens”, with “tax incentives” and salary increases, because “it is difficult for a young person to return to the country if they find much lower wages and a very high tax burden”.

“These policies must be developed by the Migration Agency, in conjunction with the management of other migratory flows. The agency will have to adapt, in order to ensure that it has the necessary means and skills to carry out these functions of attracting and retaining national talent”, can be read in the program, without specifying whether this paragraph refers to the Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum, created in October 2023.

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