OECD: Portugal lost 65 thousand immigrants in six years

  • ECO News
  • 29 June 2017

The total of foreigners in Portugal has been decreasing, with the migration balance presenting a negative result in 2015. The majority of immigrants continues to come from Brazil.

The total number of foreigners in Portugal has decreased 65 thousand in six years to 389,000 in 2015, according to the Migration Report disclosed by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). The report also discloses the number of foreigners in Portugal has been decreasing, presenting a negative migration balance of 10,500 people in 2015, although less sharp than in previous years  — -30,100 and 2014 and -37,400 in 2012.

In 2015, the number of foreigners decreased to 389,000 people, 1.6% fewer than in 2014; the percentage of Portuguese-speaking countries’ citizens slowed down and stands at 43.5% out of the 2015 total. The total of new residents with permissions increased to 37,900 in 2015; out of those, 20,500 residents are EU citizens, while in 2012 only 15,200 out of 33,200 came from the EU.

Brasil remains the main country of origin for Portuguese new residents — 5,700 in 2015, which represents 15% –, followed by China, Romania, France and Cape Verde. The report discloses that since 2012, the number of women immigrants has been decreasing, representing half of the new residents in Portugal in 2015. The number of international students has also fallen to 3,100 in 2015.

The amount of people requesting the Portuguese nationality decreased to 40,200 in 2015 — there were 52,400 requests; Brasil and African countries whose official language is Portuguese represented 31% and 33% of all naturalizations.

The amount of golden visas (settlement visa granted to foreign investors introduced in 2013) decreased in 2015 to 800 (plus 1,100 family members). This decreased can be explained by the suspension of the programme during several months, because of a criminal investigation for fraud and other crimes connected to this administrative process. The gold visa law was reviewed and the proceedings were clarified: in 2016, numbers returned to normal, reaching 1,400.