Due to the pandemic, the International Organisation for Migration has recorded twice as many requests. Unemployment and difficulties in accessing the labour market are the main reasons for returning.
The pandemic has worsened economic and social conditions, and many immigrants are asking to return to their country of origin. In 2020, the International Organisation for Migration Portugal helped 340 people by paying for their flights, the Diário de Notícias reports this Thursday.
Unemployment is the main reason forcing immigrants to return to their country of origin, but there are other factors that aggravate the migrant situation, says Vasco Malta, head of IOM Portugal. “We talk about unemployment or difficulties in accessing the labour market, difficulties with regularisation and the economic situation in Portugal. All this was aggravated last year by the pandemic,” Vasco Malta points out.
The number of applications last year was double that of 2019, when the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme helped 161 migrants. In the last five years, 1,208 migrants have returned.