Tourism sector welcomes new immigration law

  • Lusa
  • 10 August 2022

The lack of labour "is one of the biggest problems facing tourism, but it is a problem that cuts across most economic activities".

The Confederation of Portuguese Tourism (CTP) hopes that the new regime for entry, stay, exit and removal of foreigners from Portugal “will make it possible to attract more labour for tourism activity”.

“With this new law on foreigners, the procedural and legal conditions are created so that the Portuguese state can act quickly and unbureaucratically to implement migratory mobility agreements for the labour market in particular, and with greater relevance to tourism, with the countries of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries,” the CTP said in a statement.

The president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, countersigned on 4 August a law on the entry, stay, exit and removal of foreigners from the country, which had been approved in a final overall vote on 21 July, with votes in favour from PS, PCP, BE and Livre, abstentions from PSD, IL and PAN, and the absence of Chega.

The CTP pointed out that the lack of labour “is one of the biggest problems facing tourism, but it is a problem that cuts across most economic activities”.

Even so, the CTP has “reservations about the capacity that the public authorities will have, under this legislation, to act quickly and unbureaucratically so that more foreigners strengthen the labour market and become fully integrated” in society.

In the government’s proposal that alters the legal regime for the entry, stay, exit and expulsion of foreigners from national territory, among other aspects, it says that the concession of residence and temporary stay visas to nationals of a state in which the Agreement of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) is in force does not depend on the previous opinion of the SEF, “without prejudice of the concession of visas being communicated for the purposes of the exercise of its competences in matters of internal security”.

A change that the government says results from the mobility agreement subscribed by all CPLP member states at the organisation’s last summit of heads of state in July last year in Luanda.

For the CTP chairman, “hiring foreigners, namely from CPLP countries, is one of the proposals that the Tourism Confederation has pointed out as being part of the solution to the labour shortage” in the sector.

With this law, the government also intends to establish “procedures to attract regulated and integrated immigration for the development of the country, to change the way public administration relates with immigrants and to guarantee conditions for the integration of immigrants.

The government wants to move forward with the creation of a title of limited duration that will allow the legal entry of immigrants into Portugal to look for work, simplify procedures and open up the possibility of temporary stay or residence visas, “providing remote work and the accompaniment of family members with the respective rights”.