Portugal relaxes visa rules to tackle labor shortage

The other countries of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) are East Timor, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe.

Immigrants from these countries have had to obtain a visa if they plan to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days and often have to wait several months for the visa to be approved.

Henceforth, visas to Portugal for nationals of any CPLP member state must be granted “immediately by consular services, unless there is an expulsion order or a ban on entry to the Schengen area.” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anna Catarina said: Mendes during a press briefing.

“It (the decree) is very fundamental in regulating regular and orderly migration flows…it allows us to respond to urgent human resource needs and helps revitalize our economy,” she told reporters.

The Schengen area refers to 26 European countries that have abolished the obligation to provide a passport to cross their common borders.

Catarina Mendes announced that Portugal will also create a new type of visa that will allow any foreigner to enter the country for 120 days, which can be extended for another 60 days, without any quota.

Portugal’s unemployment rate is 5.7%, close to a record high.

Employers’ unions have called for immigration rules to be simplified, citing an economic situation close to full employment, with no workers in key sectors such as hospitality, agriculture and construction.

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