Record demand for Portuguese citizenship

Requests for citizenship at “all time high”

Portugal flag - where citizenship requests are at an all-time high

Thanks to Jaime for a link to the Portugal Resident a couple of weeks ago, reporting that requests for Portuguese citizenship are currently at an all-time high.

The latest immigration and asylum (RIFA) report by borders agency SEF shows that more than 74,000 foreign national applied for Portuguese citizenship last year. The country’s resident foreign population is at its highest ‘since 1976’ (very possibly meaning ‘since records began’).

There was an increase of 22.9% in foreign citizens holding residency – compared to 590,348 in 2018.

Brazilians remain the largest foreign resident community in Portugal (at 151,304 they represent 25.6% of the total last year), followed by Cape Verdeans (37,436), Brits (34,358), Romanians (31,065), Ukrainians (29,718), Chinese (27,839), Italians (25,408), French (23,125) and Angolans (22,691).

Indian and Nelalese citizenship requests increase

Last year also saw a notable increase in the number of Indians and Nepalese coming to Portugal for work purposes. According to RIFA, there are now 17, 619 Indians living here legally, and 16,849 Nepalese. These work immigrants tend to live in the districts of Lisbon, Faro (Algarve), and Setúbal. Their numbers rose from 330,763 in 2018 to 405,089 just 12 months later.

Asylum applications in Portugal also increased by 45.3% in 2019, reaching 1,849, the highest since 2015. The majority were single men coming from the African continent, according to the RIFA report.

RIFA also showed that 183 refugee statuses were granted in 2019 (notably less than the 286 in 2018), predominantly to nationals of Asian countries, and 113 titles of residence permit for subsidiary protection (405 in 2018) were also granted.

COVID-19 Update:

Updates are being posted to Friday’s post at the moment.

4 thoughts on “Record demand for Portuguese citizenship”

  1. Please watch out that those jobs are not to be taken away from locals in favour of “so called cheaper labour”. Of course lots of people want to live in Portugal. It’s a beautiful country, great weather, friendly people and above all a safe country. But be aware, you might be creating a huge problem to those who are currently struggling to find a job due to COVID 19 dismissals. PUT LOCALS FIRST.

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