Foreigners’ law serves country’s interests – minister


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Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs, João Gomes Cravinho, said on Wednesday that the changes to the law on foreigners “correspond entirely” to the Portuguese interest and are not a measure of sympathy or concession to other countries.

“We are not doing it out of concession to a request from other countries, nor to be nice to each other,” said the minister, who is being heard today in the parliamentary committee on Foreign Affairs and Portuguese Communities.

The clarification came in response to MP Pacheco de Amorim (Chega), who wanted to know about possible reciprocity from countries that, in his opinion, benefit from the mobility agreement between the countries of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).

“The mobility agreement was very much driven by Portugal. It was not born last year or two years ago when it was agreed,” said João Gomes Cravinho.

The new regime for the entry of immigrants into Portugal, which provides for the facilitation of visa issuance for CPLP citizens under the Agreement on Mobility between Member States, came into force in October 2022.

The new model, which allows Portugal to automatically grant a residence permit to immigrants from the CPLP, came into force on 1 March this year.

Regarding the changes to the law on foreigners, the minister said that these were Portugal’s decisions.

“They are our decisions” that “correspond entirely to our interests”, he continued.

He explained that the basis of these changes was “the national interest, given a negative demographic framework” and that the needs of the national economy are more easily met by populations that already speak Portuguese.

“The opening of doors to Brazilians, citizens from African countries, and Timor-Leste is extremely favourable to us, and for this reason, we have proposed changes to the law on foreigners,” he said.

regarding the law of foreigners in the CPLP countries, João Gomes Cravinho said that the situations are very different from each other.

“In some countries, revisions of the laws on foreigners are in question, and others are satisfied with their laws,” he said.

The CPLP includes Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and Timor-Leste.

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