Government against “wide open doors” to immigration, executive admits quotas

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The Portuguese government today admitted to limiting access to residence permits to immigrants with work visas or looking for work and introducing “quantitative objectives” in the reception of foreigners.

The aim is to “adopt the principle that we are a country with doors open to immigration, but not wide open”, materialized in quantitative objectives for immigration, weighing up the dimension of security, prioritizing in terms of qualifications and avoiding exploitation by illegal and criminal networks”, can be read in the program of the XXIV Constitutional Government (PSD/CDS) released today and delivered to Parliament.

In the document, the Government considers that “Portugal faces significant challenges in relation to migration”, with “ineffective legislation and a lack of articulation between the public, private and social sectors”, allowing the proliferation of “human trafficking networks capable of social atrocities rarely seen”, with “complex social problems such as the housing challenge and the persistence of xenophobic phenomena”.

To solve this situation, the executive proposes “holistic and collaborative policies, involving the state, the business sector and social institutions”, which allow “regulated, humane, dignified and constructive immigration for the sustainable development of Portugal”.

In the area of migration, the government has set itself the goals of “a regulated immigration policy that ensures that immigrants in Portugal have their fundamental rights respected and promoted”, “retaining national talent and attracting qualified professional immigrants” and “guaranteeing effective control of Portuguese borders and the European Union’s external border”.

To this end, the executive admits to changing “the regime so that residence permits are based on previously concluded work contracts or through a work search visa”.

The current model allows for the regularization of people without a visa, by presenting an employment contract already signed in Portugal or just a work promise contract.

The government also promises to “encourage and support immigrant associations as interlocutors with public bodies for the purposes of planning and evaluating public integration policies at national, regional and local level” and to “fight xenophobia and social exclusion”

The executive also undertakes to “create a program of attraction, reception and integration, promoting, whenever possible, the regulated immigration of family nuclei” and to “attract qualified immigration” in order to “respond to the demographic and workforce needs in Portugal”, including measures to promote the teaching of the Portuguese language and “knowledge of Portuguese culture on the part of immigrants”.

On the subject of emigration, Luís Montenegro’s government is concerned about young people leaving: “The generation with the most qualifications ever, in which the country has invested a lot of resources, is leaving the country due to a lack of opportunities”.

To this end, the executive is committed to “policies to support the return of nationals”, with “tax incentives” and wage increases, because “it will be difficult for a young person to return to the country if they find much lower wages and a very high tax burden”.

“These policies must be developed by the Agency for Migration, in conjunction with the management of other migratory flows. The agency will have to adapt in order to ensure that it has the necessary means and skills to perform these functions of attracting and retaining national talent,” the program reads, without specifying whether this paragraph refers to the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum, created in October 2023.

The Government Program of the Democratic Alliance (AD) was approved today, on the eve of two days of debate in parliament, on Thursday and Friday.

The Minister for the Presidency, António Leitão Amaro, said that the document is based on AD’s electoral program, but incorporates more than 60 measures that coincide with those of other parties.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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