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The Government tightens immigration rules

THE GOVERNMENT TIGHTENS MIGRATION RULESYesterday, the government announced a new plan that will toughen some immigration rules, following in the footsteps of other EU countries, and just days before election polls open. Immigrants who want to work in Portugal will have to apply for a specific visa at a Portuguese consulate if they want to regularise their immigration status.

The Social Democratic Party’s (PSD) proposal scraps the old “manifestation of interest” regime that let irregular non-EU workers who were contributing to social security apply for residency in Portugal. It means they’ll now need a work contract before arriving. Many organisations defended the old procedure as a way to control illegal immigration networks but the government claimed it was used as an “open door”.

Now the government will require the majority of people who want to work in Portugal to apply through consular outposts. It plans to reinforce consular offerings in Portuguese-speaking countries and five or six other countries, including India.

Those most affected will be workers from non-EU countries who don’t fit one of the preferential immigrant profiles the government has defined. Those categories are people from Portuguese-speaking countries (CPLP), under-18s for family reunification, young students and qualified workers.

There won’t be any changes for those with expressions of interest already pending; they’ll still be waiting on a response from AIMA.

The plan has a budget of €70–€80 million but the government insists it won’t require extra funding. AIMA raised €30 million in three weeks through its charges on people with pending processes, some of which cost almost €400 for those from CPLP countries.

Source Reuters

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